Infiniti’s wanderlust has taken the QX80 to other faraway locations, but none quite as exotic as Privolzhskoe, Tver Oblast, Russia, to go glamping in Villi Ulei’s geodesic domes.
In what’s termed a comfort zone for climatic conditions in Russia, temperatures range from 9-degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, to a high of 66-degrees in the summer. As you can see, snowfall is abundant in the region, from a low of about 16 inches, to almost 32 inches, and it spans anywhere from four to five months of the year. Home to 1.35 million Russians, 30% of whom are Russian Orthodox, it might seem like a great place to go if it were summer at the Boishoe Zavidovo, when Nashestvie, the largest Russian rock festival, is being held.
Located in the middle of the East European Plain, Tver Oblast spans 161 miles north to south, and 279 miles east to west. Despite claims of having to test the QX80’s off-road prowess, Tver Oblast is mainly flat, with some alternating lowlands and highlands, from 200 feet near the Kunya River, to a high of 1,138 feet at the highest point in the Valdai Hills. While the occasion to visit Russia was said to test the capabilities of the new QX80, let’s be clear that we were not among the media participants or others offered an escape from the nearby capital city of Moscow.
A watershed of the Caspian and Baltic seas, there are more than 800 rivers in the region that are longer than six miles in length, with the Volga being the main river at 425 miles within Tver Oblast. Infiniti mentioned the river possibly being frozen over, so fishing wasn’t the main attraction. No, Infiniti had getaways and what they call comfortable retreats in mind. This follows previous excursions in the Gobi Desert, Jordan, and the American West, none of which we’ve experienced, at least not as guests of Infiniti.
Historically, between the ninth and tenth centuries, there was a settlement already established where the Tamka and Volga rivers meet. Much later, a fort was built on this site, during the period when the Rostov-Suzdal princes and slavs from the Novgorod Republic were mixing it up. During World War II, Germany occupied part of Tver Oblast from 1941-1943. In 1966, the federal government signed a power-sharing agreement, granting it autonomy, which only lasted until 2002, when it was abolished. Tver Oblast is divided into two urban areas, Ozyorny, and Solnechny, the five cities of Tvter, Kimry, Rzhey, Torzhok, and Vyshy Yolochyok, and thirty-six districts.
Villi Ulei is located in a state park, and on a private beach. Area attractions include the Kimry Theater of Drama and Comedy, Kimry Local History Museum and the Kolkunovo Zoo Circus. What strange and far-flung location will Infiniti use as the next backdrop for their vehicles?
[Images: Infiniti, Expedia.co.uk]