Sunday, June 23, 2019

Along the Baltic Sea (01.06.2019 - 17.06.2019)

After some hectic last minute packing and handing over the keys to our flat to the subtenants we drove off on the first of June.

On the first day we barely made it across the German border but kept heading north the day afterwards. This time crossing the old West/East German border continuing north all the way to Usedom at the Baltic Sea. Here we relaxed a bit and slowed down the pace by enjoying the beach, the famous sun chairs and the sea. Traveling along the coast we entered Poland and then Gdansk which we had skipped the summer before. Exploring the old Hanseatic city and enjoying its many bars and restaurants before driving east to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Malbork castle of the Teutonic Order.
Then it was time to cross into Russia, into Kaliningrad to be precise. Armed with our visa and speaking no Russian the crossing was no hassle at all and we reached the old city of KΓΆnigsberg in due time. This exclave which is surrounded by Poland in the south and the Baltic sea in the west ist connected over the tiny strip of the Curonian Spit to Lithuania in the north-west. Over this land bridge we left Russia again without any problems.
Hugging the coast we drove up to Latvia with a short stop over in Riga, having visited the city a year ago. To the east of it we visited Leg&Go, a Latvian startup producing cool wooden balance bikes for kids. It can "grow" with the child and has multiple add-ons, even pedals. We bought one for my nephew, he seems to like it as he immediately started gnawing on the handle bar πŸ˜‚
Close by are many lakes and woods where we relaxed a bit and enjoyed the scenery. Even tried my luck with fishing, alas no catch 😟
Next we headed north to Estonia and stayed again on the Baltic coast, meeting up with some fellow Swiss overlanders. We got our gear in order, swapped stories and relaxed by the sea before entering Russia again.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Plan πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡°πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡²πŸ‡³…?

So after five (5!) years since our last long trip it was time for a bigger break again. Quitting our jobs and heading east this time, overland. Our mature Toyota will be home base, transportation and travel companion in one, but more about it in a later post.

The rough plan is visiting Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Moscow, then heading south into Kazakhstan with Baikonur πŸš€ and Almaty before entering Russia again to reach Mongolia. Later we go up north to Irkutsk and lake Baikal before driving around China to WΕ‚adywostok on the Pacific coast. We are not in a hurry but try to escape Siberia before winter hits πŸ˜† 
From there we would like to ship the car somewhere warm for the winter, maybe Africa? Stay tuned!

Rough and totally inaccurate drawing of our route: 


PS: Sadly Google Picasa is no more and Google Maps has changed as well, so no more pictures and route tracking for now. I try to build something similar again, just need more time πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What happend in the mean time....

After our trip to Malta in 2017 we also visited Malaysia in autumn. Sadly we never got around writing about our three weeks up and down the peninsula and now its a bit late ;)

Anyway, in the middle of winter 2017/18 I bought a lovely 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser. Hence when summer came a first version of shelves and drawers was installed and off we went!
On the first leg of the trip through Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark Alex was my copilot. From there up to Stockholm I had some relaxing days by myself before going out for camping and fishing with my little brother. Shortly later Melanie arrived by plane and the two of us continued up north. Taking the long way round we finally reached Finland where we started our way south again. After many lakes and woods we stopped at Tampere and Helsinki before taking the ferry over to the Baltic states. We quite liked Talinn but also Riga and Vilnius with their old charming city centres. Next was Poland and a stopover at the last primeval forest in Europe. Of course we visited Warsaw and Krakau but also the rather depressing Auschwitz. Next country was Czechia with Brno and Prague. But also stopping in Pilsen for the beer and beer spa (no joke!). A short stop in the lovely Bavarian Forest and we were almost at home.



So this a quick mashup of the last two years, more up to date post should follow shortly ;)