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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #31  
Old 6 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by riti View Post
Hi All,
not seen anyone planning this trip in 2009 yet, but I'm gonna be in the Baltics late summer this year.

From all the advice in this post (and others around HU) this area sounds fantastic and I can't wait to get started. The only downside is having to wait due to holiday restrictions from work

My question here is about the amount of time I have for this trip. I'm planning to go:

UK > Netherlands > Germany > Poland > Kaliningrad > Lithuania > Latvia > Estonia > Sweden > Denmark > UK

The interesting part is to do this in 16 days. I realise that I'm not going to get the chance to see as much of these places as I feel they deserve (reinforced by this thread), but due to work this is all I have.
People that have travelled / live in this area - do you think this route is realistic given the time frame? I'll not be camping, as I'll be riding 2-up and we won't have the luggage capacity.

We're doing this in the last week of August and first week of September. Not the hottest time of year, but the guides tell me the weather should be good.

If anyone that can help is going to the ace cafe meet on 8th February I'll see you there and maybe we can chat. I've got the Black KTM 950 Adv.

Also, is vegetarianism popular through these countries. I guess you can get pizza everywhere, but a little meat/fish free local delicacy would be good


Thanks in advance.
Rich

Rich, we will be just behind you. Planning to go Bank Holiday August weekend for 3 weeks. Maybe from Tallin try to get into russia to St Petersburgh then ferry to Helsinski and Sweden, Denmark etc... if we can sort russians visa.

WE will be at the Ace on Sunday too. eAsy to spot: husband will be with his Dakar: top box covered on South America flags stickers + alu panniers, selling our BMW spares parts. Next to it a blue brand new Versys.
Hope to have time to speak about this little trip!

see you there!
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  #32  
Old 6 Feb 2009
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[so long as the roads here are navigable - ironically] it will be fab to meet up on Sunday. Maybe we should set up a banner for those wanting to talk about the Baltics

see you then [hopefully]
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  #33  
Old 8 Feb 2009
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Hi Airhead,

Thanks for the info but we did the trip in 2007 - in fact, looking at your link we probably passed each other on the road!

We had a great time and I'd recommend it to anyone.
Watch the food in Riga though ...... Mr Mermaid spent a couple of days in hospital with food poisoning!
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  #34  
Old 8 Feb 2009
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Tony P,
does the attached pic look like the route from Riga to Tartu we discussed today at the Ace Cafe?
Rich
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  #35  
Old 8 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by riti View Post
Tony P,
does the attached pic look like the route from Riga to Tartu we discussed today at the Ace Cafe?
Rich
No piccy that I can find!
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  #36  
Old 8 Feb 2009
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Sorry,
was trying to upload a pic. Found I've exceeded my allocated limit for attachments, then system crashed and couldn't edit post.
I'll sort the mess out and then post a pic.

Thanks for our chat today Tony. A lot of useful advice, and very motivating.
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  #37  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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I passed through baltics last summer .....

I loved every village that i passed through, every gas station i filled up and every beach that i slept...so hard to make a suggestion... so i think the countries itself is the suggestion...
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  #38  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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Thanks USL,
everyone I have spoken to has nothing but good things to say for the baltic states, so the excitement is definately growing.

Although the Baltics isn't as 'arduous' or 'adventurous' as battling through the 'stans, or a full on RTW, this is going to be our first stint at this type of travel, and all of the help and advice we've been getting has been truly fantastic. As we are going through everything (visa's etc) for the first time I'm going to start a diary style blog giving pics and details of the planning and riding stages as we do them. Hopefully this will be useful for others that are doing trips for the first time to realise that you don't have to be the next Austin, Charlie, Ted or Lois to do this kind of thing.

Suffice to say, where I can, I'll be giving huge thanks to all that have helped / will help along the way.

As soon as I've got it sorted I'll have a link as a signature.
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  #39  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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Tony P,
does the attached pic look like the route from Riga to Tartu we discussed today at the Ace Cafe?
Rich
I'll try again...

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  #40  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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I've started recording screen shots from google earth of routes and photos of the planning stages of this trip.

If you want to take a look they are at:
http://cid-a31aa01e51a54586.skydrive...s%24&ct=photos
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  #41  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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Thats the route!
Out of Riga it is a busy and fairly uninteresting dual carriageway. The turning left onto A3, where it says Take exit towards Valmiera, had me (and my Say Nav!) defeated, but eventually I got it right and from there on it was wonderful scenic and riding road.
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  #42  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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Being Estonian I think main transit routes are very-very boring. If only spending a few days I'd suggest going via Pärnu at west coast and then jumping to island Saaremaa for few days for something different and then continue towards Tallinn.
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  #43  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
Being Estonian I think main transit routes are very-very boring. If only spending a few days I'd suggest going via Pärnu at west coast and then jumping to island Saaremaa for few days for something different and then continue towards Tallinn.
Thanks Rebaseonu,
on a topic close to my heart - food.
Can you recommend any Estonia specialities OK for vegetarians? [no meat or fish, but dairy is OK]. Or veggie resturants?

Thanks,
Rich
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  #44  
Old 12 Feb 2009
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Kama

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Originally Posted by riti View Post
Can you recommend any Estonia specialities OK for vegetarians? [no meat or fish, but dairy is OK]. Or veggie resturants?
Not sure there are any special veggie restaurants around here. For food, daily we use general food that is common elsewhere in Europe as well and that is not very specific to Estonia. Usually meat is used in many dishes. There are some national dishes but these are usually made seldom, on special occasions. These tend to be quite simple and earthy as poor farmers did in the past and most include meat or other parts of animals. Different good breads and joghurts are available.

One special local Estonian thing that I like and you can try is called kama. It is coarse milled grain mix, slightly roasted. You mix it with a cup of buttermilk/kefir, I use 4 huge teaspoonfuls of kama and 1 teaspoonful of sugar, then mix it with kerif to make healthy drink. Many locals don't like it, though. To get to drink it you usually need to mix it yourself (get kama and kefir from supermarket) as it is not available in typical eating places (except in some special national restaurants and there it may be mixed differently).
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  #45  
Old 27 Feb 2009
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Most bikers who visit Estonia take the most obvious and boring route, straight from Ikla border crossing, throught Pärnu and onwards to Tallinn.
Dont do that.
Instead cross the border at Ape (Latvia between Sigulda and Ape is very nice as well) and youll end up in one of the prettiest parts of Estonia. Beautiful hilly countryside wit many smaller places worth exploring. Point your bike roughly in the direction of Võru, from there on to Otepää and then work your way up to Tallinn. Visiting Saaremaa is also recommended.
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