Category Archives: Latvia

Exploring the west coast of the Baltic Sea, Riga and the Gauja National Park

Leaving the Gauja National Park 

Cycling day 8/90 km

Today was a little bit boring as the weather wasn’t that nice and I knew I had to cycle about 30 km on gravel – the aim was to reach the estonian border and to get to Valga, where I got again a small hostel. This was – let’s say interesting – as it was in the back of car garage so there was work going on till 9:30 pm…but don’t worry, be happy! 😀 

The Gauja National Park said one last time good bye – it was the second time I’ve seen the river and short before that the sky send me a 10 minutes greeting – but this was effective enough having to dry my clothes again… 

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From Sigulda to Césis 

Cycling day 7/49 km

Today I was really happy to see the sun when opening the tent as the night was f***cking cold and I’m nearly to caught a cold as there were about only 7 degrees C.

Jumped in the nearby supermarket to get some food and – a Schwalbe ‘Moby Dick’ tire – not that unflatable like a Marathon Plus but a Schwalbe 😋

Cycling afterwards to the station I’ve missed to do what I usually do when I take the train – check the platform and how to reach it. So I was 3 minutes late and had to wait for the next one in 2 hours time. But there was a funny surprise – there was no water on the toilet but you’ve got free WiFi 😂

After having – again – great sweat stuff from a small bakery I started knowing that there will be some ascent and 27 km of gravel – but it was most of the time okay. Just once I’ve layed down…thankfully there was just sand and not gravel… 

Finally after 50 km I reached Césis and my booked Hotel as I need not to have that cold night again. 

Here some pics from the Gauja National Park – hope to see some more of the park tomorrow as today it was just once… 

Here you can see the church of Césis…

Here are the caves of Ligatne – great! 

Cycling to Riga with a rest day

Cycling day 6/100 km

Yesterday I’ve started in my small hotel in Kandava and was lucky to cycle through woods. So at midday I took a coffee and wanted to start again – and here was this ‘soft’ feeling – flat tire number 4.

I went on again with wind from behind so this was great to reach in a quick way the coast of the Baltic Sea again. Here you enter the road which guides you around the Sea – not so nice as you’re always in the woods on a big road…but – unbelievable, after about 50 km the back tire was flat again so I changed tube and tire – after that I go on and till now it works… 😬 

Entering a small town I found a shop to get some tasty sweats from a bakery – the sun was shining. But after finishing that it started to rain really heavy so I was thinking about how to deal with the wet stuff on a campingsite – but luckily they had built up a tent for me… 

So today I’ve had a guided tour through Riga and it’s a great town. Here some pics… Tomorrow I’m going to take the train to Sigulda and explore the Gauja National Park – looking forward to it.

A stork, 2 flat tires and a great lands and unknown wind from behind 

Cycling day 5/110 km

So finally I sit after a great dinner in my small hotel in Kansava/Latvia – but the day was – let’s say ‘interesting’.

After having a real cold night I pack my stuff together and started cycling. So it supposed to be 100 km today.  Always on good streets I first bought some bread, cheese and non-fairtrade biscuits.

As I wanted to check whether the campingsite is open I tried to use my phone first time in Latvia – but it didn’t work. So I cycled on and suddenly it felt again ‘ soft’ – damn, the rear tire again. As I’ve got now a little bit of routine I changed it. 

But what happened now? I’ve been up to 32 km/h – with a medium afford. I was really glad – today it wasn’t that cold, the sun was shining – a great cycling day.

But than there came up a sign with my destination – 10 km more than I thought. So the wind from behind was good to be in time as I’ve told the lady from the hotel I should be there around 7 pm. 

I came through Kuldiga with its famous bridge – a really modern and nice city. 

Unfortunately a few kilometers later there were again a slightly soft feeling with the tire – and yes, this was the 3. time. I think this is because of an old repair kit – hopefully. 

And I’ve seen this day many storks – fantastic animals. So, enough for today… 

Exploring Liepaja and rolling through Latvia 

This morning just a few pictures as I’ve got about 100 km to cycle and some ascent to do… 

On Saturday I’ve arrived in Liepaja and met my couchsurfing family. Monta took me into the city and showed me around the old town and former military base.

In the evening there was a fantastic music night all around the town and the museums were open and free. 

After having left on the next day I’ve made 80 km to the north where I’ve found a small campingsite – only for me with showers as it is still of season. A camper couple from Bavaria on their way to Russia invited me in their warm camper as I had to wear a hat because it was so cold… 

Let’s go to Lithuania! 

Finally I’ve started my trip with the longest preparation time I’ve made till today. I hop on the local trains to Munich where I’ve had my traditional beer with a cold pice of pizza and jumped on the Nightjet train to Hamburg. 

Waking up on Tuesday morning there was rain – like it was predicted. I took the a train to Kiel and cycled to a small bicycle shop where I’ve ordered already a spare mirror for my bike as there where no ones in the shops around my home to get in that short time. 

Having some hours to wait in rainy Kiel I’ve had a look around and found the Nautical Museum including the nearby town museum. Very interesting to find out some facts about ships, the history and the present. 

Now the time had come to go to the harbour to check in. Many lorries where already waiting and a bicycle. I met an older lady who’ve made so many trips in her life so the 2 1/2 h just went by with many stories. 

On the ship I’ve had a wonderful cabin for my own with a shower and after cultivating myself again there was a great dinner and some outstanding views of the harbour of Kiel departing Germany. 

The sun came out and so we had some wonderful views of the coastline and later on a good lithuanian beer at the bar. 

This morning after having a great breakfast we had a little bit of sunshine and finally in the afternoon we arrived at the harbour of Klaipeda in Lithuania. 

After having left the ferry I’ve met a really friendly couchsurfing couple with a great dog and a 6 year old kid and they showed me around the old town of Klaipeda and its history – absolutely fabulous! 

So tomorrow I’m going to take a small ferry to the curonian spit and do my first real cycling day down to the south to Nida where I’m going to camp one night – looking forward to this great adventure! 

Part one – starting my trip in Lithuania and exploring Latvia

After enjoying the new austrian NightJet to Hamburg I´m going to jump on an overnight ferry to Klaipeda – a new experience to me. I´ve booked this one already in December including the meals – and as those ferries doesn´t use clean energy I´m going to compensate the CO² I´ll produce by making this journey.
So here you can do this also – your car, flight or ship cruise…

Compensate your CO² with atmosfair – certified by the Kyoto protocol

The first night in Lithuania will be with a Couchsurfing.com family and this I´d like to recommend to you as you will get to know the people of the country you visit.
Next day will be already one of the highlights of the tour – the Curonian Spit heading towards Nida where I´m going to camp.

r1_litauen_uebersicht

Heading north I will cross the border to Latvia following the west coast of the Baltic Sea I´ll enjoy another night on a campingsite. Passing Liepaja and Jurkalne I´m going to head eastwards to Riga. Here I´m going to stay for two nights on the central campingsite and explore that great city with its architectural hightlights.

Entering the Gauja Nationalpark by train as there are no safe cyclepaths Sigulda will be the first town on my list. Here you´ll find a fantastic park with an outstanding beauty and biodiversity – I´m looking forward to these two days spending in this area.

Passing Cesis the next border will be at Valga entering the third country – Estonia.

r1_estland_uebersicht