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Offline craggsy

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Great trip with lots seen over 5 weeks. Started as a plan to see Poland, but got extended a bit.
From Hook of Holland to Poland for Auschwitz, Kracow and Salt mine, etc
Nipped into Ukraine for one night to get the t-shirt
Baltic states for various great towns and sights.
St Petersburg for 3 nights, lots to see.
Finland, which is a fantastic place to explore.
Ferry to Sweden then home through Germany.

To share information, if you like to wild outdoors like me the Ukraine and Finland would be great places to explore for a little more time..
If you don't want to worry, get your Green cards before entering Ukraine or Russia. There is a lot of info on the web about being able getting a green card for these place at the border. I got something when I crossed to the Ukraine, you can forget it for Russia (I crossed from Narva, Estonia). Whatever I bought in the Ukraine was green, but it could have been anything. I took the risk and went through Russia without one.
Poland is a bit flat (hilly in the south, but not where I went).
Met a load of Bikers and lots of solo travellers, there is lots of it going on out there.
I've done almost all of Europe now and a bit of Africa, so need to start thinking further afield. Suggestions welcome :-)

Offline Slowmo

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 :047: Sounds like a great trip. Nice one.
Jim

Online Rtwo

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Sounds like an amazing trip craggsy, so many places and sights in one trip

I only wish I had the time to do similar in one go
Tinkering is what happens when you try something you dont quite know how to do, guided by whim, imagination, and curiosity.

Offline Greg

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Superb.. well done and what an adventure..

I bet you've some stories..  :001:

Any pics??

We have a Mini Meet over your way weekend of the 28th September, you're welcome.

Greg
It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
Hugh Laurie

Offline craggsy

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I'm still sorting the 400 + pictures 😲.
Thanks for the reminder about the mini meet. I've got it in my diary.
Like last time I live up the road so easy for me, and as a local lad I'm on hand to help in any way, if only to recommend the best pubs.
I keep making false starts becoming more active with the forum. Too many things to do, but Sept will be another chance as I really enjoyed the last one.

I would mention that the trip was on my new Tiger XCx low which did not miss a beat. I traded in my old XC which was lowered by longer dog bones. I didn't realise this kind of set up could make such a difference. The new factory set up lower machine was like a different bike. As a 5'8" rider I had much more confidence, no hesitation before U turns etc. Getting the new machine before the trip was a good decision.

Offline Dennis

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*Originally Posted by craggsy [+]
I'm still sorting the 400 + pictures 😲.


I'm about to do a similar trip this year.
Curious about experiences and pictures.

Thanks in advance,

Dennis
Most motorcyle problems are caused by the nut connecting the saddle to the handlebars..

Offline craggsy

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I never got around to posting more for this, but Ill have a look this week-end. It was an interesting trip.

Offline craggsy

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*Originally Posted by Dennis [+]
I'm about to do a similar trip this year.
Curious about experiences and pictures.

Thanks in advance,

Dennis

Hi, 2017 was my Up and Down tour. Go Up to Northern Europe then home, pick up the wife and then go down to Northern Portugal. I've included a picture of the Up route. Ive got a lot of pictures, but dont want to bore :-) so I've included the route and a few others.
My route was flat in most. It was ok, but Southern Europe is better landscape, although you could nip into Northern Slovakia for hills. I didnt. Saying this, it was a great trip and as most travelling bikers will know, you see fantastic places and meet great friendly people.
I normally head to the centre of a City then find a Hostel POI on my Garmin. I sometimes camp, but find by time I've dried out and packed its 11am or later. Also, travelling alone I dont want to be sitting in a field with my thoughts.
If you can, try the Hertz region Germany (Top Biker country). I recommend Hotel Harmonie, Bad Grund. Or, if going the Mosel way, try Hotel zur Post, Klotten.
Dresden, Wraclaw then Krakow etc. All great European cities with their big squares, entertainment and bars. Most have central hostels with safe parking in their yards. If you do Krakow, go to Auschwitz and the Saltmine. Some say they wouldnt want to see it, but after my visit I say its a must.
Getting into Ukraine is easy. No visa needed, just 2 hours at the border, but the locals encourage Bikers to move to the front of the queue. I did. Over the border was a layby with a currency exchange cabin and a lady I called Olga (pic)  in a cabin selling insurance green cards. She only knew 2 words of English (Green Card).
I could not get currency beforehand. I took Euros to change.
Skipping through the Baltics was ok, but flat. So, in my view the Cities were the interesting bit. Tallinn was pretty good, but if you do go to city centres, be ready for cobbles and trams. My pet hates.
Insurance is still a question for me. Aviva would not entertain Ukraine or Russia. So as mentioned, I bought the Green card going into Ukraine. But, I still question whether I was buying insurance for riding inside or for going back into Poland where I had come from. Included is a picture of the green card, see if you can tell what it is lol.  When I was at the Estonia border (Narva) I searched for 2 days to get a green card for Russia (as suggested on Horizons Unlimited) to no avail.  So, I went without. They dont check at either border, they seem to have to view the risk is down to you (what a good idea!). Even better, get what you need before leaving (MAG Insurance may be better?)
For anyone crossing into Russia from Narva I suggest going to the Tourist Office at the crossing. They will tell you how to book a crossing slot on their public computer, which you should have prepared beforehand (I didnt, but was lucky talking to them on the day). Then, you need to go to and register at a holding area at the other side of the City, before being called through for your slot. Do not take pictures on the border (although I did). I think a Sat Nav is needed if hotelling in a Russian city. I would not have found my hotel in a million years. For currency in Russia, I informed First Direct I was going and drew money out in St Petersburg. Also, for anyone only doing St Petersburg then to Finland, like I did, book a train to Moscow for the day and pos night. Afterwards, I met a Greek biker who  did this and Im still naffed off I missed a trick. You need a visa for Russia. Its a pain and costs. You dont have to do Russia, cross at Tallinn to Helsinki, but why miss when so close.
English is mostly universal, except Ukraine or Russia. Use Google translate and show them the screen of unintelligible writing.
Finland and Helsinki were favourites, but expensive. I would recommend the ferry Helsinki to Stockholm. It is like a Cruise party for 1 day. The Scandinavians know how to have fun.
I had 3 nights in Sweden then crossed the Malmo bridge (worth a look) and then 2 nights in Hamburg. Obligatory visit to the Reeperbahn which is scruffy and full of dossers by day, but comes to life at night. However, there was a good beer festival Saturday daytime. Night sees prostitutes like hyenas line one side of the road, and great Blues bars the other side.
Going home I take the Hook to Harwich overnight. Expensive, but saves paying for a Hotel in Calais.
This is a bit long, but I enjoy my travels a lot so it good to write about them. And, hopefully give a few tips. You can never have too many Biker holidays.  A few random photos... the Gold wings are nothing to do with me. One is a group of helpful Italians on a border, the other is a bloke selling rides to the Russian public, a fair few make a living out of this over there.












Online walt

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useful info, thanks, I was planning a very similar route last week, although i'll go Helsinki/Tallinn and leave Russia/Ukraine for another longer trip   :028:

Offline lanerider

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Wow thanks for sharing

 


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