I originally posted this YouTube video on one of our other websites, but it’s so appropriate that I’m running it here on JimandJamie.com. Take a few minutes and watch it, because it will give you a sense of what the streets are like in St Petersburg.
Let me be blunt: Russian drivers are terrible. No, not just terrible. They’re completely insane.
Our hotel is one a one-way street. We hadn’t been out the revolving door for more than a minute when we saw a huge, fully-loaded dump truck coming down the street in the proper direction. Apparently the driver just plain decided that he didn’t want to go that direction, because he made a very slow, very difficult three-point turn — blocking traffic — so that he could go down the one-way street IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
A few minutes later we saw a motorcycle coming down the sidewalk straight at us, scattering pedestrians in every direction.
On top of that everyone drives down the main streets at freeway speed. U-turns in heavy traffic are common.
It’s every man for himself on the streets of St. Petersburg. Cross the street at your own risk.
UPDATE: We just arrived in Moscow. Traffic is unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. Our cab driver was listening to a mellow jazz station (I know that because the announcer said, “Mellow” in English between every song) and still honked his horn a thousand times during our ride. Lane divider lines mean nothing here.
Traffic was crawling at a remarkably slow pace. We actually saw one driver go backwards down the lane meant for traffic coming the opposite direction, swerve into a driveway, then shoot out and cut into our lane of traffic.
It’s crazy, man.