North-Eastern Europe – summer 2019 – 3614 km

Countries visited: Austria - Czech Republic - Germany - Poland - Lithuania

The second trip of this season takes me to the countries that I had originally planned to visit last year but had to change plans at the last minute due to weather conditions. Apart from a few brief rain showers, this time it was mostly nice and not too hot. No new countries were added, but I explored areas I hadn't been to before.

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Trip overview map

Day 1, Fribourg/CH - Feldkirch/A and continuation by train to Vienna

In pleasant weather conditions and with light traffic, I set off in the afternoon and arrive in Feldkirch shortly before 7 p.m. Loading onto the car train is smooth; however, the train station is undergoing complete renovation, and the restaurant and shops are closed. There's still time for a snack just outside, and at 10:30 p.m., the train departs for Vienna.
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1st day

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Shortly before boarding the train in Feldkirch/A

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Ready for the departure to Vienna

Day 2, Vienna/A

The train arrives in Vienna on time at 7 a.m. Originally, I had planned to continue directly to the Czech Republic. Although I slept quite well on the train, I decide to take a rest day in Vienna. The weather is excellent, and I ride to Orth an der Donau for breakfast. In the afternoon, I take the subway to the city center and enjoy exploring the city.
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2nd day

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Arrival in Vienna

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Castle in Orth an der Donau/A

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Danube river in Orth/A

Day 3, Vienna/A - Czestochowa/PL

Today's route is not very long, about 450 km, and thanks to the excellent roads, it's not tiring. From Vienna, I take the A5 towards Brno and then continue on Czech highways northeastward. Shortly after Vyskov, I spot an airfield with old military planes not far from the road. I take the next exit and drive a few kilometers back until I reach the aviation museum. Numerous mainly Russian planes, helicopters, cannons, and other equipment are on display. After I continue my journey, the sky turns completely black and there are a few brief rain showers, but I only need to put on the rain jacket for a short time.

After Ostrava, I enter Poland, where the roads are also very good and the traffic is moderate. In the early afternoon, I arrive in Czestochowa and explore the city. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Catholic Church, and there are many pilgrims in traditional costumes.
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Day 3

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Aviation museum in Vyskov/CZ

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Aviation museum in Vyskov/CZ

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Aviation museum in Vyskov/CZ

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Aviation museum in Vyskov/CZ

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Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa/PL

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Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa/PL

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Day 4, Czestochowa/PL - Bialystok/PL

The first part of today's route is also a well-developed highway. I bypass Warsaw, and except for a few minor traffic jams, this also goes smoothly. Later, the highway turns into a regular country road. Due to the high number of trucks on the road, I'm only progressing slowly.

In the late afternoon, I arrive in Bialystok, the capital of Podlachia. There are almost no foreign tourists to be seen, but the city is very pleasant and serves as a good stopover on the journey to the Baltic States.
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4th day

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Petrol station in Poland

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Bialystok cathedral/PL

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Day 5, Bialystok/PL - Ziezmariai/LT

With 15 degrees, the weather is still quite cool in the morning. Today, I take smaller roads first to Augustow, the last larger city in Poland on the way to Lithuania. From there, I continue on secondary roads to Alytus, which has the advantage of not being used by trucks. While there were border controls everywhere during my first trip to the Baltics in 2006, thanks to Schengen, you hardly notice a border today.

I continue to the small village of Ziezmariai, where I visit friends I've known from my two previous trips to Lithuania. In the afternoon, we drive together to Elektrenai and take a walk by the lake.
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5th day

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On my way in Poland

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Windmill in Poland

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Wooden chapel in Giby/PL

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Arrived in Lithuania

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Cool temperatures in Lithuania

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Arrived in Ziezmariai/LT

Day 6, Ziezmariai/LT – Vilnius/LT - Alytus/LT

Today, we take my friend's car for a trip to Vilnius. We stroll through the beautiful old town and visit the Museum of the Victims of Genocide. It is located in the building that was first used by the Gestapo and later by the Soviet KGB for interrogations and torture of political opponents.

After returning to Ziezmariai, I say goodbye to my friends and drive to Alytus, where I spend my last night in Lithuania. There is currently a blues festival in town, and the streets are filled with people.
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6th day

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Old town of Vilnius/LT

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Old town of Vilnius/LT

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At the KGB museum in Vilnius/LT

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My hotel in Alytus/LT

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Day 7, Alytus/LT - Gdansk/PL

Today's route is undoubtedly the most interesting and charming of this journey. The asphalt is partly in poor condition, but it's fun to ride on the almost empty roads. When I visit the small village church in Sventezeris/LT, the priest calls me into the rectory and proudly shows me his small collection of old motorcycles, which he restores and rides himself.

I continue through small villages back towards Poland and stop at the border triangle of Poland-Lithuania-Russia. The border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad is well-guarded with barbed wire and video cameras, and there is no crossing here. This part of Poland is sparsely populated, and the infrastructure is not very well developed. Traffic gets denser again after Elblag, and I take the highway to Gdansk. It's Sunday evening, and when I arrive in Gdansk, the streets are very busy.

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7th day

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Lithuanian countryside

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Post office in Sventezeris/LT

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Wooden houses in Sventezeris/LT

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Wooden houses in Sventezeris/LT

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Wooden houses in Sventezeris/LT

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Church in Sventezeris/LT

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Church in Sventezeris/LT

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Restored motorbike at the rectory in Sventezeris/LT

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On the way to the Polish border

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At the border between Lithuania and Poland

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Border between Lithuania, Poland and Russia

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Small road in Poland

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City hall in Banie Mazurskie/PL

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Train station in Korsze/PL

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Train station in Korsze/PL

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Wooden chapel in Godkowo/PL

Day 8, Gdansk/PL

This is the first day of my journey without the motorbike. I am mingling with numerous tourists and exploring this beautiful city. It is my first time visiting Gdansk, but it probably won't be the last.
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In the old town of Gdansk/PL

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In the old town of Gdansk/PL

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In the old town of Gdansk/PL

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In the old town of Gdansk/PL

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In the old town of Gdansk/PL

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In front of the railway station in Gdansk/PL

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In the old town of Gdansk/PL

Day 9, Gdansk/PL – Berlin/D

For the continuation of the journey towards Berlin, I choose the northern route via Slupsk and Szczecin. Since I leave early in the morning, the traffic in Gdansk is still very moderate, and the first part of the route is a beautiful highway. Soon, it turns into a smaller country road, and due to the many trucks, the driving becomes quite challenging.

Shortly after Szczecin, there is again a highway, and I arrive in Berlin in the afternoon, just before rush hour. Thanks to the GPS, I find my hotel in Charlottenburg without any problem, and later, I take the metro to the center of the German capital.
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9th day

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Fuel stop in Poland

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Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

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Reichstag (Parliament building) in Berlin

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Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Day 10, Berlin/D

Today is again a day without the motorbike. I buy a day ticket for public transportation and take the S-Bahn first to Spandau and then to Potsdam. Throughout the day, it rains several times, but since I'm not on the bike, it doesn't bother me.
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Alexanderplatz in Berlin

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Captif balloon in Berlin. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to fly due to strong wind

Day 11, Berlin/D – Nuremberg/D

I wake up early, and at seven o'clock, I hit the road heading south. Shortly after Leipzig, I join the highway and stop for breakfast in Weissenfels, Saxony-Anhalt. I chose this place randomly, but it turned out to be a good choice, and I really like this small town. From there, I only continue on secondary roads, putting my full trust in my GPS. The other stops include Zeitz, Gera, Helmbrechts, and Kulmbach before my arrival in Nuremberg in the late afternoon. Due to the many stops, the journey takes nearly nine hours, but it was worth it.

I travel through regions I didn't know before, like Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Bavaria and I can explore Nuremberg in bright sunshine. There are many tourists in the old town as it is the peak tourist season.

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11th day

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Weissenfels, Saxony-Anhalt/D

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Weissenfels, Saxony-Anhalt/D

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Weissenfels, Saxony-Anhalt/D

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Weissenfels, Saxony-Anhalt/D

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Zeitz, Saxony-Anhalt/D

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Church in Gera, Thuringia/D

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On the road in Bavaria/D

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Old town of Nuremberg/D

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Old town of Nuremberg/D

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Cathedral in Nuremberg/D

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Old town of Nuremberg/D

Day 12, Nuremberg/D - Fribourg/CH

Today, I set off even earlier. It's Friday, and in some areas, the summer holidays are coming to an end, so I expect heavy return traffic. Unlike yesterday, however, today I stick to highways, first heading west to Walldorf and then on the A5 to Basel. Traffic flows smoothly; there's not even the usual queue at the customs in Basel. I arrive home in the early afternoon.
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12th day

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Short stop on a highway parking

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Back home, after 3613.7 km