Just click at the pictures to enlarge them.             Deutsche Version

Baltic Countries 2007

 

3 weeks

7,384 km

4,615 miles

 

 

End of May 2007 I drove from Sinzig to Frankfurt/Oder, from where I drove through northern Poland to Vilnius in Lithuania. Further on to Klaipeda and the Curonian Spit. Then to Riga in Latvia and through Estonia to Tallinn.  There I took a ferry to Helsinki in Finland, drove to the Russian Border and on to Vaasa, where I wanted to take a ferry to Umea in Sweden. But the next ferry was three days later, because of maintenance work, so I drove down to Turku and took a ferry to Stockholm. Then I drove over the Öresund-bridge into Denmark and then back to Sinzig. I did this trip without Jayne, because she was in Afghanistan for 6 month at that time.

Recommended maps:

 

 

 

 

Poland 1 Northwest, by EuroCart/RV Verlag, Scale 1:300.000
Poland 2 Northeast, by EuroCart/RV Verlag, Scale 1:300.000
Lithuania, by Reise Know-How, Scale 1:325.000 (waterproof and indestructible)
Latvia, by Reise Know-How, Scale 1:325.000 (waterproof and indestructible)
Estonia, by Reise Know-How, Scale 1:275.000 (waterproof and indestructible)
Finland, by ADAC, Scale 1:650.000
South-Sweden (East), by Kümmerly+Frey, Scale 1:250.000
South-Sweden (South), by Kümmerly+Frey, Scale 1:250.000
Guide books:

 

Lonely Planet Poland
Lonely Planet Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
Lonely Planet Eastern Europe
 
General information

Vilnius Forecast
Riga Forecast
Tallinn Forecast

 

The Baltic States sure aren't a mayor tourist site yet, but it is definitely not a adventure vacation anymore!

The best time to travel to the Baltic States is probably late spring and early fall. Summer is much too warm to ride a motorcycle (I had already temperatures around 30°C). Winter is not a good idea anyway, so far noth-east.

There are lots of mosquitoes in the Baltic Countries and as well in Scandinavia, especially near lakes, and there are lots of lakes! Autan and other bug repellents are available in every pharmacy and in many other stores. The local bug repellent isn't any better or worse than the German stuff, only a little cheaper.

One still needs to pay in the local currency, the Euro is not accepted in most places. Finland is the only country where you can, and have to pay in Euro. So, after crossing a border one has to look for the next town with an ATM. There are enough ATM's, and they all work in English too. Bigger gas stations and shops usually accept credit cards.

The road conditions are very different. All main roads, except for Latvia, are paved and in acceptable conditions. Deeply rutted roads and potholes are not unusual, especially in Poland.  Small roads, and as well some main roads in Latvia, are only gravel roads, but they are mostly easily drivable. There are many road construction sites, where they repair the road or build new ones with EU-money.

The general conditions are best in Lithuania and Estonia. There even very poor people paint their houses and keep them clean, in Poland nobody seems to care. A economic boom is obvious, probably because of the east expansion of the EU and the starting tourism.

Frankfurt/Oder Frankfurt/Oder, seen from the Polish river side. With the border station on the bridge.
forest road in Poland
There are some nice forest roads in Poland, and they still have many beautiful tree-lined roads. forest road in Poland
Vilnius in Lithuania Vilnius in Lithuania is a UNESCO-world heritage site, but after one hour in a traffic jam at 30°C and in truck-exhaust-fumes, I turned around.
Geographical Midpoint of Europe Geographical Midpoint of Europe. Surprisingly in Lithuania, but Europe expands as far as to the Ural.

Motorcycle aluminum panniers and top cases

Made by an experienced motorcycle traveller.

Motorcycle Aluminium Pannier

Motorcycle Aluminium Top case

Motorcycle Aluminum Top box

Panniers available in 40l and 33l
Top boxs available in 20l and 36l
Silver/Grey or Black

Motorcycle Aluminium Top box

Motorcycle Aluminum Trunk

Motorcycle Aluminum Top case

Quality is essential, not only on a RTW tour.