I’m really happy about this great article in our local newspaper “Trostberger Tagblatt”.
Just because of your help the online donation site collected 245,- € and a donation box in our “Trostberger Weltladen” (a small shop for fairtade and organic goods run by volunteers) was ‘fed’ with 300,- € by our costumers – absolutely fabulous!
Thanks a lot for your support to help people in need!!!
So after a last night in my cosy hostel I took my time to find the way to the harbour where St. Peterline ferries leave Russia. As I was already used to it I preferred the wide pedestrian ways and reached the terminal – of course in my wonderful rainclothes.
Crossing the border control with my huge luggage was no problem so I took a shower in my cabin and enjoyed a last russian beer and phoning to german friends.
As we left St Petersburg we’ve had the last views to the harbour of this great town.
Enjoying dinner in the evening I had to go to bed early as we approached Helsinki at 08:00 h – so breakfast was already at 06:30 h and it was a real pleasure to see the first small islands short before we arrived in Finnland.
As the ferry from Russia arrived in the central harbour I had to cycle about 20 km out of town to another terminal but it was a really nice trip as I’ve had wonderful sunshine, perfect cyclepaths and a great landscape.
Having enough time to go there I explored Helsinki – great city worth coming back to have a closer look.
And finally I had the chance to make a rest next to a small lake in the sun – enjoyed it so much after having cold and rainy weather… 😬
After check in we had to wait about 2 1/2 h for boarding and there were german bikers I could talk to who had been traveling also to Latvia and Estonia.
So next day we arrived in time in Lübeck in the late evening and I took a regional train into the city where my youth hostel was booked a long time ago. Great place to stay.
But – having a look for the train next day the ticket machine told me that the train will be in time – but without a cycle compartment. Great! 😀 So on the next day a friendly lady at the ticket office told me I had to take the night train as the day trains where fully booked – with bicycles. But it was great fun as I met a cyclist from Lübeck who was starting his trip to Italy and a girl from Hamburg so we enjoyed this trip talking about recent and coming up trips.
So finally I’ve reached my destination Traunstein 23 h later but with an huge backpack full of stories of this trip – great to have done it!
In the end I’d like to thank all the friendly people I’ve met on this tour for accompany me and having a good time together – it was a real pleasure to hear new stories from around the world and get to know people from many corners of this cool planet!
Thanks also again for your donations for ‘ doctors without borders’ – a great help for humans in need!
Starting in the morning in Gurlewo it was – as usual – a cloudy sky above me and I began my last cycling day…
A great breakfast prepared by an english speaking guy from Usbekistan made me ready to take these last 95 km – even at 11 Degrees C and sometimes wind from the front.
So on this trip there weren’t so many highlights but an old castle which was more or even less restaurated – the entrance fee was as high as a coffee at the station in St Petersburg…
And the roads weren’t that bad – of course there are lots of big wholes in the street but even with a recumbent and a trailer it was no problem to get through – just to mention that as there were some stories on blogs and from other travelers…
I’ve enjoyed cycling a last time even in the full rainclothes and the trip went by on my mind. Around tea time I’ve arrived at the old station of Peterhof and had to wait for nearly an hour. There I’ve get to know to an russian guy who is working for an internet magazine and I’ve told him about couchsurfing.
And than, the time went by quickly, we arrived in…St Petersburg, my final destination!
I got my stuff into the fifth floor to my hostel at the Newski Prospect and jumped into the street to get some good food!
And of course I found an vegetarian one by coincidence – surprise, surprise! 😀
So here you’ve got some impressions from this huge city – cycling through the chaos wasn’t that difficult than in Rome – nice surprise!
So good night from Russia – looking forward to explore this marvelous city the next days…
So in the morning I’ve started my trip finally with my recumbent bike and took the small ferry to the spit – with many school kids who went to the delfinarium.
After having left the crowded space I’ve entered the national park which had an outstanding beauty. This day the weather wasn’t so good and therefore the sensations where – let’s say medium but really nice.
You cycle along the dunes for about 54 km and find great options to climb the dunes to have a great view. So after cycling nearly to Nida I had the strange feeling that the suspension is really soft – but thankfully it was just a flat tire and as it was only a small hole I could make my way to the campingsite.
In the evening I met a swiss couple who do a really great trip for one year around Europe and perhaps they will make their winter holidays in Marrokko. So their where many stories to tell and we sat around our tents, cook some pasta and had a great view in the evening from the nearby dune.
On the next morning we had together our breakfast with real espresso and decided to cycle together to Klaipeda as we had the same way. So we visited the Grey Dune and could see the Russian Federation not far away.
We continued our journey accompanied by great sunshine and 25 degrees and I got a sunburn.
The cyclepath is known in that area as the best part of the whole journey between London and St Petersburg and we enjoyed it very much.
So we reached the small ferry I had yesterday already and drove over to Klaipeda where we had a short look to the city as the both hadn’t seen the city before. They wanted to go to a hostel and I continued after saying good bye to the next campingsite, about 10 km away. Cycling through woods again it was a real pleasure. But – the couple had to follow me as the hostel was fully booked and we sat together again. In our neighborhood there were two camper also from Switzerland so we sat together and they invited us for an absolut great dinner – wonderful. They made a BBQ, we had delicious wine and a good beer…after a while a french guy came along and we started a talk with him – so finally this day finished again at 11 pm – and now the blog is written and I can fall asleep in my huge tent…
As I´m going to cycle around 1.400 km I´d like to encourage you, my friends and visitors of this blog, to support the “Doctors without borders” with a donation of your choice.
I got the idea of collecting donations from the german long-distance-cyclist Peter Smolka who is travelling right now in Turkey. You can find is journey here: http://www.tour-de-friends.de
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is a private international association. The association is made up mainly of doctors and health sector workers and is also open to all other professions which might help in achieving its aims.
All of its members agree to honour the following principles:
Médecins Sans Frontières provides assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict. They do so irrespective of gender, race, religion, creed or political convictions.
Médecins Sans Frontières observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance and claims full and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions.
Members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and to maintain complete independence from all political, economic or religious powers.
So I kindly encourage you to visit my (german) donation website to leave a few Euros…
And here we go again…I´ve got less than 2 months to leave to set off to the Baltic Sea!
This trip is definitely unique – I´ve started my preparations already last September and week by week another part of the puzzle comes along.
So – as you already know – my tent arrived at my home. I decided to buy a new one as I had so many times to do a decision about wheather to camp or to go to a hostel because of the bad weather. With this tent it isn´t that big problem as I can store my trailer inside.
And also my FlevobikeGreenMachine wanted to get its yearly maintenance – a special recumbentbike should go to a special bikeshop.
At mbf in Bad Endorf Norbert Henkel got a solution for (nearly) every kind of problem and has a wide range of any kind of special bikes – recumbents, trailers, ebikes – have a look!
So perhaps you will ask yourself why this guy with the recumbent bike wants to visit the cold and windy Baltic States…When I left my hometown heading towards Rome last year I´ve met a cupple from Lithuania. They recommended me the roundtrip through Latvia and Estonia called “LatEst” – but unfortunately half of the way is on gravel. This is not possible with a recumbent – so I had to search for another trip.
In the end I found a long-distance cyclepath called “EuroRoute R 1” starting from Calais visiting Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Russia and finally the 3 Baltic States Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Another 173 km lead you to St. Petersburg visiting Russia again. http://www.euroroute-r1.de/
So on the Monday evening I´m going to take the NightJet from Munich to Hamburg and further on to Kiel where I will have only a short look into the town.
I jump on the ferry in the afternoon and will arrive in Klaipeda/Lithuania where I set off to my cycletrip the next day. First I´d like to visit the Oceanic Museum of Lithuania.
I´m going to explore on a perfect cyclepath the Curonian Spit, a curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast.
Camping in Nida I´ll cycle the same way back on the next day heading towards the border
Highlights of this part of the journey will be Liepaja on the west-coast, crossing the country visiting Kuldiga and Tukums. In the old town of Riga I´m going to stay on a camping for two nights to have closer look to this marvellous city.
Leaving Riga by train to get into the Gauja Nationalparc the main cities will be Sigulda and Césis where you can find a beautiful nature.
Crossing the next border at Valga I´m entering Estonia where my cyclepath will lead me to the Lake Peipus – devided through the border of Estonia and Russia. Getting there I will visit Tartu, a big city where students celebrate their lives. The ancient town is also very famous – of course I won´t miss it.
On the west coast of the lake you meet a group of people who live a very rural live.
The last border – via cycling – will be in Narwa where I´m going to enter Russia. Here the cyclepath has to be build – but there are some alternatives on smaller roads
to get to Peterhof with its famous castle and finally – St. Petersburg!
I´ve booked 4 nights in this outstanding city where I´d like to visit the highlights like for instance the Eremitage. As far as my travelbook tells me this visit could be much longer but in the end every holiday has an end.
So on a friday I´ll take an over-night ferry to Helsinki and another one will take me back to Travemünde/Germany. Having a last night in the youthhostel the train is going to bring me back to my hometown.
This will be my biggest adventure which I´ve made till now – looking forward to it!