2nd Part of My 202020 Velomobile Challenge

Åland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland

As most of you know by now, I am one of the participants of the www.202020.eu. After crossing Sweden, I jumped with the ferry to Åland in Finland. I have already cycled almost the whole length of Finland in November 2019, so from Åland I went straight to Tallinn in Estonia. My aim was to cycle all the way to Greece and south Italy from where I would have taken the ferry to Malta. But when I reached Kraków in Poland, the corona restrictions had caught up with me and I had to decide, stay in the area for what ever time is needed or try to get home and wait there.

Wild camping on the island of Åland, Finland.
Rides made between 29 February and 16 March 2020.

This blog entry is a mishmash of different photo styles. Some photos are informative, others are there because I like them. I hope you can appreciate the images.

Åland

Åland is an autonomous part of Finland where they speak Swedish.
I love the word demilitarized!

Åland Maritime Museum

They have a long nautical tradition in Åland. Several large sailing vessels had Åland as their home port. A visit to their Maritime Museum is a must.

Tattoo template.
This bride with nautical clothing is just about to get married in the museum. Her future husband is in the background.
The ceremony with the priest.
The Maritime Museum is adapted for children to have fun.

Nature & some culture on the island of Åland

Åland consists of many islands located between Sweden and Finland’s mainland.
The winter has not released its grip.
St. Michael’s Church from the 1100s.
Most of the buildings in Åland are quite modern although they often have a traditional look and are very similar to buildings in Sweden. However, this is an exception, a very old house.
I wanted to stay in a hostel close to nature in Åland but they were all closed. No problem since I am well equipped with a good tent, sleeping bags and camping equipment.
This picture was taken by one of the owners of Bastö Hotel. Although the hotel was closed they offered me breakfast and a hot shower in their private home, something I very much enjoyed on a rainy and cold morning. I can really recommend the good atmosphere and the lovely nature of this place.

Estonia

Street photography in Tallinn

Tallinn Town Hall, the oldest existing town hall in the Baltic countries and Scandinavia.
Memorial to Victims of Communism.

On the road in Estonia

The roads with asphalt in Estonia and the Baltic countries have often very much traffic.
These very nice children from the village of Karksi-Nuia became very concerned when they heard that I was going to camp.

Latvia

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best when I travelled through Latvia, therefore I do not have a lot of photos from this region. I mostly just zoomed along the roads trying to get south as soon as possible.

Bus stop by the village Liepa.
Cottage by the river Lorupe.
Latvian Orthodox Jaunjelgava Christ Transfiguration Church.
Old house in Jaunjelgava.
I was surprised to find out that the nature was so like the Swedish nature. I shouldn’t, after all it is the same latitude as southern Sweden. I did not drive on this road, it is just a short stop by the main road.
My first campsite in Latvia was by the river Ogre.
It´s nice to be able to dry tent before setting it up again. If the sun is shining it takes about 15 minutes to get it dry.
My second campsite in Latvia was behind a local store in Zalve. The owner of the store offered me warm tea water and I had a wash in the freezing river.
Temperature during the period in the Baltic countries was between -2°C and 5°C.

Lithuania

The border between Latvia and Lithuania.
This old house is just by the border. My fantasy told me that it must have been a hotel, store or military building. Anyway, I love taking photos of old houses.
Wherever I traveled in the Baltic countries, people did not believe that I was pedalling the velomobile.
Wild camping by the river Šventoji close to the town Šventupé.

Warmshowers

The Warmshowers.org is a fantastic community of bicycle tourists and those who support them. In this group we help each other according to our possibilities. We can offer and receive help for everything from a simple shower, tenting on the backyard or offering food. It is also a way for people to get to know each other and for travellers to get to know the local customs and culture. If you are interested in cycling, then I strongly recommend that you became a part of this group.

Site: Warmshowers.org
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Warmshowers.org/

After several days on the road and wild camping, it is extremely nice to be able to rest in a bed in a private room, wash clothes and just relax. Thank you Aldona Urbaitė for letting me stay in your house for two nights on such a short notice!

Repairs

Things break sooner or later, and just outside the town of Alytus, a part of my rear axle construction broke. Fortunately, Žymantė Bernatavičiūtė and Aivaras Matulevicius where there to help me. In just half an hour they organized so that I was able to find a welder and a place where to take apart the rear axle of the velomobile. After two nights in Alytus I was able to continue the voyage.

The welder and the assistant holding the rear axle assembly. This nice people didn’t want me to pay for their help! Thank you Visų transporto priemonių Radiatorių remontas, aliuminio virinimas!

Poland

Noclegi is a word you must learn if cycling in Polonia, it means accommodation. The man on this photo is the owner of this very nice private noclegi that I can recommend.
Spring is coming to south Poland.

Street photography in Kraków

Restaurant is closing down and selling only through a hole in the window.
The consequences of the corona shutdown. No restaurants are open and people have to carry home takeaway food into an unknown future.

Corona is stopping my cycling

The border to the Czech Republic was closed for travellers because of the corona virus. I had to decide to either stay in Poland for as long as needed or travel home until the border opens again. Travelling home by land was not possible since the ferries from Poland to Sweden did not go. I desided to fly home via Amsterdam and Paris. I will continue my trip as soon as possible.

I did get in contact with Zbigniew Razowski through Warmshowers.org. He will take care and look after my velomobile while I am in Sweden. As soon as I arrived to his garage he disinfected the velo. Thank you Zigi for helping me in this difficult situation. Hope to see you soon again!

8 reaktioner till “2nd Part of My 202020 Velomobile Challenge”

    1. Thanks Søren!
      As I mentioned, there was not much time for photographing. A lot of bad weather kept me just pedaling without stopping.

  1. Once again, thank you Alve for an inspiring blog, and I love your photos especially the city one! Best wishes for an early return to Poland to continue your tour. (My planned tour from Scotland to Oslo via Germany by trike is also on hold). What is the situation in Sweden now? John.

    1. Thank you John,
      Situation here in Sweden is very fine considering the circumstances. People are allowed to be outside and no problem to go cycling. Everyone is just staying a couple of metres away from each other. I went camping last night, minus 5 degrees Celsius and a fantastic night by a lake in the forest. Feel sorry for people not being allowed to go cycling in other countries. That kind of restrictions will just make things worse. We need to exercise our bodies and minds.
      Regards and good luck!

  2. Fantastiskt! Hoppas Du får återvända till Polen och fortsätta cykla snart

  3. Alve, it’s a pleasure to read you on this blog and the pictures are very nice. I can imagine being at your place doing this trip. Thanks for sharing this.
    Best regards,
    Stéphane

Kommentarer inaktiverade.