Category Archives: Estonia

Starting from Valga cycling through Estonia visiting Tartu and the famous Lake Peipus

Last evening in europe – let’s go to Russia! 

Cycling day 12/13 62/65 km

Starting in the small town knowing that there were only about 60 km to go I took my time and visited a small local museum – already in the now everyday used ‘full rain and cold outfit’.

And likely the most days the morning was a little bit sunny – but within an hour or so you had the full service of dark clouds, chilly wind and some rain… 

So after having a cup of coffee in a small bakery I went on – but this day was really special! The strong wind came from the site and some times from the front so heavily that I couldn’t go on cycling and had to take a break in a bus stop shelter. 

So in the end I was really happy to reach my hostel where I could cook myself a meal. To my surprise the owners invited me to join the russian sauna but than I couldn’t cycle the next day. I felt into my bed and fall asleep immediately…

Today I woke up and there was sun again – but today it should shine nearly the whole day – unbelievable! 10 Degrees C!

So after only a few kilometres I had an outstanding view over the Baltic Sea. 

Visiting Sillamäe to get some coffee two guys from Oslo were crossing my way and we talked a lot about our trips and their way around the Baltic Sea Coast – a marvellous trip! 

Coming along historic places where many soldiers lost their lives I’ve seen many monuments of russian and german forces of the Second World War…. 

So in the end I’ve been arriving in Narwa where the estonian-russian border is situated. As I’ve been walking along the streets I’ve heard some music – and there was a festival with several local groups in front of the castle of Narwa – what a great last evening in europe… 

So tomorrow I’m going to cross the border to Russia and cycle to my next hostel which is about only 42 km.

Next day there will be 95 km to Peterhof on about 40 km with heavy traffic and afterwards older streets with many holes. From Peterhof to St Petersburg I’m going to take a train which will bring me right into to centre of this huge city where I’m going to carry my recumbent bike in the fifth floor to my hostel. 

Looking forward to this final adventure of this trip – next pics from St Petersburg… 

Cycling through hail, rain, sun and wind 

Cycling day 12/85 km

That morning started unbelievable – the sun was shining into my room in a wonderful wooden house and I had my breakfast on the terrace. 

But – after everything was packed I made just 2 km and a heavy shower started. So I changed my clothes about 4 times as it had  cold 8 degrees), fast wind of course from the front, sometimes wonderful sunshine – and than hail! 

So around midday there was a good opportunity to have a coffee and a sweat. 

After that the known game continued so I made lunch in Avinurme where you can see an old train and a small museum of the region. As it got even colder the museum was very welcome to me…

Finally I can book a – let’s say guest house – with the charme of the early 70s – but I’m sitting in front of the real heat and could cook my dinner in the owners kitchen as I’m the only guest – would could you expect more from a ‘summer holiday’… 😬 

From Räpina to Tartu and a day off 

Cycling day 10/73 km – Rest day 2

As I’ve started my trip yesterday a little bit late after talking to the other cyclists I found after only 15 km the perfect place to have a coffee and – again – marvelous biscuits. The tour for today was described as lonesome and boring but to be honest it was more interesting than cycling through the Gauja National Park. 

On my way the weather wasn’t that nice so I caught the opportunity to get 2 heavy rainshowers…but the city of Tartu was worth the ride. I got a room in the new Hector Design Hostel and by coincidence there was a medicine student so we went out for a beer and discussed the situation in Estonia for the people and the patients. 

The old town of Tartu is great and you can feel the vibrations of students life and the open minded people. 

So today the cyclist I’ve met two days ago showed me around the city and it was marvelous to have a local guide who grow up here. In the afternoon I’ve been exploring myself the town and a highlight was the observation tower.

Exploring the land of the Seto

Cycling day 10/95 km

So I’ve started yesterday from my small bungalow taking the last time a gravel road…but soon I came to the former bishops castle and old border to Russia.  There used to be a miracle so many pilgrims came here from across Europe to heal their wounds or get other miracles. 

After a few kilometres there was already the next highlight – a wooden watchtower. And I was so glad to have a clear sky so you’ve had a fantastic view around the region – and St Petersburg is not so far 😉 


I continued my trip through the land of the Seto with their interesting culture and even an own language and passed of course the futuristic station in the middle of nowhere – Orava. 

So in the end I finished my cycling day in Räpina and met the first cyclists doing the R1 – but in the other direction. 

Welcome to Estonia! 

Mo Cycling day 9/92 km

Well this is the third country I’m visiting and it welcomed me after the inspiring hostel with some positive highlights…

The cyclepaths were better than the street (only once) but the best of all – there are signposts for cyclists and the first time on the whole journey the ‘R 1` is also mentioned!

So I cycled along fantastic landscapes on good roads (even the 12 km of gravel were better to cycle than in Latvia) – and my phone connects again like in Lithuania automatically with the net – very chilled now…

So I knew already that my path will lead me to Rõuge where a campingsite also offers bungalows – and as I’m still not really fit I phoned already in the morning to check this – and it’s great! Just 15,- €!

I’ve seen also on my map that there is an Information Centre but didn’t know exactly what about. Well, it’s about the region in the past and a newly built watch tower with 2 platforms in 18 and 27 m height.

 

On my way back to the campingsite there is also a small museum about the 100 year old water mill – so the owner of this and the camping allowed me to have a short look.

Part Two – From Valga along the Lake Peipus to St. Petersburg/Russia

Having left the outstanding Gauja Nationalpark I´ll have a closer look to the city of Valga.
Following the national estonian cyclepath 3 and 4 I´m going to visit Tartu.
Here you can find a city where many students present an open-minded culture and I´m looking forward to visit this interesting big city.
At the beginning of the preparations – as the author of my travel book recommends you – I´d like to visit also Talinn by bus. But unfortunately I haven´t got enough time to do this.

r1_estland_uebersicht

We get back to the Lake Peipus where I´m going to meet a very ancient culture – here the people live a very simple and poor life by growing and selling fruits and vegetables.

At the northern part of the lake I´d like to have a look at a bird protection area – sounds interesting. Reminds me on the “Reservé Africane” in the south of Bordeaux… 🙂

Only a day ride away I´m going to reach to northern steep coast of the Baltic Sea and will camp there again. After this I will approach the border to…Russia.

r1_spb_uebersicht

On this part of my trip I won´t have any cyclepaths – it´s not common to cycle  in Russia.

The cycling club “Velo Piter” from St. Petersburg tries hard to find a good alternative for that Route. These 173 km are sometimes a little bit difficult because of the quality of the streets.

But there is a route where you can get to Peterhof with its outstanding castles and from there it is recommended to take the local train for about 30 km to my great destination – St. Petersburg!

I´ve booked already a hostel in the 5th floor – and of course they haven´t got an elevator!
But this is just once so this famous city will be the absolute highlight of this trip where I´m going to stay for 4 nights.

Finally I will jump on the St. Peterline ferry to Helsinki and from there with Finnlines back to Germany where – after staying a night in a youth hostel in Lübeck – the train will take me back to home – hopefully!