Another year passed and I haven’t published yet any record about my last year discovery trip to beauty of northern Europe. I prefer to write the posts after some time, but I feel this was too long. Anyway, I haven’t forgotten anything important, and I still have in a good memory this trip.
Let me begin with the reason I decided to go north last year. It was pretty much those two things, first I wanted to experience it and see if I can feel there the same way as I felt at Yukon. The other was a beautiful picture of village A on Lofoten islands I saw for a few days at Microsoft Spotlight.
I found a few friends and we planned that I would travel solo for approximately two weeks, and they will join me on the trip then and we travel back together.
Before I left, I got a road map of the whole of Europe since my road trips aren’t that much planned. I usually just have some destination where I’m somehow heading to. Usually, I check the map to see what’s available in the direction I want to go and interesting places on the way there.
That lead me to that my first way wasn’t heading directly to the north since I choose as a first destination Polish city Poznan. I heard about it in a past in a Polish movie about Slavic tribes and their gods. Unfortunately, there was some reconstruction work in progress and there were fences and barriers everywhere. The next place I decided to see was Gdansk from where I drove by various places to borders. By this road I found a Wolf’s Lair which was somehow known to me from history classes at the primary school but I had no idea it’s in Poland and since all the signs were in Polish and German I haven’t had any idea what to expect when heading there 😊.
Then I used forest and dirt roads to get to lake Mamry and to border tripoint Wisztyniec where Poland-Lithuania-Russia borders are meeting. I crossed to Lithuania at nearby crossing. Here I wanted to go around the Baltic’s see coast, so I headed to Klaipeda knowing I wouldn’t see much of the country. But I’ve already been to the country once, and it would deserve more time to see Baltic countries and I will keep this for next time. The coast par is quite small in Lithuania short, and I was soon in Latvia. Since the Poland I’ve been seeing many bunkers and it wasn’t different here at the coast. The Soviets built impressive structures here to defend the coast from the west as well as stop anyone from crossing into the western countries.
They also built massive radio telescope near Irbene used to spy on the western rivals. Today is in the hands of science and it’s helping with space research. I have also visited the capital – Riga and headed to Estonia. In Estonia I was heading to Tallinn for ferry to Helsinki, but I stopped at former stronghold at Verbola and spent a night at peaceful campsite there. When I arrived at Tallinn, I went straight to the port to know when I can hop on the ferry and because it was in about an hour, I didn’t have a time to see the city.
At least I had some nice time in Helsinki and from here I decided to drive towards Russian border and then around it to see more of Finland inland with their breathtaking lakes. I also tried to follow less traveled roads and often ended up on some nice dirt roads until I reached Salla. From here I choose as the northernmost point of this trip and a place I reached so far, a small fishing city in Norway called Vardo. It sists on an island which is connected to the mainland by an undersea tunnel. I had one very strong moment here when I visited their memoir of people killed during witchcraft trials. That place is well made, and it is worth travelling there.
Here I realized that I needed to go south as I had to meet with friends in Oslo and it’s quite far from here. I choose to use road through Sweden around Gulf of Bothnia up to Uppsala from where I took direction to the west. When I picked up friends at the airport and went to the city heavy rain started and it was on and off for the whole day, but we saw at least small parts of the city. Our next direction was towards Bergen, we stopped at many nice places and reached Bergen very late and had just a night walk through the town, but it was nice in the evening as well.
In the morning we chose to travel north towards Trondheim and then even further to north to Bordo. From Bordo we boarded a ferry to Moskenes on Lofoten islands. We weren’t lucky enough to have nice weather there and the pictures showed somehow nicer places, but it was worth going there. From there we drove on a land to Sweden, through Abisko national park and then through central Sweeden to Ostersund, Jokoping to Alhmut. There is a museum of Ikea at their very first store. We also visited the new location and had lunch there. After this it was more heading home so short visit in Malmo and over Oresund bridge to Copenhagen. We also checked the city center and places like the statue of the Little Mermaid and similar. Then just faster travel around Hamburg, Berlin, through Poland back home.
At total I drove over 13 700 kilometers and stayed on the road for 31 days. We haven’t paid for accommodation. When I was alone, I slept in the car and with friends we usually wild camped somewhere. In Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Sweden it’s not a problem and allowed if you stay away from private properties. I didn’t have any issues at Lithuania or Latvia neither. Denmark has special application where you can find places to camp, and we didn’t spend a night in Germany. In Poland there is now allowed to have a short stay at all national forests.
I know I could write much more but I don’t think anyone would like to read it. I was also surprised how well is the north covered with mobile signal as I also worked remotely and didn’t had nay problem with that.
I would eventually add video of this trip, photos are available in the gallery.