Kim & Mike's Most Excellent Planet Ramble

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ride2ADV, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    The following morning dawned bright and sunny. It was looking to be another excellent day. We loaded up the bikes and went to the front desk to pay our bill. While there, we told the attendant that we had two bikes in the underground garage and asked her to open the garage exit gate for us and make sure that it stayed open for BOTH bikes. She said she would be happy to and would watch for us in the camera. We paid the bill and walked down into the garage to the exit gate. We lined up front to back and I hit the button for the attendant to open the gate. It opened and I rode through followed by Kim. However, just before she could ride through, the metal gate slammed down hitting her on the head and knocking her off her bike into a concrete wall.

    I quickly ran down to Kim who was crawling out from under the bike. I picked the bike up and pushed it to the top of the garage exit. There I stood with Kim's bike with people walking by and no-one offering to help. It was very strange. All over Europe, people had been so friendly and helpful, but here in Trnava, Slovakia, people walked by staring at her bike and me without saying a word or slowing down. Oh well...

    Kim was OK aside from a little headache so I pushed her bike to the front of the hotel to check out her bike for damage. Luckily, it seemed that there was only minor damage and only the mirror was broken. I pushed the bike to the front of the hotel waiting area to take a closer look.

    [​IMG]

    Ultimately, it was just the mirror, so I broke out the duct tape and started the job...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Good as new! Sort of... :lol3

    We got back under way and headed for the Czech Republic. We stopped for fuel at a gas station and found this on the door...

    [​IMG]

    A life sized picture of Stefan Svitko, a Czech Dakar Rally Competitor. It was great to see someone from Rally racing so prominent!!! Fueled and ready to go, we made our way northward through rolling farmlands...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and some small towns...

    [​IMG]

    Until we decided that it was time for lunch. We pulled over at a small roadside cafe and sat down. It wasn't long before server came over and asked us if we wanted anything to drink. We asked for Cokes and within a couple of minutes, she returned with this...

    [​IMG]

    giant tureen of soup...

    [​IMG]

    We hadn't even ordered yet, but it seems all guests first got a bowl of soup on the house!!! Let me tell you, it was very delicious. I mean really, really good! It was sort of a beef barley soup, but frankly, I don't actually know what kind of soup it was.

    When we had taken some and put it into bowls...

    [​IMG]

    It was quickly brought to other tables for other patrons to sample. It was just an awesome experience! Through the magic of photo geo-tagging, I can even tell you that the place is located in Tesov, Czech Republic and is called Motorest Stepan on Route 490 (click here for link). Lunch was pretty good as well, chicken with vegetables on pasta.

    [​IMG]

    But the soup really made the meal, and what an awesome tradition!

    The remainder of the day's ride was quite nice and before long, we were at a little house we rented just outside of Bolatice.

    [​IMG]

    The back of the place looked like this...

    [​IMG]

    Perched on the border of a field in a small neighborhood, it was a nice place to hang our helmets for the night.

    The views from the back porch were pretty nice as well!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We chilled for a while and I did some routine maintenance on the bikes. By evening we were getting hungry so we decided to walk and wander into town to see what we could find.

    Along the way we found some interesting stuff. First there was this little house with some very unique topiary...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There was an woman tending to the topiary as we walked by and we tried to chat, but really didn't succeed other than to communicate to her that we that her work was awesome.

    [​IMG]

    We had a bit of a difficult time finding a place to eat, there was only a bar with lots of people inside and out with no place to sit. We didn't see any food either. We were just about to resign ourselves to a dinner of powerbars and nuts, but next door to the bar, was what we thought was a convenience store. It turned out that it was really a takeout place. So dinner consisted of these...

    [​IMG]

    washed down with Coke. They were actually really good. Sort of like a gyro in a pita pocket. Oh, and if we were extra thirsty, next to the ordering counter we found this...

    [​IMG]

    The place had snacks, coffee and alcohol!

    [​IMG]

    The gyros and Coke was enough, so no snacks or alcohol this time.

    On the way back to the house, I saw a very large white dog resting beside a house staring at us. I didn't recognize the breed, so I decided to take a picture of it.

    [​IMG]

    He/she decided that it didn't want his/her picture taken and without a single bark, growl or whimper, do this...

    [​IMG]

    It started running towards us barking as it ran so I don't have any more pictures of the dog, we were too busy getting to the other side of the street. I still don't know what kind of dog it was.

    Back at the house, I started looking for a Ducati dealer so that we could buy a new mirror for Kim and get her front tire replaced. The closest one was in Lodz, Poland a good sized city. So after a nice evening, in the morning we got suited up and headed for Lodz.

    [​IMG]

    We were in and out of rain during the day so I don't have much in line of pictures although I do have some from our lunch stop.

    Now in Poland, we stopped at another roadside cafe. The menu was all in Polish, but luckily for us, it had pictures of all the meals available...

    [​IMG]

    One of the items looked like there was some kind of lizard available.

    [​IMG]

    It turns out that it was trout, just not a very good picture of trout.

    Ultimately, lunch seemed pretty traditional Polish fare with lots of potato, like potato pancakes with cole slaw...

    [​IMG]

    and

    potato with differing types of slaws and chicken with an egg on top...

    [​IMG]

    The weather started to clear as we neared Lodz. It certainly is a good sized city with city traffic...

    [​IMG]

    But it wasn't much of a hassle. We settled in to a large chain hotel for the evening. It was more upscale than we had been staying in, but we were in the city. Still, it was a nice change...

    [​IMG]

    Dinner was upscale as well with white table cloths and...

    [​IMG]

    "candlelight"...

    [​IMG]

    Mmmm... fancy... :1drink

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, we'd head for the Ducati dealer to see if we could get a replacement mirror and new front tire.

    Until later!
    Pete S and roadcapDen like this.
  2. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    That evening, we could see from our room window that it had started to cloud up and look like it was going to rain. There was a nice park across the street below...

    [​IMG]

    Complete with a large floral piece...

    [​IMG]

    As evening approached, we noticed that traffic had stopped. Soon there were hundreds of runners running along the main street.

    [​IMG]

    Police cars escorted them as other vehicles rolled slowly alongside the runners cheering them along. As evening fell, the clouds increased but the city looked beautiful...

    [​IMG]

    It rained heavily overnight, but when we got up, skies were clearing.

    [​IMG]

    We suited up and got on the road to Liberty Motors (LINK), a multi-brand motorcycle dealership that featured Ducati. We rolled into the place without an appointment and went into the service department to see if they could help us out with Kim's mirror and a new front tire. We told them where we were from and what had happened and immediately we were treated like royalty!

    People from sales, parts and service all came outside to check out the bikes and greet us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now here's the amazing part...

    They did not have an OEM mirror or front tire for Kim's Scrambler in stock especially since the Scrambler Icon has an unusual sized 18" front rim. But that didn't stop them from helping us. They did have a used Scrambler with a identical mirror and they did have a new Scrambler stock. So without hesitating, they offered to pull the mirror off the used bike and pull the front tire of the new bike and put them on Kim's bike! Wow!!!! They could not have been any nicer or more helpful. We were amazed and so thankful.

    While we were waiting for the service to be completed, we chatted with the staff and checked out what they had. It was a beautiful dealership.

    [​IMG]

    They carried Ducati, BMW, Yamaha, Piaggio, Gilera, Vespa and Harley-Davidson brands in a large building...

    [​IMG]

    The place was spotless and on two levels!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We really enjoyed hanging out and chatting with Pavel, Jakub and Lukasz. They had turned an afternoon of potential drudgery into a day of fun. Now here's the most amazing part. When we went to pay the bill, it was very inexpensive. The reason it was so inexpensive is that they refused to charge us for the service hours! I was flabbergasted. How awesome was that?

    So I definitely and and most emphatically recommend Liberty Motors if you need help and are in the area. Even if you are not in the area, I would say it is worth the trip to visit them. In case you are wondering, we did not ask for any special treatment or ask for any discounts, they just treated us like royalty. I would be remiss if I didn't put in a picture of Pavel, Jakub and Lukasz, so now you know what they look like and where to go.

    [​IMG]

    With the new parts installed and service complete, we headed back to the hotel for the evening. The following morning we would be heading north to some cooler weather and into Lithuania.

    It dawned mostly cloudy with the skies growing dark. The rain started and was heavy at times but also we got a few breaks of sun. As we motored northward we passed through some small towns with cool architecture like this church.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Later in the day, the rain turned steady so I have little in the line of outdoor pictures. What I have is from indoors when it was dry, like outside this truck stop where we stopped for lunch...

    [​IMG]

    It was cafeteria style with lots of truckers with everyone smoking up a storm. But the food was good and overall it was a pleasant experience.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Soon after we left, the rain really let loose.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't until we got to our next stop that I got any decent pictures at the a small local hotel. The room was OK, but the restaurant in the hotel was amazing. It was a something out the the 17th century. Wooden beams, stone walls, and old artifacts surrounded us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even the menus were cool, handmade out of wood strips...

    Here it is closed, with the menu inside...

    [​IMG]

    And open...

    [​IMG]

    Cool huh?

    We settled in for the night and when we awoke.... It was raining again. So no pics... Except for lunch at a roadside cafe. This time it was a tiny place, barely enough for 5 tables...

    [​IMG]

    with very heavy chairs made out of solid wood...

    [​IMG]

    So we were not surprised when the food came out and there was a lot of it!

    Goulash

    [​IMG]

    Pork schnitzel of sorts...

    [​IMG]

    So back on the road... it rained the remainder of the day until reaching our destination in Kaunas, Lituania.

    As we rode around and later in the day as we walked around, we were both left with the impression that Kaunas was an old tired town with people that had just resigned themselves to living and little else. The streets were dingy, buildings covered with diesel grime and most notable were people walking with their heads down, moving briskly along trying not to make eye contact. It was sobering and kind of sad. I know we were only in this one city and just quickly passing through Lithuania, but that's how we felt about Kaunas.

    Ultimately, we got to the hotel and parked our bikes in a gated parking lot...

    [​IMG]

    As we looked around, we could see what appeared to be vestiges of the old Soviet Union when it collapsed. There were a couple of large buildings that seemed to have just stopped in time mid construction, never to be completed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While we ate dinner in a nice hotel with glass windows, 50 year old diesel buses wheezed by belching diesel fumes, while outside and older woman swept the sidewalk in front of the hotel with a handmade straw broom for over an hour. It was a reminder to us of how fortunate we are to be able see the world and live as we do. I'm not a city person and frankly I was ready to get out of Kaunas.

    The following morning started out overcast, but the rain had stopped. We walked to the bikes, uncovered them...

    [​IMG]

    and headed out of Kaunas. We got a little lost at first and ended up in a square around St. Michael The Archangel Church in Independence Square that was not supposed to be open to traffic.

    [​IMG]

    We struggled a bit to find the proper exit and came upon this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Since we were on bikes in a no traffic zone who it was supposed to be...

    Ultimately, we were able to navigate out of Kaunas and continue our journey north.

    Until later!
    Pete S, NSFW, Saso and 4 others like this.
  3. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Get some Polish coins to make into jewelry?
    Great trip!
    Ride2ADV likes this.
  4. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    Why yes we did! They will soon be available on moosehollowjewelry.com. :-) Some nice coins...
    roadcapDen likes this.
  5. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    Lithuania is a small country and before long, we had crossed into Latvia. To me, things seemed much greener and the people more relaxed looking than they did in Lithuania.

    [​IMG]

    Once again we rode in and out of rain in cool temperatures, but nothing too extreme and it was an enjoyable ride. Later in the afternoon, we decided we were hungry and started looking for a place to eat. We rode for about an hour and a half and didn't find a single place to eat that was open. Ultimately, we rode past this little building and thought it might be a place to eat, so we turned around and came upon this...

    [​IMG]

    We parked the bikes...

    [​IMG]

    and upon closer inspection, it was indeed a little place to eat. Check out the walkway made out of tree trunk slices...

    [​IMG]


    Inside there were three tables and a small kitchen area. On the wall was the menu. It was in Latvian so we had no clue what was available. However, we met the nice woman who owned the place and she pointed to some pictures and and held up some items and we were able to figure out that they had a pizza type food so we ordered that. We added a couple of bottles of water and we were all set.

    [​IMG]

    There was an interesting price tag on each using segmented numbers and a black magic marker to make the price known....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When our "pizza" came out, it looked like this.

    [​IMG]

    It had a couple types of meats, pickles and some veggies and this white sauce that seemed like ranch dressing. All in all, we were pretty happy with what came out of the kitchen considering that we really had no clue about what were were ordering.

    We finished up and paid and headed back out to the bikes.

    Upon closer inspection, we found where some of the vegetables on the pizza had come from...

    [​IMG]

    This little garden beside where we had parked the bikes.

    We continued deeper into Latvia and found some interesting sights like this old windmill...

    [​IMG]

    Ultimately, we arrived at our stop for the night, a house on a dirt road...

    [​IMG]

    When we pulled in we were very happy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Turns out it was a little two level cottage on a nice little pond. Inside it was awesome! So awesome we decided to stay an extra day to enjoy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It even had an outdoor fireplace which Kim almost immediately started a fire in...

    [​IMG]

    She's a bit of a pyromaniac and in no time, the fire was going strong...

    [​IMG]

    Once settled, we decided to run into town to get some groceries. We quickly found well stocked market...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    bought some supplies and headed back to the house. Upon arrival, we were met by a couple of new friends...

    This guy was waiting for us on the porch...

    [​IMG]

    While this guy waited until we were settled in to greet us.

    [​IMG]

    With a face like that we had to give him a bowl of milk...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He drank most of the milk and hightailed it out of the place.

    [​IMG]

    As evening came upon us, it was clear that we had found a beautiful spot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    During the day, my visor wasn't staying up so I decided that a little helmet maintenance was in order. I had not noticed how much my fluorescent helmet had faded over time until I took the visor off...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hello Arai... you may want to look at this...

    Before we knew it, it was time to head to Estonia. It was going to a hot day, and thunder looked to be in the forecast...

    [​IMG]

    It was great riding...

    [​IMG]

    As we rode along, we saw this road sign for the town we were entering...

    [​IMG]

    What?

    Kim asked me to turn around so I did and she took this picture...

    [​IMG]

    Nice!

    Now I had to play the role...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nice Kim, nice...

    We didn't know it at the time but we were just outside the Estonian border. In fact, we rode straight out of Latvia without knowing it. There was no sign of a border crossing, not even an abandoned border station. We were quickly in Voru, Estonia and stopped at a market to get some fuel...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were lots of apartment buildings and a more urban vibe to the place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But shortly after getting the fuel, we headed to a little oasis over a garage...

    [​IMG]

    Until later!
    Pete S, Saso and skibum69 like this.
  6. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    Down a small side street we found a small apartment over a garage. We parked the bikes out front...

    [​IMG]

    And walked up the hand cut wooden stairs took to this small porch complete with hammock and lake view...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That evening, we took a walk around the lake on a small footpath and had views like this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and ultimately headed into town for dinner. The owner's of the apartment we were staying in told us about a small cafe where we could get some food, so we walked there as well. On the way, we found old and new buildings mixed together...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some of the old architecture was pretty interesting...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ultimately, when we arrived at the cafe, it was closed. No it was open. It seems that although the door was open, someone had rented the cafe for a wedding and the guests would soon be arriving. It would have been nice if we could have stayed and seen the wedding, but it was private so we decided to walk further into town where we found a small hotel that served us these nice desserts...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They were great!

    We only spent one night there and the following morning were back on the road headed for Tallinn, Estonia. On lightly traveled and well maintainined roads, we headed north.

    [​IMG]

    The weather was beautiful for a change and this day's weather was much appreciated. Before long, we had left the open and uncrowded roads of the Voru area and found ourselves in the bustling city of Tallinn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But it would turn out that we were in for a treat. We found a 12th floor penthouse apartment right on the ocean for next to nothing. As the day drew to a close, we were out on the balcony taking this all in...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and as evening fell...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In fact, we liked it so much, we decided to stay put for a few days.

    Inside we were treated to this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Certainly, it was a lovely place to hang out for a few days.

    Upon our arrival, we were met by the apartment owner Triin, who gave us some info about the area and what might be fun to see. It was great to have someone who really knew the area and thing of historical significance. It turns out that the apartment was within walking distance to an open air museum where the Estonian ways of life for hundreds of years were on exhibit. We couldn't wait to see it.

    The following morning, we headed to the museum. They were doing some construction in the area so there were plenty of signs telling us where to walk...

    [​IMG]

    as well as this one in front of the local high school.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well I guess that there won't be much fun here. :y0! :lol3 But after a short 10 minute walk, we were at the museum. The museum covers literally hundreds of years and they have literally disassembled and reassembled buildings and historical items from all over the country piece by piece. It's a very cool place! You walk through the entire property and visit each of buildings etc. There are also people carrying on life as it used to be in Estonia hundreds of years ago. Our first contact with them was at the blacksmith shop. Two young men were hard at work crafting metal items using a coal forge supported by a leather bellows.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It turned out that they spoke very good English and we chatted with them about working in the blacksmith shop, what they were making at the moment and what their plans were for the future. It was a great conversation and we ended up taking a few pics with them...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was great fun!

    We continued our walk through the museum and toured old houses...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and a windmill...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    with handmade gears...

    [​IMG]

    Houses/barns with thatched roofs...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Goat warning signs...

    [​IMG]

    As well as some other houses/barns with these interesting roof lines...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I loved these fences...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were more "modern" houses with "nicer" interiors...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    with some nice architectural touches...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and lots of goats...

    [​IMG]

    One of the houses had an example of weddings during the times...

    [​IMG]

    Complete with the dowry...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Examples of craftsmanship were everywhere with mortarless stone walls...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Check out the detail on this house/barn...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This house also had an attached barn...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All in all, it was a beautiful place that gave you a real look into old Europe. Just walking through it was beautiful...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point it was almost obligatory that we take a selfie...

    [​IMG]

    another windmill..

    [​IMG]

    and finally the entrance/exit to the museum...

    [​IMG]

    All in all, it was a delightful afternoon living old Estonia and enjoying all it had to offer.

    We walked back to the apartment.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The top floor with the patio was where we were lucky enough to stay. We made ourselves dinner and watched the sun set over the ocean...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW, these photos were taken at 12:30 AM. We turned in for the day because tomorrow we planned to go into Old Town Tallinn.

    Until later!
    Pete S, ShimrMoon, Rhode trip and 3 others like this.
  7. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,471
    Location:
    New Melbourne, Newfoundland
    Very nice looking spot. In Newfoundland they call those fences riddle fences and make them out of alders. I want to do some on my property but they are pretty labour intensive to build.
    Ride2ADV likes this.
  8. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    I really did like those fences, but can understand how much work they would be. They are truly an amazing feat when there no power tools and everything had to be done by hand!! Thanks for commenting!
    skibum69 likes this.
  9. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22,078
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    your ride report convinces me that i need to get my self there. inspiring and informative.
  10. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    :lurk
    Thanks for taking the time to write your RR.
  11. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    The following morning dawned bright and sunny. We were psyched because we were headed to Old Town Tallinn. It was amazing. Lots of history, art and amazing people.

    The walls of Old Town Tallinn beckoned to us...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and we wondered what we would find inside. Not long after entering Old Tallinn, we went to our first stop, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an old Russian orthodox church. It towered above us with 3 black onion domes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and frescos...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Crowds of people stood around waiting for their turn to go inside with their friends.

    [​IMG]

    Once inside, it was indeed spectacular.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I would have more pics for you but I was told to not take pictures inside since this is an active church. So... no more pics for you.

    Right across the street was another impressive looking building which turned out to be the Estonian Parliament...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We didn't see anything inviting the public in so that's about it for the Estonian Parliament.

    As we walked down the city streets, there were signs of how ancient the city really was. Here you can see some of the ancient city walls...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We walked around the city streets just taking in all we were seeing. Old colorfully painted buildings mixed with newer construction...

    [​IMG]

    Handmade decorations adorned many buildings...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now that is an interesting door! The artistry was everywhere...

    We were enjoying ourselves and just biding our time walking through the streets of Old Tallinn...

    [​IMG]

    When we came across this...

    [​IMG]

    At the corner of street was this little girl with a certain Mona Lisa smile that just captivated me. In front of her was a violin case in which she was accepting donations. No adults were with her, she just played very well and never missed a beat. I just had to put a few coins in and I probably stood there like an idiot for about 10 minutes enjoying her and the scene. Frankly, one of the memorable moments for this journey.

    We continued our walk through the streets of Old Tallinn, just taking in the architecture...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Walking within the city walls was amazing. Built into the walls of the old city itself were cafes, museums and other places of interest. We decided to go inside the wall to check out a little cafe. If you look closely, you can see the first set of stairs outside the wall leading inside...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Getting there was very cool, but not for the faint of heart. Steep, hundreds of years old stone steps let us to the cafe...

    [​IMG]

    With torch light to guide you in the darker spaces...

    [​IMG]

    The railing at the top of the wall was where they had placed single tables for two so you could chat, eat and look out over Old Town Tallinn. We didn't stop for any food, but decided to continue with our little foot tour of Old Tallinn. When we got outside, we noticed that there were several porticos at the base of the wall with pictures in them...

    [​IMG]

    I was intrigued, so I checked them out more closely. I was surprised at what I found!

    Many of the pictures were taken by a man named Heinrich Ots. Years later, he heard that many of his photos had been placed in museums documenting the life and times of the people of Estonia.

    [​IMG]

    Luckily for us, he apparently liked two wheeled conveyances and took many pictures of people on motorcycles and bicycles. Here are a few...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The wall also housed a museum...

    [​IMG]

    But unfortunately it was closed at the time.

    Also at the base and mounted on the wall were a series of faceless monks who watched over Old Town Tallinn...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We continued our walk through the Old Town just marveling at everything...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we continued our walk, we came to a town square where many shopping carts were placed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Residents and tourists alike wandered through the square just enjoying the day and doing a bit of shopping.

    [​IMG]

    Before we knew it, the day was over and it was time to head back to the apartment. As we walked away from the Old Town Tallinn walls, I really felt I had spent a day getting to know Tallinn. I was going to miss it.

    Soon we were back at the apartment making preparations for our voyage across the Baltic Sea and later watched another gorgeous sunset on Estonia.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Soon we would be in Scandinavia.

    Until later!!!
  12. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    Do yourself a favor. Get there!!! :clap
    NSFW likes this.
  13. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    Writing the RR is my pleasure! Thanks for letting me know you are enjoying it!
  14. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    The following morning dawned partly cloudy with some nice peeks of sun. We'd be leaving Estonia, crossing the Baltic Sea and entering into Finland. We said goodbye to our host and made our way to the ferry terminal. It was easy to find the terminal...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But not so easy to find the dock where we would line up to take the ferry. We got a bit lost, but were finally able to find it. We were one of the first ones to arrive...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So we took off our gear and chatted with a few people as we waited...

    [​IMG]

    Or just thought about the journey so far...

    [​IMG]

    To kill some time, we walked around and found that the place was thoroughly loaded with cruise ships!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hadn't thought that Tallinn was such a "destination" but having experienced it, I could readily see why it was!

    As we waited, more cars started to arrive and this car pulled up next to us...

    [​IMG]

    As the ferry arrived, they lined us up so that we could make a quick entrance. This ship slowly approached the dock and as it did, its size became more apparent.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and as it got closer, a door started to open...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...and what looked like two white teeth appeared in the mouth of this ocean traveling beast.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nearly docked, a ramp started lowering into place...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Soon it would be our turn to load...

    [​IMG]


    Loading was easy and once the bikes were tied down, we headed for the deck.

    [​IMG]

    It was a calm sea state and the journey was effortless...

    [​IMG]

    We were certainly enjoying ourselves!

    [​IMG]

    There was a bit of wind as you can tell by the position of my beard... :lol3 Before long, we reached the coast of Finland...

    [​IMG]

    and shortly thereafter rode off the ship in Finland. There was a bit of a traffic jam exiting the terminal...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But we were able to reach our hotel in Helsinki without any real issues. I am not a big city person, but we were there and determined to see some of the sights of Helsinki while there. Our first stop was the National Museum of Finland.

    [​IMG]

    We posed outside while a stone bear looked down upon us...

    [​IMG]

    As you enter, you are greeted by two large metal doors. Right from the beginning, you start to get a feel for Finnish history. If you look closely at the third panel from the bottom, third panel from the left, you will see a figure. If you zoom in a bit, you will see that the man has a blemish at the back of his neck.

    [​IMG]

    The blemish is actually a...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...bullet hole made during the Finnish Civil War. Talk about real history!

    The museum itself is well laid out and easy to navigate. It covers quite a bit of Finnish history from prehistoric times though current day. Without getting into what everything is and what it represents, here's a selection of pictures from the museum. If you want to know more about the national museum of Finland, you can click HERE. Now some pictures...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are many, many more interesting things to see, so we'd recommend that you stop and visit if you have the chance.

    By the time we were done with the museum, it was getting to be lunch time so we stopped at a little restaurant on a side street and...

    [​IMG]

    Oh well, someone has to do it!

    One of friends told us that if we found ourselves in Helsinki, we must stop at the Chapel of Silence. Hmmm.... It sounded intriguing so we decided to see if we could find it. We had no clue what it looked like or was about. We wandered the streets of Helsinki until we found it...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yup, that's it. An amazing piece of architecture.

    It was in a city square, right next to a shopping mall.

    [​IMG]

    It seemed a bit out of place to us, but it was beautiful. We decided to go inside and look around and found this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the square there was also some more artwork...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Since we were so close, Kim decided that we must check out the mall. Once inside, I wasn't sure we were in Finland.

    [​IMG]

    The first kiosk inside was a Ben & Jerry's ice cream stand. For those of you not from the northeast USA, Ben & Jerry's was a small ice cream company based in Waterbury, Vermont which is not far from our home. It used to be amazing ice cream, crafted in small quantities and run by two guys that really took care of their people. They had a rule that no one could be paid less than 8X what the CEOs made. It's now a international conglomerate owned by Berkshire Hathaway and a model of small companies taken over by huge corporations. If you ask me, the ice cream is worse for it. Too bad.

    Anyway, we walked back to the hotel and the following morning awoke to rain. Not a deluge, but a persistent light drizzle. Back on the bikes we headed north to a hotel in Tampere, Finland.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was very green with lots of trees. Drivers stuck precisely to the speed limit and courtesy was the name of the day. In fact, I would say that the Finnish drivers were the most observant and courteous of any country we have ever visited.

    Because of the rain, I have very little in the line of pictures for the day. However, we did stop for lunch at a roadside cafeteria and did see something that reminded me of home...

    [​IMG]

    We lived in New Hampshire for over 30 years before moving to Vermont and I spent a great deal of time at a racetrack that is famous for hosting the Loudon Road Race Series and later NASCAR events. This guy's t-shirt is from the apparently "world famous" Laconia Bike Week Motorcycle Rally. Back in the day, there were AMA races at the then Bryar Motorsports park. It is now known as New Hampshire International Speedway. The world is indeed a small place.

    We got to Umea, Finland late in the early evening and conked out for the day. The following morning was still overcast but with less low cloud and no rain. Right outside our hotel window was a commuter rail station and people waiting for their trains stood on the platform waiting for their ride.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By the time we got on the bikes, skies were beginning to clear. Our all to brief time in Finland would be coming to an early end as the weather further north was predicted to be cold rain for the next few days. We decided to head northwest and make an early entry into Sweden.

    It didn't take us long to get out of the city...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and soon we were back into open land...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW, for those of you sneaking a peek at the speedo, I don't think I was speeding at the time. One thing we learned was that southern Finland has an amazing amount of speed cameras. They are everywhere. But the unusual thing is there are signs warning you of each camera.

    We stopped at another roadside place for lunch and found this in the basement.

    [​IMG]

    The largest single vat of cheese I have ever seen.

    Lunch eaten, it was back on the road to catch the ferry to Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia. We lined up to get our tickets...

    [​IMG]

    and soon our ferry was arriving...

    [​IMG]

    Until later!
    Pete S and Rhode trip like this.
  15. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    The crossing to Sweden was a piece of cake. We were on another ferry again with a flat sea and a bright blue sky with a few clouds here and there.
    [​IMG]

    After arriving in Today would be a transit day. After arriving in Holmsund, Sweden, the remainder of the day would be spent traveling to Umea. A good sized city in between Stockholm. Frankly, we did quite a bit of divided single and two lane droning as we headed to Stockholm. I didn't take a lot of pictures as we made our southwest.

    At one point, we were driving into a small city and found this...

    [​IMG]

    The local high school's ski jump!

    It was a nice day and the surroundings beautiful...

    [​IMG]

    But we did stop once and got a great surprise.

    Off the road we were traveling was a Swedish national park named Skuleberget. We pulled off the road and entered a large crowded parking lot. Above us towered a rocky, craggy mountain. We figured we should get off the bikes and check it out.

    [​IMG]

    Wandering across the parking lot, we came to a couple of small buildings with lots of people wearing technical climbing gear. Hmmm.... this could be interesting.

    [​IMG]

    As we got closer to the mountain

    [​IMG]

    We saw what all the excitement was about. Groups of people were climbing to the top of the mountain. Not just athletes, but children and older adults made their way to the top via the craggy rocks you see in the picture above. This is one of the few times I wished I had brought a long lens for my camera. But fear not, here is an enlarged photo where you can just make out the people on the trail.

    [​IMG]

    If you look closely in the blue area, you can see a fairly long line of people climbing to the top. Pretty intrepid stuff for the general population! We ate lunch at one of the cafes and got on the bikes headed to Umea.

    We made reservations at a hotel which we later found out was on a road that accepted no traffic. It was just for a night's stay, so we parked in a public parking garage, grabbed our gear and headed for the hotel. The following morning as we were walking back to the bikes we had another one of those "where the heck are we" moments. We had stumbled across...

    [​IMG]

    Yep, O'Leary's Bar and Restaurant. Nothing so special about that you say... Well, coming from native New Englanders, it was significant. It turns out O'Leary's was a sports bar. A sports bar themed with our local home teams, the Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To top it off, the glass was emblazoned with likenesses of Bill Russell, Carlton Fiske, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Tom Brady! Were we really in Sweden?

    But as we continued our walks back to the bikes, we were reminded once again that we were not in the US.

    [​IMG]

    After leaving, I really didn't take many pictures until we reached our little motel for the day. It turned out it was none too shabby. We dropped off our gear in the room and hung out at the back of the motel...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG].

    Once again, it was only a one night stay, and when we got up in the morning, clouds were gathering. We decided to hightail it to Stockholm because we had planned a stop at a hugely historic place.

    [​IMG]

    When we got there the following day, we were not disappointed!

    [​IMG]

    -Until later!
    Pete S, roadcapDen and Saso like this.
  16. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    19,099
    Location:
    North Carrollton, MS - Traveling on the Moto
    Hi!

    I finally caught up! I have followed some of y'alls great Ride Reports in the past.

    Donnie
    Ride2ADV likes this.
  17. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    We rode through some nice country settings on deserted roads...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    but soon were coming into more populated areas. Along the way we passed by one of these...

    [​IMG]

    Kim told me through the comm that she must stop at an Ikea in Sweden since it was the birthplace of the chain. She wanted to see whether they were the same in Sweden as they were in the US. Oh well, I knew we had to go "shopping" at some point during the trip. :lol3I reminded her that we were on the bikes and had no room for storage, but she still wanted to go in so...

    [​IMG]

    I waited "patiently" outside as she went in... :D

    [​IMG]

    In actuality she was not inside very long and came out empty handed. :wings I wouldn't need to make space on either of the bikes. We then got back on the road and headed to Stockholm.

    So once again we are in a big city. Supposedly such places are not my cup of tea. However, there are some things worth seeing and we had a few lined up for Stockholm. Our first stop was to be at the Vasa Museum. I hadn't heard much about it before our arrival but I was stunned by what awaited inside. The Vasa is a warship built for King Gustavus Adolphus between 1626 and 1628. Built to show Sweden's strength and power, the Vasa was both a warship and a presentation of the Swedish Navy's might. Unfortunately, it sunk shortly after it set sail. Like a few hundred meters from the dock! It was very top heavy, some of the military knew the ship was too unstable but feared telling the king about the problem. So off she sailed and quickly sunk with civilians and military aboard.

    After it's bronze cannons were salvaged, it sat on the harbor bottom for hundreds of years until 1955 and was fully recovered in 1961. Approximately 90% of the ship was saved after a painstaking process of continuously wetting the ship down with a water-soluble wax, polyethylene glycol or PEG. The treatment lasted for 17 years! Ultimately, the Vasa was moved to an area in Stockholm where the museum was built around it. The museum is strictly climate controlled to slow the deterioration brought on by oxygen after hundreds of years under the sea. If you'd like to know more about the Vasa, click HERE.

    So with my mouth mostly hanging wide open for 4 hours, I took these pictures...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (check out the figures on the bow)

    Some of the cannon ports...

    [​IMG]

    Looking from the bow towards the stern you can see the two levels of cannon doors...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Open cannon door with decorative lion head...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As a symbol of power, the ship was covered with decorative figures which were brightly painted at the time she sailed. Nothing like a big colorful billboard of your country's power. This figure is a warrior in Roman armor.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All the hand carving was amazing...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bow crow's nest...

    [​IMG]

    Mast crow's nest...

    [​IMG]

    Looking up directly at the stern...

    [​IMG]

    More amazing carving...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So what did it look like when it was freshly painted?

    [​IMG]

    Here are some reproductions of what the carvings would have looked like when they were freshly painted...

    [​IMG]

    A recovered unlucky passenger...

    [​IMG]

    Some of the brass cannons...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This shot gives you an idea of how big the Vasa is... This is taken from the 3rd floor of the museum...

    [​IMG]

    If you have any chance whatsoever to visit the Vasa museum, please do. You won't forget it!

    Just outside the museum is the harbor where they have many ships/boat on exhibit, some of which you can board and tour for free!

    This ship reminds me of the Nantucket lightship...

    [​IMG]

    We went aboard and had a look around...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got a chance to climb inside of the light itself...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We then went back to the main deck and toured the rest of the ship...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (captain's quarters)

    [​IMG]
    (crew's quarters)

    Back on the dock, we passed a few more ships...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We basically spent the whole day at the Vasa museum and strolling around Stockholm...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and headed back to the hotel. The following morning, the weather looked great and as we were packing the bikes, I noticed this in Kim's rear tire...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Luckily for us, the screw was only in about 1/2 way and it was in the tread block. With trepidation I removed the screw and...

    Nothing, no air leaked out. Luck was with us!

    Today we were headed to Orebro and once again, once outside of Stockholm, the land turned less populated and more agricultural in nature.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ... and before we knew it, we had made it to Orebro. We found a small hotel in the center of the town, got settled and decided to walk around a bit. It was a beautiful town dedicated to walking around. There were buildings with murals...

    [​IMG]

    and many sidewalk restaurants/bars.

    [​IMG]

    There was even live music.

    [​IMG]

    We walked around for a while and decided on a nice sidewalk restaurant/bar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Had a drink (or two)...

    [​IMG]

    and listened to country music (Johnny Cash) being played... in Sweden...

    [​IMG]

    It was a fun experience.

    -Until later!
    Pete S, dwj - Donnie and skibum69 like this.
  18. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    After a fun evening of music and drinks, we retired for the night. Our destination for the next day was Oslo where we would be meeting our friend Bjorn. We had traveled through Chile and Argentina with him back in 2010. He's a great rider and an even better friend. When he heard that we were going to be riding Europe, he immediately contacted us and let us know to get in touch with him once we got into the area. When we decided we were headed to Oslo, we contacted Bjorn and we made arrangements to meet and see some sights.

    The ride to Oslo was an easy jaunt with very little traffic. Along the way, we passed a few animal overpasses...

    [​IMG]

    and quickly rolled into Oslo.

    We met Bjorn and he was ready to show us the town! We climbed in his car and began a whirlwind tour of Oslo! The first place we went was to the Viking Ship Museum. Imagine crossing oceans in an open boat over the North Atlantic a thousand years ago. What would such a sailing vessel look like? Well you don't have to imagine what they look like once you visit here...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the real thing, not a recreation, but the real thing. Can you imagine what it was like to cross the North Atlantic in that? The hand craftsman ship was amazing...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was blown away by this vessel. There were many, many more Viking artifacts in the museum and I took lots of pics. I'll just summarize some...

    Wagon...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Chest...

    [​IMG]

    Bucket

    [​IMG]

    Bridle

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sledge

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They also had a cool presentation about the Vikings that was projected on the walls and ceiling of one of the museum's wings....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The place was packed with history, so if you are into this kind of thing, you really need to check it out.

    After seeing the Viking museum, we ventured over to a public park, but not your ordinary park...

    Frogner Park is filled with sculpture and statuary that covers the spectrum of human life stages. Each designed by sculptor Gustav Vigeland, you can see people engaging in daily life such as Parents playing with children, dancing, hugging, holding hands, sports etc. Some of the sculptures are a bit out there, but it is an awesome place to spend some time just walking around and seeing the statuary. Oh yeah, and all of the people are naked. Here are some pics...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The crying child is one of the most popular statues and it is said to be good luck to hold its hand. That's why his right hand is so shiny in this picture. All the people reaching up to hold his hand.

    [​IMG]

    As you walk deeper into the park, the statues change from bronze/copper to stone. As you approach, you can see a large fountain. It's surrounded by bronze statues of people in trees...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We weren't sure what was in the fountain, but as we got closer...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    People emerged from the flowing water holding up the bowl from which the water flowed...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At the base of the fountain were bronzes of people displaying all the stages of a lifetime...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A couple separated by death...

    [​IMG]

    and after death...

    [​IMG]

    As you pass the fountain, you are now into the stone sculptures. In front of you is a giant obelisk surrounded by statues once again depicting life scenes and the stages of life.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and in the center of all of this is the obelisk...

    [​IMG]

    Which depicts all the stages of life, from birth at the top, to death at the bottom...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The obelisk was surrounded by some iron gates. Women on one side...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and men on the other side...

    [​IMG]

    We spent a good couple of hours walking around the park but we had more to see and walked out the front gate.

    [​IMG]
    (that's Bjorn BTW).

    We rode around a lot of different sections of Oslo

    [​IMG]

    past the opera house...

    [​IMG]

    Along city streets...

    [​IMG]

    and to the top of Oslo...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Oslo is a booming city and there is lots of construction!

    Next Bjorn took us to a restaurant with an outdoor deck and we sat and chatted overlooking Oslo and the sea...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we chatted, we had told Bjorn that one of the plastic bolts that holds Kim's visor in place had broken and we were going to try to find a place that might have something similar. Bjorn told us that that shouldn't be a problem and we promptly headed to a motorcycle dealer in Oslo that just happened to belong to his brother! Off we went to AMD Motorsykler (weblink) and AMD Motorsykler (Facebook link) to see if we could get a replacement bolt.

    Until later!
















  19. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    We quickly arrived...

    [​IMG]


    and went into the dealership and met Bjorn's brother Geir. While Geir was out back searching for replacement bolts, we had a few minutes to walk around his dealership. It was loaded with bikes, from KTM, Triumph and Yamaha.

    [​IMG]


    including some very lust worthy machines...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    This lovely lady caught my eye... Not as much as the fabulous Kim, but she was very interesting!


    There were also accessories...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Never saw these boots in the US! By the time we were done checking things out, Geir had found two bolts for us and also gave us some other nice swag!

    Bjorn wasn't done showing us around Oslo. He is a light rail and bus operator and he asked us if we wanted to take a look at where he worked. We said sure, and hopped back into his van for a short ride to the station. We rode in like we owned the place since Bjorn really is sort of an icon here. We pulled into the station and parked right beside all sorts of light rail vehicles (LRVs)...

    [​IMG]


    Inside there were many different kinds of LRVs from many different times. Bjorn walked us through the station and we were able to check them out up close. I'm sorry that I don't remember the times that each of the LRVs were in operation, but you'll see that they span quite a time period. I'll try to show them from oldest to newest. Bjorn if you see this post, please feel free to correct me on anything!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    All in all it was a very cool place and a great look into the day to day operations of LRVs and busses in Oslo!

    Once we were finished, once again we jumped into Bjorn's van and headed to his house. Bjorn is a Moto Guzzi fan and he is presently restoring one. It sits lovingly in his living room waiting for Bjorn to work some of his magic to bring her back to life.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    There is also another in his garage waiting its turn...

    [​IMG]


    and then of course, there is his daily ride...

    [​IMG]


    By now it was getting late, so Bjorn jumped on his Guzzi and led us out of town via some very nice back roads. After about an hour, we parted company and headed back to the hotel. We were so glad to have caught up with Bjorn once again!

    We turned in for the night to check out more of Oslo in the morning.

    Until later!
  20. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    If we haven't been there, it's on the list.
    After a quick breakfast, we decided to walk to the Norway National Gallery since I am nearly bereft of culture and need to try to absorb far more than has thus far made it into my grey matter. So inside we went and I did my best to absorb some of the beauty, history and culture. Inside were paintings and sculptures (both ancient and contemporary) and the place was packed.

    [​IMG]

    Instead of telling you about the exhibits, I'll just post a few pics of the things we say that I enjoyed with some comments here and there...

    [​IMG]
    This painting was absolutely luminous. It really had a glow to it that didn't come out in the pic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Yup, this is one of the real ones, Edvard Munch's "The Scream".

    [​IMG]
    Oh the horror!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Yup, one of Rodin's "The Thinker".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Another painting with amazing luminescence.

    [​IMG]
    I feel like I can see the bottom of the river!

    That's just a smattering of what is inside. We spent almost 3 hours walking around and could have spent a full day, but there was so much more to see. We grabbed a quick lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes...

    [​IMG]

    and continued walking through the city. As we walked, we sort of stumbled upon the Norwegian Royal palace. It's a pretty large place situated in a big open plaza. King Carl Johan III greets you enter the plaza and head towards the palace.

    [​IMG]

    Nearby, a man stood using a string wand to make giant bubbles for the children to play with...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was interesting to see that there wasn't any heavy security, no fences etc. Just two guards posted next to small booths in the 90 degree F temperatures.

    [​IMG]

    She must really have been hot in her uniform since Kim and I were both sweating in our light clothing...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There was also this cool coat of arms on the palace itself...

    [​IMG]

    All that was left was to get back to the hotel and grab some dinner at a sidewalk cafe.

    [​IMG]

    The following day we were back on the road and headed south.

    [​IMG]

    We found some nice curvy roads with light traffic...

    [​IMG]

    Ultimately, we got into larger roads as we made our way towards south towards Germany and the Netherlands.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And then once again onto some less traveled ones where we stopped at a nice little park beside the road...

    [​IMG]

    Ultimately we arrived in Gothenburg, Sweden in light rain and pulled into a hotel on the water.
    We parked the bikes and headed into the hotel. It was very clean and orderly, but looked a bit like a prison row...

    [​IMG]

    Roll 821!

    [​IMG]

    The following day we had intended to ride to the Volvo factory and take the factory tour. Unfortunately, when we called, the entire factory tour program had been halted for the summer. Oh well. So we decided to take a walk around the docks and Gothenburg in general.

    As we walked the docks, water ferries of all sorts were carrying people to their destinations.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we walked around the docks and surrounding area...

    [​IMG]

    we found this pretty interesting building...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It started to rain again and we made our way back to the hotel and checked out the rooftop terrace and the view from up there...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Note the cool little wire sculpture of a church...

    We planned an early start the following morning since we had to catch the ferry from Gothenburg to Denmark where we would get our bikes serviced.

    Until later!
    Pete S, yamalama and roadcapDen like this.