Back nach het Suomi

Day before

Bike full of stuff, and big box

I was supposed to leave Utrecht by 30th of June, when I had to leave my apartment at noon. Well, I missed deadline, and after various accidents, and bad weather, desided to stay one more night at Utrecht.

I had probelm with going to city with big box of stuff to post, as it started to raing, hard. Fortunately, with help of Albert, I got the box mailed. Thanks for Minna and that she had forgotten retrn sleeping bad from Bunker, I had much nicer feelings in next morning.

First day

After about 50km, I noticed that I have too big load to be able to make 200km to Münster without drving myself dead, so I decided to postpone Münster for one more day, afer all, I alreay missed the party on thursday.

So I then drove along really nice roads, especially some forest roads (metsäautotiet) with paved cycling paths were nice. I also saw a small goat on
barrel

I also saw some very typical dutch landscape, small horses and hairy cows. The routes were not the shortest, so after 128km, when I found nice and quiet place to sleep under the stars, it was still some 20km to the border of Germany.

Second day

8/10/12 person bikes to rent

Next morning I was woke up wet, as I was sweating in my sleeping back and there was lots of fog. I got on road quickly, about 4:30am. After about one hour of driving slowly I ate some breakfast. Then I followed easy route to Winterswijk, as I had managed to miss the bicyckle road, because error in map. In city I saw interesting bicycle rental.

From Winterswijk I tried to go directly to east, but didn't succeed, so as bicycle lanes ended almost immidiately after arriving to Germany, I opted for some strange marked bicyckle route to Südlohn. After arriving there I noticed that it was quite long way... After that I mostly sed some minor roads going to East, none of them marked in my roadmap of Germany (1:650 000).

3rd Day

I got up somewhat early to go to railway station, but it was not possible to get cheap tickets, or any tickets with bike untill 5:30 next morning, annoying. So I will be at Dresden tomorrow after noon, then I try to buy map of Czech, and find some nice roads to Prag and Brno... I will spend rest of the day trying to plan something using Kai's computer, as it seems to get expencive not doing any planning.

Lauri Raittila, lr@iki.fi

4th day

Went to Dresden. Bought maps. Ride some distance, swim in Elbe. Slept in some nice mans garden.

5th day

Continued along Elbe. To the mountaind on Bad Schandau. Raining all day. In Czech slept on gasthaus. I had forgotten that they use different money in Czech, but euros were OK fortunately.

6th day

Continued to south, nice weather. Get almost at to Prague, slept in tent along cyckling road.

7th day

Up to Prague, didn't see much, my bikebacks broke down, had to fix it. Ate on expencive touristic place, but it was still not too expencive.

8th day

Driving in rain.

9th day

Decided to try to Brno on one go, even if it was about 150km away. Did that, and on the last 60km my avarage speed was maybe twice the speed on previous days, as it was all coming down from the mountains. Some bad sound coming my bike, have to check that tomorrow. If t is going to get broken again, I am not going to get it fixed for 200 euros again.

10th day

Had a tour around Brno with Helena and Lukas, saw some nice things. As it was sunday, bikeshops were not open though.

11th day

Went to the city, bought new compass and found out that that they don't know internal hub gears in Czech. After doing some fixing on my bikebackpack, and packing and stuff, I got going towards Krakow. Just after I found start of cyckling route I was told, there was a huge thunderstorm, but fortunately I was able to find cover under a bridge before it hit full force, and stayd dry. But I had to wait over hour it to clear, so I only managed to do some 36km before dark. I was sleeping under a bridge.

12th day

Lots of heat, but I got going quite nicely, or rather, felt so, as i only got about 50km... But I found really nice private place to camp and continue fix my packs.

14th day

Got up late, but still got some distance done, even if I had to wait one more thunderstorm go pass just before crossing border to Poland. This time border was something else than just a sign, I had to show my passport. I found place to exchange money, and learned that rate is 4 z³ for one euro.

On Poland I just took compass direction and travelled along small roads, which was working quite nicely. Slept near some ponds in somewhere that was not marked on my map.

15th day

Wake up early, in intention to reach Alwernia same day, which was quite easy, after I decided not to try to find small roads, as quite soon, after repairing my back wheel again, I run to big lake, that I had to go around.

Arrived Alwernia about 17 and met Ania. She cooked me some really nice fish. Later we went to campfire.

16th day

17th Day

Left towards Krakow at morning, got there in 2 hours. Managed to buy ticket and some food, and even a book in English.

Passed Warsow in train and arriwed to Gdansk. Didn't bother look too far, and slept in expencive hotel.

18th

Found Polferries terminal, bought ticekt, and then spent couble hours in city, before cyckling back to harbour with all luggage, which was quite trip, 4 lane road, no cycling lane or anything, some rain... Got on boat well in time.

In boat, Changed some money to swedish crowns, and noticed that prices were double to Polish.

19th day

Arrival to Nynashamn, then got some advice and learned that bikes can be transported in local trains in sweden, so I was spared of horrible 80km in 3hours cyckiling, and arrived Viking line terminal in time.

20th day

Arrived at Helsinki, walked to busstation and got to Hartola

Will be changing some more...