Hot Sand And Burnign Hearts

To Smeinogorskit with Mr. H

A motorbike journey through Russia


Schlangenberg (Smeinogorsk) is located at the the joint borders of Russia, China, Mongolia and Kasakztan. It was Alexander von Humboldt's secret final destination on his expedition of Russia in 1829. Humboldt had already reached the age of 60 at this time, a world-renowned scientist, who had been invited to this enterprise by tsar Nikolai I. Already at the tsar's court in St. Petersburg the explorer predicted the discovery of diamonds in Siberia.

Humboldt's private mail tells about an irrepressible desire for traveling and exploring. He describes the beauties of nature in an almost poetic style. He hardly mentions the incredible hardships of a 17.000 km-voyage in a carriage mostly on unpaved roads and often by night.

We, two film-makers from Berlin/Germany, will travel the old post route from Berlin via St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Ural to the Chineses border on our motorcycles. Our passion for traveling connects us to Humboldt. It is Humboldt's commitment to the poor and weak of society, often annoying the establishment, that we admire.

This will be the basis for a three-part DVD series.


August 13th

11.000 km and back in Berlin


August 5th – 7th

Russia is burning...


August 2th – 4th

Riding a motorcycle in Russia is a metaphysical moment...



The movie "Mit Herrn von H. zum Schlangenberg" is a documentary about an adventurous journey. The nights were spent in tents or on special occasions in the private surroundings of our movie's protagonists. Most roads are unsurfaced. We have to cross more than 20 rivers with hardly any bridges available. However mosquitos are the worst plague in July and August.

What does it take to travel through a foreign country by motorcycle, not being able to understand much of the national language? This voyage is an experiment and we, the travelers and our experiences, are part of our movie.

Prior to our departure we contacted people and institutions promising interesting stories. Among those were a 250-year old ore mine in the Jekaterinburg area but also Russia's only Gulag museum in Perm.

"During his expeditions in Russia, Humboldt did not only bring science and in a more figurative sense industralization from the West to the East but also improved contacts between Russia and Western Europe substantially. This was a prerequisite for ideas like democracy and human rights to spread all over Russia." says Humboldt expert Dr. Alexander Gogun, a member of the chair for East European history at Berlin's Humboldt University. During the preparation stages of our journey we closely co-operated with him. In this spirit there will be many private encounters and conversations with people in Russia, which will tell their personal stories about the myth Russia.

Nevertheless the focus of the movie will be nature and its fascinating pictures from the coastal roads of the Baltic Sea to the endless vasteness of Siberia – here the path-goal theory applies.


A Russian proverb states: "With the Germans the legs are a bit thin and the soul is a bit short." On the other hand Germans consider Russians to be chaotic through and through. Still us Germans nurture an undefined admiration and fascination for the gigantic country and its people.

At first Russia's rapprochement to Europe during the times of the Tsars then millions of casualties and suffering during the world wars and the Soviet Union as a counter model to capitalism. Perceptions of both sides are defined by clichés. Russians and Germans are divided by walls of prejudices, still there are people with their stories behind these walls.

Do stereotypes like the aforementioned contain a grain of truth? We would like to answer this question together with our movie's protagonists. The Russian hospitality and their curiosity towards everything new is legendary. Another Russian proverb: "Never enter a foreign monastery with your own rules."


We want to sincerely thank the following persons and companies for their co-operation and support:

  • Consulate general in Jekaterinburg
  • Count Peter von Polier - France
  • Jacques von Polier - Raketa watches
  • Dr. Alexander Gogun - Russian historian at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin
  • Irina Enders - translation
  • - Sponsoring