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Old 06-22-2014, 05:48 AM   #46
milkman67204 OP
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June 11

After the museum I started heading north again towards Kursk. I ran into another museum on the side of the road. The museum wasnt open but they had a small outdoor display including this airplane


I had intended to stay the night in Kursk but first I wanted to check out Victory Park.
They had this huge triumph arc there that was pretty cool


Zhukov on the other side of the Arc


After driving through the town I decided I didnt want to stay there. It was kind of run down and dirty nothing special that I saw. So I decided to head down the road towards Voronezh.

I stopped at this German Cemetery near Kursk. it has 24,000 buried at the moment and will have about 40,000 when finished.




After that I stopped at a cafe and got some food. The ladies there were nice and pointed me towards some small rivers down a road saying I should be able to find a nice place to camp there.

I headed down the road but couldnt figure out how to get to the river, I could see it on my gps but no way to get to it. Finally I decided to turn down this little 2 track trail going down the side of a farmer field. about half way there I saw the farmer..... I thought I was going to be in trouble! Farmers dont like people driving on their field access roads in Kansas. I asked him if I could put my tent up somewhere. He was so great told me to go back to the next drive way turn down it and the drive leads through his yard to the river!!!!

This is where I ended up after about 3 miles of driving through fields


Then a bunch of baby geese strolled by


I was happy but there was no where to set my tent up that wasnt plastered with Goose krap......... So I headed a mile back and there was a small bunch of trees and I camped there.


The farmer stopped by later and we talked for a while about farming and how he came to be where he was. It was a great day I was tired and slept like a baby. woke up the next day and drove out through the farmer and his herd of cattle he had grazing on the path I was leaving on.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:35 AM   #47
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June 12

Woke up June 12 and ran into this small burial mound.


The goal for the day was Voronezh. It was cold and rainy all morning and the forecast didnt look good for the next couple of days.....

Just south of Voronezh was this Hungarian Cemetary. These guys fought with Germany. During and after Stalingrad the German soldiers were saying it was all their fault, along with Romanians, that they lost Stalingrad.


I was a little upset because it was closed I had wanted to go inside. It ws set up on a bend in the river with a beautiful overlook. I never did figure out why it was closed.


There was supposed to be another German cemetery near by but I never did find it. Then I deaded into Voronezh and stopped at a monument and museum.


Again the museum was closed. I talked to some people standing around and nobody really knew why things were closed. ABout this time the weather cleared up and I drove through Voronezh. Not seeing anything that interested me I decided i would head down the road and find somewhere for the night.

The weather kept getting better and better. Remembering what the forceast was saying about the soming days I decided just to keep driving towards Moscow.

about 12 hours later I found myself at home jus tin the knick of time! It rained that night and the next 2 days!!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:45 AM   #48
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I have been at work the last week trying to get this done for everyone and preparing for the next trip!

I head out Friday after work headed towards Finland for a couple days then around Karelia and the Arkangelsk Region. I hope it should be interesting also
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #49
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Interesting report.

Wish you a prosperous ride. Looking forward to pictures.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:02 PM   #50
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To Finland!

After work on June 27 I started the drive towards Finland. I have a week to get there so I am no in a hurry. I stopped off at Okcanas house in Tver for the night. She had dinner and a glass of this stuff called Tarhun.... Its fluorescent green carbonated and made from Tarragon and woodruff.


Woke up on the 28th about 6am and headed off west towards Rzhev, Okcana decided to tag along for a few days.
The Bike before take off!

Everytime we stop people ask whats up where we are going where we are from. Once they hear Tver going to Velikey Novgorod through Rzhev they call us crazy, there is a main highway between the two towns no need for back roads.

Just north of Rzhev we ran into this little monument it was a dedicated to all the men from the Yakutia area who fought and died here


I don't have an exact number on the guys buried here but all these plaques are covered with their names.


There was also this little chapel located on the same site. I little old lady was there to let people in. She chatted with Okcana a while looked at us like we were crazy prayed for us then we headed down the road.


This was a Soviet Bunker we ran into. there was a line of defense roughly from Belikiy Novgorod to Rzhev, 400-500km long. The sign said there were more than 150,000 civilians working on building all these bunker along that line.


This is me again with the bike waiting on her to come down off the hill so we can continue. So far the roads have been paved and in good shape.


In the town of Selizharovo its located on a river not many people but it was worth a quick stop and a breather to walk around.



After that we continued directly north to the town of Ostashkov. It was lunchtime when we got there so stopped at this café. When we walked in they weren't to excited to see to people in motorcycle gear and dirty...


I was planning on stopping here for the night but I thought it would take us longer to get here. Discussed the situation with Okcana told her just north the lake Seliger I thought the roads would be not so good for about 50 km so what do you want to do? After thinking it over we decided the weather was good, we wanted to get to Novgorod tomorrow and we weren't to tired so lets push on!

Immediately the road turned to crap. A paved road that was so corrugated and pot holed nobody was going more than 30km/h.
We came across these bunkers and decided to take a rest, 20km after the town.


This is one of the points the Soviets started to push the Germans back. The bunker below form what we can figure was built for tanks. The back was completely open and the front to shot out of was huge.


This bunker was across the road and made for machine gun fire.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:23 PM   #51
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After resting at the bunker a bit we decided to get back to the road. Eventually the road turned to a fairly decent gravel road which lasted the next 30km or so. There were some old villages along the road mostly deserted now though


then the dirt road stopped and it turned to this..... The "paved" road was so bad people were driving besides it on the dirt shoulder.


We were back heading North again towards the town of Demyansk. There was some big fighting in the area. It is refered to as the Demyansk Boiler. The soviets were able to surround about 100,000 Germans. The Germans were getting resupplied through the air. the fighting was brutal eventually the Germans were able to break out and rejoin their main forces. The fighting cost the Soviets upwards of 200,000 men.

A monument to some of these men



Right after that monument the only dark cloud in the sky decided to visit us. it dumped for about 10 minutes. We pulled over and took cover under some old debris from a building on the side of the road before heading on.

We found this bunker, not sure how it worked though. It would of been to small to get in and lay we are thinking it used to be dug deeper but got filled in....


This was across the street. I don't remember the details other than it was built in 1927 and used in the war.


Next we stopped in Demyansk at the only hotel in town. They had no one open room but it was communal bathrooms and all the other rooms were taken by some road workers. It was pretty disgusting so we decided to push on towards Staray Russa.

A monument in Demyansk to the pilots of the war.


And Paratroopers that fought in the area.


this church was in Demyansk also. I had to take a picture because I have never seen a church with domes like this. It looked like they got tired and said ahh that's good enough.


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Old 06-29-2014, 01:25 AM   #52
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Interesting

Thanks for sharing your experience. The photo's are great. I'd love to ride there someday.

It's horrifying to imagine the lives lost and ruined by war. What I take away from learning about the Great Patriotic War is it was actually the Russians that paid the heaviest price and contributed the most to destroying the Third Reich.

I don't think it would be wise for anyone to be poking that particular bear after what they went through.

Safe Travels

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Old 06-29-2014, 04:27 AM   #53
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excellent pictures and report
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:14 AM   #54
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Fantastic!!!!!!!!!! Loving your report and pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:01 PM   #55
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Staraya Russa

Thanks for the kind words everyone! I will try to keep up with the posts as I go during these next 3 weeks!

So we got to Staraya Russa and found a hotel for the night. It was still early about 6:30 so we headed out to walk around town.

We came across their monument to the war with their eternal flame.




Again this town was occupied for a 2.5 years Finally freed and rebuilt after the war.

This old church was rebuilt also.


Saturday was children's day so in the evening they had a concert in victory square. I thought it was children's day but many of the people at the concert were adults and some very drunk.


This beautiful Church was located on the river! Just amazing!

Starya Russa is known for its resort. There is a mineral spring and baths just about what ever you would think of in a resort. We walked around it and took some photos.

They had some exercise equipment outdoors that we tried to figure out, some of them were interesting. It had been a long day though and we were both beat. So after messing around on the equipment we through in the towel for the night.

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Old 06-29-2014, 12:15 PM   #56
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Woke up on Sunday June 29 and headed out! The goal was Velikey Novgorod only 90 km away, thanks to the 500km the previous day.

On the outskirts of Staraya Russa was this Memorial with a tank and a bunker that had been blown up in the fighting.


The tank was on a huge pedestool, I am 6'6".....


We saw the sparkle off this new copper roof from a ways off so had to stop. unfortunately it was still under construction so couldn't see much


I caught something out of the corner of my eye as we headed down the road. Turned around and it was this monument. To those same Yakutia boys from earlier I guess they fought a hell of a fight. This monument is about 350km from the other!


Further down the road was this old HUGE church the neighbors said had been torn up in the war then, since religion was looked kindly upon in the Soviet Union nobody fixed it up. Nobody had an idea on the year it was built though.


Some of the paintings were still visible on the inside.


"Ok Monty I know its a staircase going into the bell tower but look the whole corner of the building is missing are you.... ohh where did you go?"


you cant see it in the picture but the bottom right hand corner of the bell tower was blown out.


Finally an overview.


All morning was beautiful weather with the sun shinning away!!! We made it to Velikey Novgorod around lunch time. Found a hotel that let us store our bags and took off around the city.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:40 PM   #57
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Velikey Novgorod

Velikey Novgorod is one of the oldest cities in Russia. It was first mentioned in 859!!! During the war it was occupied for about 2.5 years. During this time many of its historical sites were demolished. After the war though the center of the city was able to be restored.

This is the monument to 1000 years of Russian government. Built in 1862 taken apart by the Germans to be shipped back to Germany as a war trophy then recovered again by the Soviets and reassembled. the detail on it is AMAZING


We had 2 hours to kill before we could check into the hotel we found so we got on a tour boat and went up the river and back. That's not our boat that is a boat that has been put there and is now a restaurant.


The Kremlin from our boat. the big white bell tower, the one with 6 pillars in the center of the picture, was destroyed in the war and rebuilt.

A monastery in the back ground. in the foreground there is a pillar you can see. they were going to build a bridge here around the turn of the century but then decided ehhh nahhh its not worth it.......


Some guys can walk on water well we can ride motorcycle on water!


After the boat ride we still had an hour to kill so started walking around looking for dinner. We ran across this administration building still with its Soviet signs and emblems.


We got checked into our hotel and situated then headed back out. We ran across this guy in a park. I am not sure what kind of an animal that is but he also had a python, monkey, alligator and macaw there to take pictures with if you would pay him.


One of the WWII burials in the city. This one was located in the Kremlin.


Inside that white bell tower I had pointed out earlier.


One of the old bells with shrapnel damage from the war.


I wanted to introduce you guys to my new girlfriend. I never caught her name and she didn't say much hell she was even kind of cold but well take what you can get I guess.


Then we ran across this folk festival that was really interesting. The people stood up there for about an hour singing old songs. My Russian isn't the best anyways but I understood nothing. When I asked Okcana what they were saying she said well its really really old Russian and I can only understand maybe 50%. That made me feel like the 0-1% I could understand was pretty good.



The red church was built around 1100 and the white was built sometime in the 1000's....... Amazing, especially for an American, to see buildings this old. In Kansas 100 years old is almost unbelievable.


Some of the original paintings were still visible in the red church.


The white church was in much better shape.


More Original Paintings in the white church.





This was a church built in the 1600's I took this photo because all those shingles on the roof are hand made..... I watched a guy a few years ago making them its so cool.


This is a bank. I don't know what their deal with condors and dragons is but ok.


These were students in the park putting on a concert. They were good though their teacher was a bit to serious.


This is the theatre. Ugliest building I have seen here.



By this point we had been walking most all day and were tired. We got some food and decided to call it a night. This is the last night for Okcana she is getting on the train and going back to Tver. The trip continues for me but I apologize to everyone for the future lack of pictures of her unfortunately you will be seeing more of my ugly mug.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:43 PM   #58
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I just wanted to emphasize again how nice of a city Velikey Novgorod is. It has a lot of old structures around and most everything has an English explanation. if you are ever in Russia it is worth a stop. its not nearly as busy and Moscow or St. Petersburg, though not slow either. They do a good job trying to make it friendly for non Russians. I deffinatly recommend it
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:26 AM   #59
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After leaving Okcana my goal was the outskirts of St. Petersburg. First I headed west towards Luga then north. I have been on the main Highway from Moscow to Petersburg a few times and wanted to change it up.

First I came across this monument at a road side rest stop. it is to the Partisans that fought in the area around Petersburg


At the top of the hill was this little building




Sorry if the pictures aren't the best. The sun wouldn't show its face all day today. overcast and sprinkling rain the whole day.

next I was looking for Fort Kasnaya Gorka. It is located on the sea just west of Petersburg. While searching I found this monument to the fliers


A monument to Fort Krasnaya Gorka


I suppose this monument was amazing when it was built. Looking out over the sea. Since then the trees have grown over it and you can see nothing.


Still haven't found what I am looking for but am getting closer, I think....





Still raining and unable to figure out where I am in relation to the map of the area posted on the building above I contemplated going on and forgetting what I came for. I looked at the muddy road and thought ahh what the hell you came here to find cool stuff just go for it.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:01 AM   #60
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So after staring down the road I took off hoping for the best. As I was slipping and sliding trying to stay out of the bus size holes and avoid debris. Wait that's not debris it looks like railroad ties....... Well Ill be maybe I am on the right road afterall!


Then I come around the corner and in an opening in the trees there she is!


This is the big rail way gun 305mm! ps this has got to be one of my favorite photos of the bike.


This is the smaller rail way gun. From what I could tell it had the advantage of being able to rotate in all directions and fire while the big one couldn't.


Me trying the self timer on the smaller gun

Inside playing with all the handles like a little kid, just wet and at this point after climbing around starting to warm up.


the big gun from the back side. If you look closely you can see my motorcycle sitting between the 2 sets of wheels


this was one of the emplacements. They had guns here to fire out over the Gulf of Finland to help protect Petersburg. You can see the pins and some of them are bent I assume this would of been from firing a lot from that position. you can also see the brass semi circle around the outside of the pins it is marked with degrees to help with aiming


In this picture you can see both rail way guns and in the middle between them one of the guns that would have been mounted in the emplacement above


A better picture of the gun in the middle






As I was leaving I spotted this fence and guard tower just off the road. I was scouting for a place to set up a tent. I didn't know at the time what it was for but thought it best not to set up a tent there. Later I learned an artillery company is stationed there


the road out ended up turning into this cobblestone road. At first it was cool then it turned into just a pain in the azz
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