Travel Notes: From St Petersburg to St Michel (Mont St Michel)

I traveled this summer from St. Petersburg, Russia to Mont St. Michel, France. This time I want to break with the accurate chronological way of describing the events and will start from the end. My trip finished at the Emerald Coast. For those who do not know what it is, the Emerald Coast(Cote d'Emerald) is part of the Atlantic shore located in the Brittany province of France. And it's main attraction is the famous Mont Saint Michel, see picture. I myself, as well as my fellow travelers, experienced in traveling in third world countries, have some reservations about traveling in Europe. There are concerns about high accommodation cost, lack of public transportation and so on. Now I learned how to travel in Europe and will be glad to share my knowledge with you, my readers. The best place to stay are campings. Those in which I stayed were centrally located, nice and safe. Cost was 12-18 euros. And it was always plenty of space for a tent. Those in which I stayed at Emerald Coast are the following:

1. In town Mont Saint Michel, it was Camping du Mont St-Michel.ale
2. In town Saint-Malo, it was Camping Aleth. This is the best.
3. In town Dinan, it was Camping Municipal Chateaubriand.

Comprehensive list of campings in Europe is on
But of course you should have your own tent. My tent "MSR HUBBA NX" turned out to be perfect. It survived torrential rain one night without a drop of water inside the tent. Tent weight 1.3 kg. sleeping bag 1 kg. Sleeping mat, thermarest: 0.3kg. It is good to have small multi-fuel stove, as fire usually not allowed in campgrounds. There are excellent network of bike paths through the Emerald Coast, described in details in Lonely Planet book "Cycling France". For those who are without bikes, there are plenty of buses and trains. See them at
Emerald Coast has a good combination of natural wonders and architectural/ historical landmarks, like medieval towns surrounded by impenetrable walls. There are also plenty of mussel and oyster farms in this area. Oysters are 0.50 cents each. I bought oyster knife and opened them myself.

However, let us back to chronological description of events. I left St. Petersburg on July 19 and traveled through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and France, mostly by buses, sometimes by bike.
St. Petersburg did not change much from my last year's visit. There are no visible effects of sanctions. Stores are full of products. Outdoor cafes and restaurants are open in summer as usual. Baltic Republics are a sea of red clay tiled roofs and cobblestoned streets which are not so good for my small bicycle wheels. Riga's fish market impressed me with unbelievable abundance of smoked and salted fish. There is independent Republic of Uzupis inside capitol of Lithuania, Vilnius. You could see it's funny constitution in attachment.

In Warsaw I was arrested by police for improper crossing of Marshalkovska street. When they tried to catch me I initially escaped by turning to pedestrian only area around high-rise Palace of Culture, which Poles call Stalin's penis. They continue to circle that Palace on their police van and they catch me when I exited this area. Initially they want to put me in prison, but after they learned my age, they gave me a fine and wish me to stay in the same good shape till I am 100 years. Poles do not like architectural style of that Palace of Culture presented by the Soviet Union and in protest they surround it by the most weird modern buildings. One of them is in attachment.

From Prague to Dresden I travel by bike along Vltava and Elbe rivers. There are many heavy machine gun bunkers along the Elbe river left from WWII. I slept in tent in campings and in the forest when camping was too far away. It is illegal, as learned later. Huge building looking like mosque in Dresden puzzled me. It turned out to be former tobacco factory build by Jewish owner in 1907. "Oriental" style of architecture recalled the exotic origin of tobacco - from Turkey. I have not been in Berlin for 19 years. Berlin was renovated during this time. New Reichstag is quite impressive. Near Reichstag is memorial of Soviet soldiers killed in battle for Berlin. Unlike its Baltic neighbors, Germany does not want to remove this memorial.

The bus ride from Berlin to Paris takes 19 hours and cost $50. In Paris it became clear what we live in the one of Era of Great Migration, which happened in human history before, many centuries ago. When I rode my bike in the evening through the area around Gare de l'East to my hostel Generator located at Colonel Fabien Place, I was the only white person in the street. From Paris I went to Emerald Coast of which you already read in the beginning of this TN. I forget to tell you that Emerald Coast has highest tide in Europe. Difference between low and high tide can be up to 13 meters, as you can see in photo of yachts parked on dry land in attachment. My trip was finished Aug 28 It took 40 days

1. Map of my trip

2. Blackheads' house, Riga

3. Fish market, Riga

4. Republica Usupio, Vilnius

6. Warsaw center

7. Advertisement in Warsaw

5. Astronomical Clock, Prague

8. Prague

9. Most disgusting commercial

10. Fortification on Elbe

11. Mosque like restaurant, Dresden

12. Dresden

13. Reichstag. Berlin

14. Soviet War Memorial, Berlin

15. Notre Dame

16. Eiffel Tower

17. Moulin Rouge at night

18. Emerald Coast map

19. Mont St. Michel

20. Low tide at St Malo

21. My tent

Alex Mumzhiu
Washington USA
Oct 12 2016