Trip round Baltic Sea and Scandinavia in 2020

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Lutzebub, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    Dear riders

    These days we start to plan our journey through the northern and north-eastern parts of Europe around the baltic sea in 2020. The route will lead us through: Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. Finland, Sweden, Norway (Nordkapp), Sweden, Denmark, Germany. We will have 3 months of time for the trip and we decided to go there from June till the end of August.

    We are riding DRZ400S which are fairly the ideal bikes for us. With these bikes and our tent we have been amongst other journeys two times for two months in Iceland. But the last time, we have been there, too many tourists were in Iceland. Not our way of vacation! Some guy said once: 2016 there have been 1.8 million tourists in Iceland from whom 1,5 not belonged there. From 2014 to 2017 the number of tourists rapidly increased and we experienced more and more disrespect from the tourists to the nature of Iceland and a lot more of short-trip-tourists that have been there only for taking a photo in front of Geysir to push it up to Instagram, whats-up or other social media - platforms...
    1_ADV.jpg

    Now back to our trip in 2020:
    Our main purpose for the journey is not driving as much miles as possible per day. We like to enjoy and „dive into“ the countries. Literally, with the DRZs we are more or less hiking through the countries and not running from point to point. On the road our maximal travel speed is around 80-90 km/h (roughly 50-55 miles/h). We like to be in the nature, thus the tent, wich will be our main place for the night. Two months on Iceland with a tent and seven weeks of rain did not scare us off doing it again and again and again…

    So, what do we have to expect? I imagine everything, such a trip is worth of: Nasty weather, maybe snow, strong winds, beautiful sights, lovely nature, lots of midgets but also maybe a great summertime. Till now we have not read much about the countries, the sightseeing POI, the language and so on. I have read the threads about Scandinavia here on ADV I could find and have a rough idea, what will await us.

    Now our first steps in planning are:

    - what to see
    - where to go
    - what should we absolutely visit (for example the fjords of Norway, the Olavinlinna in Finland)
    - what should we beware of
    - what should we skip
    - on that knowledge then we roughly could plan a route

    We will go counter clockwise. and are planning approximately one week in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia each, so that we will have left two months left for Finland, Sweden, Norway. This should be enough time in the first approach to visit these countries. Lapland is more interesting than the southern of Finland? What about Sweden?

    Ah! And since we are on DRZs, some parts of the TET could of course be included in the route. As long as they are not too hard for us. On our journeys so far we had mounted the TKC80 which brought us everywhere where we liked to go. But some 6500 km later, the rear tire is almost worn out. Because of that we decided to go with the Heidenau K60.

    Any tips and recommendations are welcome!

    Cheers
    Lutz + Martina
    #1
  2. vanseagal

    vanseagal Been here awhile

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    My tips:
    Use the the new e-visa to go to Kaliningrad and from there to Lithuania: Neringa national park.
    Latvia: Jurmala area
    Finland: TET, east Finland is better than west for riding, places: Hanko,Koli Punkaharju, Kuusamo, Hailuoto, Lapland. Old Alta postway (Altan postitie).
    Norway is full of wonderful places: Geiranger, Lofoten,Trollstigen, Juvasshytta. Routes: Jotunheimvägen, Peer günt vegen, aursjövegen, road from Sogndalsfjøra to Lom is super geil.
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  3. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    You will be able to do the entire Scandinavian part of the TET on your DRZs - especially because you have plenty of time.
    North isn't "better" than south - only more desolated and different, not least because the sun doesn't set during the summer up north.
    You will be able to get by with English in all of the Scandinavian countries.
    Norway is by far the most expensive country on your itinerary (food and beverage).
    I will recommend that you use the offers in the Tent Space Thread. It's a great way to get to meet like minded locals.
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  4. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    Hi. Thanks for the information!

    @vanseagal: I will have definitly a closer look at this. Kuusamo was already on my list and I also thought the eastern part of Finland would be the more interesting part. I´d like to see some of the 100.000s seas... Altan postitie sounds interesting. Reminds me to the moebius trail.

    @Don T: Yeah, i take the eye mask with me by default. I will have a closer look at the TET. the first maps for planning arrived yesterday. The Tend Space Thread is already watched and I hope we will have the cance to use them. OK! So the tale of buying in Sweden seems not a tale at all. Do you think the Heidenau K60 will be ok for the TET?
    #4
  5. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    In Scandinavia on a bike like the DRZ - Yes.
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  6. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    Sounds promising!
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  7. mapajo

    mapajo Been here awhile

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  8. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    Hi mapajo Poland will be a tour itself. I think then we will combine it with Slowakia and Czechia. The aviation museum looks very interesting, reminds me a bit of the https://iwm.org.uk , the imperial war museum near Cambridge.

    The automotive museum in Riga is now on my list!
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  9. Turre

    Turre Adventurer

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    Statistically June to August are the hottest months in Finland. It can be hot (like 30 C "hot"), but it can cold as well (like 10 C "cold"), but most likely 18-22 C daytime. It may rain for days, it may be glorious sunshine for days. But no snow. For snow you need to purposefully seek it from special places in Norway like Stryn, Lyngen f ex.

    What to see
    - obviously the most typical destinations are listed in official sites like https://www.visitfinland.com or Lonely Planet type guide books
    - Unesco Heritage sites https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/fi
    - List of National landscapes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_landscapes_of_Finland
    - National parks and more https://www.nationalparks.fi/destinations#quicklinks

    Finland is one of the safest countries in the world, but there are still some road hazards. Beware of deer on the south, moose almost everywhere and reindeer in the north, most common meeting spots have a warning traffic sign. For camping mosquitos can be super annoying but they don't carry diseases and we don't have poisonous snakes or spiders. Tick might be the most dangerous creature here https://www.mehilainen.fi/en/ticks-bite

    Tyres like TKC80 or K60 scout are ideal for gravel roods, and I bet for TET as well.
    In Finland the possibilities for non-asphalt riding are endless, go to https://asiointi.maanmittauslaitos.fi/karttapaikka/?lang=en and zoom as close as you want. Thick red lines are major roads, thin lines minor (often gravel). Solid black lines are small roads (definitely doable with DRZ), on dashed black lines I would be uncomfortable.
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  10. mapajo

    mapajo Been here awhile

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  11. miniboxer

    miniboxer Been here awhile

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    Hi Lutzebub,
    I like to hear, you and Martina are taking my old DRZ and her twin for this trip!
    From what I've seen roughly 15 year ago, on my trip through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, a TKC80 is more suited than a K60. We went with maps and prefered the smalest roads to connect the places we wanted to visit (me on my trusty XL350R = TKC 80 and my friend on a R80G/S PD). The TKC 80 in combination with the smooth 350-engine was way better on slippery mud and in the deep sandy parts through the baltic pine-forests. Many things may have changed, but the traction-challenges should still be the same.
    My this years TET trip through poland, on a DR 350 with TKC 80 reminded me of my old baltic tour.

    Greets to Martina,
    Andreas

    P. S. Somehow a DRZ400SM with "S-wheels" managed to find a place in my garage this summer...
    #11
  12. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    Hi

    @Turre: Thanks for all the links. I have had a look at each. Especially the link to the map I would never have found. Absolutely astonishing, how deep you`ll be able to zoom in, Frábært! Are the ticks in Finland more dangerous than in mid-Europe?

    @mapajo: Thank you! the links are saved for our trip in maybe two or three years. Your pictures are very good apetizers.

    @Andreas: Jupp! She is still up and running! Till today I only run TKC 80 on our DRZs. I do not have any comparison. The first part to Poland will be roughly 800-1000 km and I fear the TKC would not like it very much. Based on the test of the Heidenau, I hope they will be the better ones on tarmac and hopefully not much lesser good on the TET than the TKC. fact is, the TKC would not last long enough. On our trips in Iceland, Slowenia, Austria the TKC lasted about 6000-7000 km. The Heidenau should last longer. I will tell Martina, you have written here. Die Welt is ebe e Dorf, Gell! ;-) Ah! A DRZSM with S-wheels...

    Cheers
    Lutz
    #12
  13. randel

    randel Been here awhile

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    TKC80 front and Mitas E-07 rear combo should be fine for 99% of TET in this area and last easily over 10000km.
    Regarding time planning I’d suggest to plan more time for Baltics and less for Scandinavia. Up north the distances are big, but differences rather small. Not that much to discover.
    Next spring I will add Estonian bigger islands to TET route and full Estonian circle will then be over 2000km. Having only 1 week is definately not enough for that. I’d suggest as much of Estonian TET route as possible. Perfectly fine for DRZ.
    For Estonia, Tallinn old town (obviously), SE and NE part of Estonia, Peipsi lake, Aegviidu area, both Saaremaa and Hiiumaa islands and Kihnu island if you have time. Pärnu is very touristic during summer, I’d avoid that.
    #13
  14. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Ticks can transfer diseases - some of them pretty serious.
    As long as you check your body once a day and remove them ASAP if you find any, you will most likely be fine.

    You should do yourself a favor and check out MotoZ tires. They last forever compared to similar tires.
    Tractionator GPS is pretty similar to K60, but last even longer and provide better grip - especially on wet tarmac.
    #14
  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Ticks are a pest wherever they are found. Lymes disease at levels of severity from the occasional relapse to constant pain and disability. Maybe other things too.
    Working on my BiL vineyard in Odenwald it is likely to pick up ticks.

    The important thing is to get rid of them as soon as you notice them, and use a proper removal gizzmo, not try to pull them off with fingers.
    Several different ones about, none expensive - I don't know if there is a consensus about which one is best.
    #15
  16. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    @randel Yes, I´ve read a lot good things about the Mitas. Unfortunetly they are not avalable in the dimensions we need. But I consider them as the next set of tyres for my 701. Thank you for the tips of the baltic area, worth thinking of.
    @Don T, @nickguzzi Yeah! little annoying beasts! I live near/in the woods and so in summertime I have to remove about 30-40 ticks. Tick tweezers are always in my key case. Always! Don´t like the ticks very much... I am aware of the illness, they can get you into. But is it more risky to get FSME in Finland, than in mid-Europe? I am pondering, if we need immunization. MotoZ tires I never heard of. Will have a look at.
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  17. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    ..just had a look at MotoZ... same problem as with Mitas: rear tire not in 120/90/18 only for bigger Enduros.
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  18. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    The risk of getting FSME is to the best of my knowable (I'm a paramedic) no bigger in Scandinavia than other places in Europe.

    You can get Motoz Tractionator Adventure in the right size for your bikes. They don't deliver the same kind of longevity as the GPS version, but I would expect them to last more than twice as long as TKC 80.
    #18
  19. Lutzebub

    Lutzebub Adventurer

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    Thanks for your valuation! Okay, so it is the question, how much ticks we will have to excise...

    Now, after searching intensively I also found the Mitas E-07+ in fitting dimensions. So far I only searched for E-07. ... the MotoZ are quite expensive.
    #19
  20. JanisK

    JanisK Adventurer

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