It’s official: summer is over. So here is a throwback to it when I cycled from Riga to Helsinki. I finally edited the film to this tour. Wasn’t really warm either up there as you can see, however worth it.
The first part of the clip can possibly lull you to sleep. Yet, the second part can cause heart attacks! 😉
Whatever happens – enjoy!
Despite the bad weather forecast for a long german holiday weekend I packed my bike and went eastbound along the Elbe. But before riding by the dikes right next to the river I had to find my way through the beautiful, neat area called Vierlande. I was attended by a friend of a friend, which I just met coincidentally outside the city center going the same way for 10 km or so. She was bare-footed on a holland bike speeding in front of me making jokes at my expense. 😉
Besides a relatively strong head wind coming from east it was straight forward riding in wonderful conditions along an impressive river. I soon followed the Elbe-Lübeck-Canal northbound, a smaller artificial water connecting the river with the city. Cycling was dutch-a-like: peaceful, laid-back, meditative. Just what I needed. After 80 km I arrived a typical german weird campsite just a bit south of Schaalsee lake. At least good for some Astra beer, a curry wurst and a starry night.
On top of the dike.
The huge Elbe close to Hamburg
A broken flag
He sells eggs.
The street I stayed was called “Nachtschwärmerweg” (street of the night owls). Now I know why.
This cute little boy is from Coyhaique, Chile and works like a rocket.
The next day before noon I hit the lake, where people were already eating fish and having beer. Yuk! Going around the lake was a treat! It’s a very wild biosphere reserve with some small villages around. Every now and then I left the asphalt for a touch of off road riding. I had lunch on a farm, where folks gathered together while having a soup or a coffee.
Through deserted woods I went on towards Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg Vorpommern province, which is also located by a big lake. And there was the October Fest too, which I… skipped. Actually, I was expecting a campsite close to the city, however it turned out I had to go another 10 km – so it was a 110 km day. Time to rest, especially because clouds were coming up at the horizon.
The guy at the reception wasn’t really cooperating so I didn’t ask him to charge my power bank in his office during the night. Instead I let it in the washing rooms and didn’t think about any bad potential on that. It was a really small campsite and come on: it’s not a poor third world country. Long story short: it was stolen already before morning. My phone, which was my navigation tool at the same time, was nearly dead and I lost a power source AND a plug for the phone. Excellent job, world-traveller!
At least the staff guys were a bit embarrassed about this mysterious disappearance . They told me it’s shop open Sunday, so I changed plans slightly and went around the lake to Schwerin again in order to get a massive culture shock in one of those giant malls. People were behaving like WW3 is just coming up. At least I stocked up or lets say stocked back to normal. Actually riding without any navigation had a certain attraction to me. Also: with the lack of something you are in the need of help by others (in my case not an urgent luckily), which is always a good way to get to know people and areas.
The castle of Schwerin
Didn’t try this one
Dew all day
Although my ride towards Ratzeburg was next to motorways for long stretches, it was still nice due to alleys, colors, the very low sun. Besides that there were also rides through deserted villages and fields – so in total the full joy of it. Only problem at this point was my energy limit, the vanishing daylight and the lack of accommodation or campsite. I considered stealth camping, but no chance with those infinite farm fields all around and if not it was nature reserve. Plus, with some bad luck you got shot by a hunter at that time of the year. I spotted my first fox by the way. He didn’t hear me and was just strolling in front of my wheel.
So in the end I found a kind of a posh B&B for city dwellers needing an off. I was in a stingy mood (most likely due to the “expensive” night before), thus I denied the 65 bucks room and asked for a camp spot. The owner was really kind and showed me a place in the garden, where I pitched the tent before giving myself an excellent dinner made by the restaurants chef 🙂 At this point I still had the plan to ride all the way to Hamburg, however this intention came to change the next morning.
It was a wet day and it didn’t seem to get any better, so I decided to reach the city of Lübeck in order to take a train back home. Besides a serious glitch of my rear brake due to a blend of sand, rain and whatsoever it was easy rainy riding to the central station.
Summing it up it was a beautiful, yellow autumn ride through a really neat North German landscape attended by flocks of quaking geese migrating south away from winter.
The map of the 300 km tour
P.S.: Most of the shots were made with the Fuji X-Pro2, which I still adore. It’s the best camera I ever owned apart from professional DSLRs.
Due to the instant switch to business-as-usual my amazing trip begins to fade already. Time is flying faster and faster anyway I feel.
This post is a vain attempt fighting this natural process. Isn’t all this social media stuff nothing but a modern kind of a diary? Unless you call yourself an “influencer” I guess…:-p
However, I won’t spend a lot of words, since pictures always do a better job, ain’t!?
Thus, I created a new gallery at portfolio with some selected jewels of this bike trip along the neat, flat baltic coast.
In addition to the gallery you’ll find some shots (including caption) in this blogpost, which are supposed to give you an idea of my journey.
In case you are interested in a route map incl. comments, take this.
And there’s more coming up:
– a short clip of the video footage I did on the way
– an exhibition and online gallery on bus stops of the Estonian Island Saaremaa I’ll keep you posted here. You bet!
Enjoy, take care, keep exploring and thank you for stopping by! Yours, Christoph
830 cycled kilometers, 100 something km by ferry
Rigas famous market
On the market
Riga has a long green ribbon around its center.
Probably a VIP
A pigeon just entered the shop
I know these guys…
And I know this lady!
Rigas modern library
Help for cats
Sneaking out of Riga in the early morning
On my way out of town
101? Hm, did this before somewhere 😉
Most of the time it was straaaaaight on riding
Went thru the woods
Many storks in Estonia!
I carry flowers. Always.
Many fires smoldered even 2 days after Johannisday
My first arrival at the sea and I thought it’s a flamingo
Didn’t find out what it was
Rain a few minutes before
Serious rain and hail
I never eat wurst at home
The nicest camp spot of the entire tour.
It wasn’t always this calm
Ok tonight no camping
Between Muhu and Saaremaa Island
Australia? Sure, at 13°C.
A loo on one of the many free campsites
One of many, many bus stop houses on Saaremaa. More to come, promised.
Waiting for the ferry to Hiiumaa
This was such a great reunion with Jan and Paul after more than 1 year. Plus, we couldn’t have picked a better location for this event. Wine, Sauna, coffee, dinner, barrels to sleep in. No more wishes.
Holsten – like baaaack then in Puerto Natales. Proof? Look right.
4 yrs ago in Puerto Natales at the end of the world.
Unfortunately we had to go opposite directions and said our farewells. Next time, next time.
This image is dedicated to my friend Jens Waldenmaier and is named “a quarter past 10am”
One of the first weird sceneries in beautiful Tallinn
For more action, I went off road once in a while
Those fuckers were not funny
Even rain wouldn’t stop them. Me neither.
Many really old cemetrys
A cute little waterfall
My diesel (as a fresh non-smoker)
Arrived in Tallinn
Telliskivi in Tallinn
Bring it on!
Telliskivi in Tallinn
Wooden houses all over
Before leaving to Helsinki
A proper thunderstorm
Ferry to Helsinki
Bye Tallinn, you rock!
Open gutters are typical for Tallinn. Same in Helsinki. There were deep cuts in the pavement in order to let the water drain onto the street.
Quite a hard one to read
Sailing into HEL
A great welcome
Still those thick clouds
Having lunch in another market hall
They love ice cream
Typically for HEL
Love & Relax
Great wooden house neighborhood
I made it from Riga to Helsinki. Another mission accomplished.
I will cycle from Riga to Helsinki along the coast. One last time I decided to use my Canadian Kona bike, to which I added some new features – as you can see below.
But first, my friends and I will join an amazing festival in Riga: Foo Fighters, The Kills & Biffy Clyro. What a start!
Plus, most likely a little reunion will take place between Riga and Helsinki. 😉
Stay tuned. #rigatohelsinkibybike
This was my first loaded test after my bike trip along the US West Coast.
It’s been a loooong time since this blog became updated.
Why is that? Well, first: time flies, second: times change.
As most of you know, this website was initially established by a travel passioned couple, using this blog to keep its fellows up to date with exciting journeys and reports – especially a 10 month lasting adventure through South America and Canada. It’s now almost 3 years ago that those “mochilla guys” took off from Hamburg without leaving much behind, not knowing where it’ll all lead and with the assumption of a long lasting love…
Life took different ways (and so it always will). Now, here we are – well, here I am. This is a new start. All previous posts are gone, since it would just be too emotional. Anyway, it’s been all printed on sturdy paper already, plus it might be unforgettable in the minds of those who care.
Once in a while I will feed this blog with some new adventure stories, which – from now on – will most likely take place on bicycle.
The blog used to be written in German, which is doubtless easier for me. However, since I made friends in many parts of the world I prefer writing in English (at least I’ll try hard).
I am going to start this new era with a fabulous bicycle ride from Vancouver, B.C. to Tijuana, MX, which took place earlier this year. I made a dream come true and in fact it wasn’t less than that.
Paul from Vancouver joined and supported me almost 2,000 km down to San Francisco and since he’s much better in writing than me, you are recommended to check his awesome essays on his website. I will keep it brief and brake it down to the most important facts. For those who want more bits and pieces, there’s a tour diary (including a route map) here.
– Start: May, 1st 2016 in Vancouver
– End 1 (San Francisco, where Paul went back home): May, 26th 2016
– End 2 (Tijuana): June, 10th 2016
– End 3 (San Diego, return flight): June, 14th 2016
– Total distance: 3,160 km
– Amount of beers and coffees: countless
– Climbs: far too much!
– Best spots: gosh, there have been so many… Cape Lookout / Nehalem / Cape Meares / Big Sur / Redwoods / Arizona Beach / Newport Beach, just to mention a few…
– Best things: the campgrounds and state parks / the beer / the cafés / the people / fast and curvy downhill stretches / camp cooking / the smell of resin / our 11 o’clock 2nd coffee / the Pacific / the Kneipp kurs / tail wind / the supermarkets / reaching Golden Gate Bridge / did I mention the beer already?
– Fun stories: our daily mantra was “every day is a present” / my wrong tent fly / the guy in a car pulling over and asking Paul to pick up a cigarette, which fell on the cars floor (the guy was just to fat to move) / and many other funny moments…
Well, this is not just a new blog post, but also a portfolio update. I created a new gallery with some shots of the trip here. Enjoy and stay tuned! Take care!