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Old 08-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
Wildman OP
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Wildman's Ride the World 2010 - Scandinavia & Baltic States

Isn't it great when a plan comes together? A couple of days work in Sweden with eight days to get there and then eight days to get to the Danish Sidecar Motocross Grand Prix. Twelve countries, nine of which will be virgin territory for me on two wheels, seven ferry crossings, one train ride, a few nights in hotels and the rest camping. The route has taken a few twists and turns in the planning but has ended up a blast through Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Poland to get a few days in the Baltic States, two days at my client's beck and call in Stockholm, turn a wheel in Finland then across Sweden to do the Trollstigen and Gerainger in Norway, visit a colleague in Oslo before heading down to Copenhagen.



I'll more than likely veer off the route when time allows. Anyone on the route, give me a shout.

My 800GS is overloaded due to the work stuff I have to take along.



Now, I've got to say that this ride report has started with a rather ignominious dead battery in the camera and no charger but there's not much to see from the Autobahn and I'll rig something up before I leave Germany. I'm near Berlin tonight after a day and a half on the road, heading for Poland tomorrow.

I'm no MikeO but I hope I can bring you some decent pics and an interesting report when I get off the Autobahns.
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Ridden; GBR CYM DEU FRA ESP AND MCO ITA BEL SCT LUX CHE SMR LIE AUT NLD POL LTU LVA EST SWE FIN NOR DNK CZE SVK HUN ROU BGR GRC MKD SRB ALB MNE BIH HRV SVN MYS IRL BRA MAR PRT ARE USA ISL JPN MLT Planning; AUS TUR MDA UKR MEX BLR MNG RUS KAZ TJK KGZ SEN ZAF ZMB MWI NZL IND CPN

Wildman screwed with this post 09-02-2010 at 12:27 PM
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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Good start !!!
Keep going
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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Keen to follow your reports as its very close to a trip I'm planning for 2011. apart from the fact I'm going to take in Nordkapp.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolkguy
Keen to follow your reports as its very close to a trip I'm planning for 2011. apart from the fact I'm going to take in Nordkapp.
I'd originally planned Nordkapp via the Arctic Highway but had to work in London Monday and Tuesday this week and there just wasn't enough time to get there and back.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:05 PM   #5
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Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Looking great!
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:35 AM   #8
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Enjoy... and ride safe, really looking forward to the report and pics
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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Safe travels Wildman! I'll be keeping a lookout for this one
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:45 AM   #10
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Thanks all. Camera on charge so pics will start rolling in tomorrow subject to internet access. In Lodz tonight. Some narrative on the trip so far.

Stayed in the Etap at Dortmund West first night and somewhere south of Berlin last night.

First 60 miles in Poland was a culture shock. They're still completing the A2 motorway/autoroute/autobahn so I was diverted on to B roads. All the trucks passing through on roads not designed for them had sunk huge tracks into the tarmac which made for some interesting riding. Another area of interest was that nearly every lay-by had a prostitute waiting for punters. I say nearly but guess that those that didn't were "at work". Compared to other traffic, I seemed to get a very positive reaction from most of them as I rode past. Maybe fond memories of previous riders.

Eventually got on the new A2 and slogged it down to Lodz and eventually found the Ibis Hotel. Ahead of schedule and will be cutting off the autobahn tomorrow so hopefully some good riding and some nice pics for all y'all.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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From Turku to Vaasa... It's gonna be flat. Turku and Naantali are quite beautiful in summer time. The road 8 is quite boring... maybe you should stay off it. If you are not in a hurry, get a GT map and try if you could use gravel roads instead. ( black thin lines on the map usually )

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Old 08-20-2010, 01:08 PM   #12
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I am in Denmark, close to either Esbjerg or Århus!
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:00 PM   #13
Wildman OP
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They say that "lightening doesn't strike twice". The hell is doesn't! Got a wasp in my helmet yesterday. Damned little thing got in between helmet and goggles and ended up in my left ear before I could pull over, stop, engage neutral, take gloves off and eventually take my helmet off. Didn't sting me though. This morning, exactly the same thing only this time it was a big, knarly wasp. Felt it hit, pulled over, stopped, engaged neutral and suddenly felt the burning sensation like someone's stubbing out a cigarette on my left temple.



Hurt like hell. Wearing the helmet for the rest of the day has kept the swelling down around the bite but my left eye is now half shut. I'm definitely going back to a TourX/DS as soon as I can afford one.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #14
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So, what can I tell you?

The north of Poland isn't exciting. I'm sure there's some great riding in Poland around Zakapane but the north is dull. Very dull. Have to say that I enjoyed the ride up from Lodz, aiming to stop just before the border in Suwalki. Lots of excellent roads punctuated by small villages where the road surface suddenly deteriorates. I came to the conclusion that the speed limit is determined by the quality of the road. One in particular was virtually impossible.

Only noteworthy sight was lots of storks milling about.



Fuel and coffee stop had a friendly welcome.



Two images of Poland that stick in the mind although I couldn't stop to snap them. The first was a large John Deere dealership with rows of shiny tractors lined up outside whilst, in the very next field, an old guy was labouring to fix a pre-Solidarnosc tractor. The other in similar vein was a large field of wheat with three huge combine harvesters making light work of it and 100 meters further along, an old couple, him reaping with a scythe and her turning with a rake. I guess Poland is a country in development and these things take time.

If you're coming this way, there's a couple of decent looking places to stop for the night just after Augustow but I kept on going, heading for Suwalki. Forget it. Everything around Suwalki is "TIR" truck-stop category. Eventually rode on into Lithuania and stumbled across an excellent new motel in Marijampolé.





100 litas (about €30) including a decent breakfast. Bar and cafe (and bowling alley and pool hall) next door.

I was immediately befriended on arrival by Ignas and his buddies. Ignas was half way into a bottle of vodka and invited me to help him finish it. Turns out that he makes his living by dubious means which I shouldn't divulge. A Political Science graduate who worked six years in Norway, he's decided the black market is the only way to earn a decent living in Lithuania.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:08 PM   #15
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Ignas recommended two options for things to see in Lithuania, a Soviet era park built by a Lithuanian millionaire and the Curonian Spit near Klaipeda. One would have meant doubling back to the Belarus border so I did the Curonian Spit, all the way to the Russian border.

You need to take a short ferry ride.



Then it's 50 kms of pretty straight road through pine forest.



But you can stop and within a few metres find the Baltic Sea and views down to Kalliningrad.





The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and they look after it pretty well.



The forecast heavy showers hadn't materialised but of course, as soon as I took off my rain gear, a thunderstorm erupted leaving me drenched on the return ferry crossing. I've booked into a hotel in Klaipeda to dry off. Typical port town with strip joints everywhere; there's even one in the hotel! Think I'll give it a miss. Off to Riga tomorrow and hopefully get up towards Tallinn ready for the ferry crossing to Stockholm on Tuesday evening.
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