On the boat!

Not much happened this day either. I drove up the the west coast of Lithuania, and made my way into Latvia. This day my motorcycle passed 55555 km!

IMG_1143.JPG

I arrived four hours before the boat were supposed to leave, and had a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant I found through Trip Advisor.

IMG_1144.JPG

Waiting to board, I met a motorcycle guy who was going back to Norway, where he worked. He was going to cross Sweden on his Bandit the day after, and then further north in Norway.

My next destination was Nynäshamn, where I would switch ferry to go to Gotland Wednesday-Sunday!

Advertisements

Driving north

I stayed in bed as long as possible, as I was not able to drive at nine o’clock. They let me check out and chill in the chill area, where I met the people from yesterday again. They were going out for food, so I hanged out with them until all of us drivers were ready to drive, and so, we split.

As the boat was going the day after, close to midnight, I had time. After getting tired, I just tried to find a cheap place to stay at. I found a hotel, which at first didn’t look too promising. The one working there were pretty scabby, playing at the slot machine and smoking indoors while her son did his homework in the restaurant. The room were fresh, though, and pretty cheap, so I stayed there. I had about 500 kilometres left, and a whole day, so I took my time to plan the route a bit, as I could spend the time on trying to drive nice roads.

IMG_1141.JPG

Bad roads with those tires

The guy I went out to eat pizza with told me about a really good hostel in Warsaw. As I had one extra day, I thought I would spend it there, and try it out!

There would be a short ride to Warsaw, and I decided to try to find funnier roads. I put my GPS to choose the curviest roads, and also allowed it to choose gravel roads, as those could be fun. What could have been a two hour ride would be far longer…

It had been raining a bit before, and my tires aren’t good for mud. Not god at all. Here follows some nice pictures as proof of that!

IMG_1120IMG_1122

As you can see on the first picture, I got “stuck” in the small ditch close to the middle. Suddenly, the front tire grip on to something, and the whole thing took a small jump. No damages!

I was pretty close to do the same thing later, but instead of walls, there were slopes on the sides, which would have been hard to get up from. Scary!

After some asphalt, the GPS wanted me to turn up onto a really small road. It looked like an adventure, and I wanted to test. When the trees were increasing, the road were getting muddier, as the sun hadn’t been able to dry it up. I spent around half an hour getting up a slope being maybe 250 metres long.

IMG_1123.JPG

As the cooling fan had stopped working thousand of kilometres ago, it was overheating while working my way up, and I had to take a pause half way up, which gave me some sweet pictures!

MC.jpg

When actually getting out of all this, I took away the possibilities of gravel roads. I ate some snickers, and went on.

I had some problems finding the hostel, which were 20 metres from where I had parked. I went into it to take a look, and the first impression was really good! The name was Oki Doki hostel, and it had really cool design. I got to live in the communist room, and of course chose the left bed. 😉

IMG_1129.JPG

I met another girl on the hostel, who had just arrived. She was going out to explore the city, so I followed her instead of just staying at the hostel. The adventure resulted in two ice creams, some thai food and a really long bridge!

Close to the old city, there were a band of bagpipes playing. Really nice!

In the evening, I met up with the girl, some Irish, some Australians and a mix of other people in the bar. It was awesome talking to them, and we went out later in the evening. As usual, I found people to talk with on the way, and lost them after maybe 20 minutes. After some adventures I went home to sleep at half past one, as I needed to continue driving the next day. I’m really glad I got the tip about this hostel!

Back into EU

It was time to leave Kiev, and this pretty awesome room I had been staying in!

DSC_0478.jpg

It would be a day consisting of driving, with the plan to at least go a few kilometres into Poland. I wanted to be on the right side of the border if anything would take extra time.

IMG_1117.JPG

Before leaving Ukraine, I went into some small random village to buy cheap spirits. The village I went into seemed to have never seen any tourists before, and some children were standing, just looking at my motorcycle, while I was shopping and packing. I found this probably really fake bottle, but I really liked the label!

13262364_541938579327396_911578495_o.jpg

I also tried to see if I could find a good brand battery for the motorcycle, but they only had local brands wherever I went.

At the border it was the same thing again, with the officers just telling me to go past all the cars. With the panniers, it was a tight fit, but I managed! 

IMG_1119.JPG

They asked me about the contents in my panniers, and I just told them ”sleeping gear”, and they let me through.

In the evening I arrived in Lublin, where I found a hostel. I went out to grab a pizza with a guy from the hostel, but the part of the city we lived in and went through didn’t look all too fun.

Outside of EU!

In the morning I checked out my options. I didn’t have a much time as I thought left, so I couldn’t go south, and go to Romania, and go to Kiev for the Chernobyl tour.

When googling around I found out that the nice roads in Romania doesn’t even open until end of June, as there would still be snow on them. As that was my main plan with Romania, it now was a pretty easy choice, and I therefore checked for Chernobyl tours. After calling one, which would be earliest on Saturday, I found one which would be on Friday 13th instad, which would ”save” me one day. I would have two days to drive to Kiev, which would be enough too.

After booking the tour, I started driving. I ate pizza for lunch, which was different. Instead of tomato sauce I got ketchup on the side. 

When looking for a lunch place I saw this; is it an old bridge or something?

DSC_0096.jpg

Soon I was in Poland again, and later in the evening, I was at the border crossing to Ukraine! It was already ten or so in the evening.

There were a long, long queue of cars, but everyone started waving at me. I wasn’t really sure of what they meant, but someone who spoke english told me to just go past everything. If it is because I am Swedish, or because I am driving a motorcycle, I am not sure, but I probably saved an hour!

IMG_1102.JPG

Leaving Poland was easy, but entering Ukraine harder. Someone helped me to translate, though, and I am not sure what everything was about, but that guy fixed everything for me! He told me the roads were bad in Ukraine, and I told him I had travelled Russia, to which he answered that ”then the roads in Ukraine are good”.

I had forgot to turn the ignition off, so the lights were on. With all the stops and starts, I had drained the battery fairly well, and I heard the starter go really slow, and then not at all. The same guy and girl who had helped me earlier, helped me by hooking their car up to my motorcycle so I could get going.

First thing I did in Ukraine was hitting a giant pothole. Really good start, but nothing broke, as far as I know!

I was also out of fuel, so after riding for a while, also trying to find a hotel of some kind, I refuelled. The battery had gotten enough charge, at least, and now the engine started without a problem!

What I didn’t think of, was that my internet was for the EU, not for Europe. Because of that, I couldn’t check anything, for example hotels.

As the clock shifted forward one hour, it was now half past twelve, and I hadn’t seen any hotel or anything nearby. I decided to pitch my tent, and tried to find small roads. The first one I found was muddy and had some grass on it, and it had been raining earlier. That didn’t go well.

IMG_1110.JPG

Really tired after getting out of there, I turned from the main road onto a gravel road, which looked like there wouldn’t be much traffic. I found an acre which was not used at the moment, and pitched my tent there, behind a tree (really stealthy, I now). It was really dark, with no city nearby, and if it would have been a clear sky it would have been perfect!

DSC_0104.jpg

Best roads in my life, so far!

I had gotten a tip from Marco about which roads I should drive in Slovakia, but first, I was going to Krakow. After a quick good bye at Lukasz office, and getting an USB-extender cable, I went east!

There was some nice roads I could have driven, which also would be less expensive, but sadly I didn’t have time.

Outside of Krakow, I went to the shooting range to test a package of weapons. I tried a Glock 17, .357 Magnum, MP5, AK47 and a shotgun from Turkey, Escort. I also added M4 afterwards. It wasn’t actually as fun as I expected, but it is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time!

DSC_0062.jpg

After going south for a while, I saw the mountains before me, and what a view! I stayed for maybe half an hour, just taking different photos to get a really good one, and I am satisfied!

DSC_0073.jpg

DSC_0080.jpg

When I finally turned onto the road I was looking forward to, it was really awesome. Maybe 90 kilometres of serpentine roads, with hills and turns everywhere, and really nice views! Almost no traffic, so I was able to drive in my own tempo. It was some really nice technical riding, and I got to lean pretty hard with the motorcycle, instead of the more usual leaning on the highways or country roads!

DSC_0093.jpg

When I was approaching the end of the road, and the clock was about nine, I wanted to find a nice spot to pitch my tent on. The roads I could find up in the mountains were only walking roads, though, and I was not allowed to go there by motorcycle. As there were slopes and ski lifts, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get to a really good place either. After looking up hotels nearby for a minute, I found a pensionat a couple of kilometres away, and pretty cheap (especially compared to the hotels nearby, which were four and five stars, and started at 100 euro). They didn’t speak too much english, and I didn’t have cash with me, but I managed to get the IBAN number so I could make a transaction. I also got some skin cream by the lady, as my upper lip were really dry.

The dinner for tonight was pasta and tomato dry soup powder mixed together!

New tires!

As I only had two nights in the guest house, I moved to a hotel I had booked during the night. The people working there were super friendly, really happy and helped with whatever I needed, for example laundry, even though it wasn’t supposed to be included. They also told me they could put my bike on their parking, behind a gate, so no one would try to steal it!

I went to meet with Lukasz, who would show me to a place for new tires. Thanks to friends of Lukasz, a person from Moto-fan.pl, I got some discount on the tires when buying them from Olek Motocykle! Instead of the around 2900 SEK I would have paid on the internet at home, I paid 1850 SEK thanks to Poland being cheaper, discount and so on!

13214495_10154207098454443_59715925_o.jpg

Lukasz took me to a place his friend told us changed tires cheap and fast, and after eating asmall lunch, everything was done less than 30 minutes later! I took the old tires with me, and gave them to Lukasz, as they still had some kilometres left and he wanted to test more road oriented tires.

DSC_0030.jpg

In the afternoon we went out to ride in the mountains with some of the other Moto-fan.pl members! It started raining during the drive, but not too much. Lukasz got wet, though!

We stopped at a restaurant somewhere high up for dinner. Everyone bought soup, and I tried to order in polish. Lukasz told the server ”Jackiie just came out from the hospital”, so I guess I didn’t pronounce it right! 😉

DSC_0031.jpg

DSC_0032.jpg

After riding some more, the three others went home, while we adventured some more. We went out to a really cool soviet bunker, pretty big one, with what looked like three loading docks in garages. There were also instructions on the inside on how you would do after using the contamination suit, to always remember your weapon and were to put the dirty clothes. Cool!

We passed a steam punk restaurant on the way home, which we unfortunately couldn’t go up in (there was an elevator) as it was pretty high class and they didn’t want us to disturb the other guests. The things I saw at the entrance floor were good looking, though!

13230818_10154207098939443_2002823502_o.jpg

After a visit at the supermarket Lukasz got an idea for a photo, which would be the ending of this day!

DSC_0035.jpg

Open air cinema!

Auschwitz

This day, Lukasz would take me to Auschwitz. He had his daughter this day too, so I got to meet Amie, short for Amelie! Lukasz mother would take her in the city, while Lukasz showed me around.

At Auschwitz (1), we went on a group tour with a guide. The tour was well-made, everyone got a headset, connected to the guides microphone.

The other parts of it were pretty heavy. It’s hard to describe overall, but I felt really uncomfortable during the whole tour, to no surprise. I don’t have much to say about it.

DSC_9932.jpg

DSC_9952.jpg

DSC_9965.jpg

Afterwards, we went back to get Amie and Lukasz mother, and ate a small lunch in the city!

DSC_9990.jpg

The next stop was Birkenau (Auschwitz 2). We didn’t have too much time, but saw what was important. On the way there, we also visited two railway wagons which had been used.

DSC_0003.jpg

DSC_0015.jpg

Someone also called my name out of nowhere, and apparently Jonathan, a scout I was in the same group as a couple of years ago, was there at vacation too. You never now who you’ll meet!

We went back to Tychy, and I got dropped off at the guest house. The plan was to go out with the motorcycles, so I prepared everything I needed, until Lukasz was done with all his.

First destination was the top of a pretty huge slug heap. It was really nice off-roading to get there, and some pretty steep gravel road. Beautiful view, though!

DSC_0023.jpg

DSC_0025.jpg

Then, we were going to another bunker. We went the wrong way first, which took us to a nice water crossing!

13224137_10154207097369443_24382102_o.jpg

With a map, we got to the bunker, and some memorials and cemeteries, too. I rode a bison!

IMG_1074.JPG

Bunkers, bunkers and more bunkers!

After a breakfast consisting of pancakes, I started riding around 08.30, unusually early. After eating lunch in the outskirts of Warsaw I made a wrong turn, and then probably another one, which made the pass by almost half an hour longer, probably. Shit happens!

My first visit for the day were pretty far south, almost at my end destination. I was going to visit the bunker Lukasz told me about. When I arrived, you had to pay a small entrance fee of less than an euro. The problem was that I didn’t have any cash, and therefore had to go back three kilometres to an ATM.

The bunker was huge, and had been able to house a train. It was over 300 metre long, with extra corridors on both sides.

DSC_9912.jpgDSC_9914.jpgDSC_9916.jpg

There was also an underground path, which you could get to by climbing down a really steep and narrow staircase. With the motorcycle gear I almost had to squeeze through!

DSC_9927.jpgDSC_9918.jpgDSC_9919.jpg

After the visit, I drove the last 2.5 hours to Tychy. I met up with Lukasz, and we checked me into my room at a guesthouse he had booked for me, so I could shower and unpack while he want back to his niece’s birthday party.

When he was done, he picked me up by car at ten. We drove to some nearby abandoned WW2 bunkers he knew off, and it was a cool sight. Also got a small view of Tychy by night. We also went into the forest to find another one, and after finding it (it was really dark now) saw the eyes of a doe, watching us!

My body was really tired after all the hours riding today, and since the clock was over midnight, we post-poned the next place to tomorrow!

More Soviet missile silos

I decided to look for something more to do in Lithuania, and I also wanted to go to Klaipeda, as I had a tip from Magnus about where to change my tires. While looking at the internet (dark tourism) I found a tour around four old silos pretty close to Klaipeda. I decided to go there!

While talking to Lukasz, who I would meet in Poland, he told me he had booked a cheap room. Now I also had a plan for the next day, as it was a total of 10.5 hours drive time down to Tychy, Poland.

After calling the number for the silo tours, I got an address for the small city nearby, as it was easier to find your way from there. After a few hours riding I was there, got directions and ate lunch in the city. After taking a wrong turn (I took the next small forest road, which consisted of sand and roots,which was fun, but felt wrong) I met a lumberjack or something in the forest, who could tell me I was wrong when I asked for the silo. I managed to turn around, and out at the road I stopped a car who could tell me exactly where I was going. That road was much bigger (and gravel instead of sand), and soon I was at the museum. I paid for a ticket, and changed into more comfortable clothes while waiting for the tour to begin. As the group I was supposed to go with hadn’t arrived a bit after four, I got an audio tour instead, which suited me fine, as I could take photos in my own pace.

DSC_9896.jpg

DSC_9884.jpg

There were some weapon development history in the middle, with a Swedish anti tank-weapon among them! The tour leader couldn’t really answer why, though, when I asked.

DSC_9891.jpg

Much of the tour reminded me of the silos in Kazakstan, but it was cool to see them restored, and also to hear the explanations about the layout and the functions of the different rooms. I also got the history about when and why the silos were built.

DSC_9903

DSC_9905

I do think those were a bit smaller than the one I visited in Kazakstan, though!

IMG_0338.jpg

(See https://gonebiking.se/2015/06/20/soviet-missile-silos/ and https://gonebiking.se/2015/06/19/ for more info about that one!)

After the tour my plan was to take a couple of hours more, to have less hours to drive the day after. I passed into Poland and started to check for hotels and restaurants, as I couldn’t drive safely much longer without eating anything. The hotel at the place I was eating at would cost me 44.55 euro though, so I felt that I would rather use my tent. I went for half an hour more, further into Polen, and the next place I stayed at was half the price, which was acceptable. They also had a 24 hour open restaurant, so I could eat another dinner, and also breakfast there, rather cheap. I had 600 kilometres left to Tychy, and Lukasz told me about a bunker I should visit along the road, so the plans for tomorrow was already being made!