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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by whereisgibson, Jun 18, 2013.
Helsinki looks so nice and warm in the summer , have only seen it in the middle of winter brrrrr
While this doesn't concern you anymore, but... local police have a habit of setting temporary speed traps with vans that have a speed camera in the rear and video camera in the front (for bikes and cars without front plate). They still wouldn't catch foreigners as the delay in picture processing is weeks. However pass such van with enough speed and the operator inside will call patrols after you :)
Wild camping is easy and encouraged. Stay on the roads and don't camp in people's front yard and you are good to go.
I've an Olympus 4/3rds but I really can't recommend it. It has broken twice on this trip, it took Olympus service a month to not fix it properly from last time, accused me of breaking it, and gave me a large out-of-warranty bill on a camera that's 4 months old.
We rode out of Klaipėda and took on the Curonian Spit to Kaliningrad. To get onto the spit you must take a ferry. At 18 euros for about 400 meters, it might be the world's most expensive?
Once you've crossed over, to enter the park it's more money - 20 euros... :/ And the beach today wasn't exactly Baywatch.
Lunch in Nida, before going for the crossing. Sometimes when we park up, the bikes draw a small crowd
The crossing was no bother, and took no time. But once crossed, they ask for 300 rubles to enter their side of the park! The spur isn't a cheap route!
We arrived in Kaliningrad, and it was raining. It's a place that's not easy to take a nice picture of, put it that way.
We've got pretty good at finding the best in a bad situation though...
After quietly sneaking out of the dorm, I forgot that it's not easy to sneak out of anywhere with a 990 and Akras. Having also spent last night inventing 'the feisty merlot' (large red wine, shot of vodka), I was not entirely in the spirit of adventure.
We made a dreary escape to the border
Before leaving, we decided to fill with some cheap Russian petrol. Apparently car manufacturers didn't know what they were doing when they designed fuel tanks, so people here ride up onto wooden blocks to cram in as much highly volatile and expanding fuel into their often completely dilapidated motorvehicles. It will come as little surprise that the roads surrounding this petrol station bear the rainbow stains of overflowing benzine.
Leaving Russia was easy enough, but expect a 3/4 hour wait to get into the EU.
There's always something pleasantly reassuringly about entering the EU. We decided to slog through Poland to get to Berlin. The route 22 is a beautiful biking road if anyone needs to cross in a similar manner.
Over the bridge and into Germany.
We're taking another day to see Berlin tomorrow, so with no time like the present
so Kaliningrad is a bit worn down, eh?
Guess Rus didn't top dress the place after lifting it from the Prussians
You get to the beach and all you come away with is a picture of a skinny 14 year old kid????? Some adventurers!
Great RR Martin!
Loved the photos of Gieranger and Trollstigen Road- I will be there myself in just a couple weeks' time.
Subscribed to this thread!
A day off in Berlin to see the city
Despite riding our motorbikes for four weeks, we still wanted to visit the MZ museum
Then a few beers...
50% Coke and 50% Fanta. Hmmn.
Today was a difficult day, for two reasons.
Firstly the riding was easy and the roads were clear, but rather the process of heading west and homewards started to bite. Anyone who has done a bike trip of some size will know this feeling: that the fun is almost over, that you will be back, and worst of all that hardly anyone you know will understand, comprehend or care why you've done this.
Secondly and rather personally, one of the reasons I can do these trips is that I was unexpectedly made homeless in March, which coincided rather badly with a personal relationship ending unamicably, and having only been a month into a work break. Returning back to England where I don't have many positive memories, a job, or indeed anywhere to live is compounded by feeling that Berlin could be a place I could spend a few years. This trip helped me hit my 80th visited country, so I can safely say I rarely find myself feeling like a place could be home.
I truly was in two minds whether to wave Stace off and throw down some roots here. Inside a medium sized Caberg Sintesi was a lonely head.
We left Berlin and headed west.
I forgot how lovely Germany can be on a sunny day.
We had wanted to see Stace's old barracks today, however with some faffing around this morning we decided to fall short and spend a full day doing this tomorrow.
I've never seen this type of accommodation offered in a hostel, but I like it.
We're right next to a large lake
The poor owner of this boat was having a bad day - not only was his vessel slipping out of the crane, it was doing so because it was full of water.
(I use an iPhone to record our tracks, but today it got so hot in the tankbag that it switched off a few times!)
The day started off with a little chat...
A stop to see a rather impressive version of one of the many Kaiser Wilhelm Monuments that can be found in Germany
Next stop, where Stace was stationed for a few years some decades ago.
We stopped for the night in a bike-themed hotel in Osnabrück.
The writing is now on the wall. With Stace taking the Calais ferry tomorrow, and me taking the Hook from Holland, it was clear that our trip from London, up through Norway, over to Murmansk, down through Finland, through the Baltics, Poland, and Germany would be ending tomorrow, in Osnabrück. Celebrating 6363 miles like only we know how.
Great ride report! On the one hand I had to laugh at the sign on that cut-away MZ engine...."nix mit die Fingers"....I had visions of the number of times staff had had to extricate someone's digits from the geartrain before that sign went up. On the other hand, I'm so sorry to hear about your personal situation vizt home and job. That truly stinks. I get what you say about your feelings for Berlin. Some years back I was surprised to find myself in a foreign land feeling as though it was "home" even though i'd only been in-country a couple of days and had hardly even spoken to anyone yet. Just an overwhelming sense of "yeah, I could live here and be happy for quite some time." Probably should have done so, but that's another story. Sorry to see your ride come to an end, but want to reiterate how good your report has been. The mix of video and text and photos is excellent and shows you have a real talent there....in my opinion. Hope things work out for you and that you take us along with you on your next trip.
Fantastic ride report, thanks very much for posting it
incredible pictures, videos etc.... Thanks for posting your RR
With my friend needing to catch the Calais ferry, he left earlier than I did.
It was odd not having the GS in my mirrors
No prizes for guessing where I stopped on the way :)
After a few more miles I was at the Hook of Holland, so checked in and got onboard the Stenna Brittanica to Harwich.
After seeing so many of these signs on our trip, it was nice to get another hutten in!
This sign is 5km from the port... a little too late?
A route through the middle of London
A reminder of where our friends saw us off all those weeks ago
Before the final leg back through the countryside
Thank you very much. That was a super job of relating your trip to all of us. Excellent photography and concise descriptions. Don't be sad as there will be other trips for you, even bolder than this one.
Try the States Mate!
good read, enjoyed your travel and commentaries.