I asked Keith if he liked Russia or Finland better and he said, “Russia! Finland is too orderly and civilized!!!”
When crossing the boarder, you must stop on the Finnish side and then again on the Russian side. The Finnish side is indoors with minimal to no lines. Within minutes, we were greeted with smiles, friendly conversation and even thanked for visiting Finland.
On the Russian side, you must stand in a long line OUTSIDE. Keith handed the agent all 4 of our passports. She never smiled and only barked, “Everyone needs to have the own passport!!!” The only time she made eye contact was to verify that our chattering teeth match those in the passport photo. Completely frozen, we returned to our second in line car to wait 30 minutes for the unenthusiastic officials to finally make their presence known and walk by our car to “inspect” it and raise the gate so we could pass.
I am glad to be home, but so thankful for all the close by “civilized countries we can visit!!!