Arrive at Frankfurt, pick up Ural with sidecar,ca 3000km on clock. Brakes disastrous.
Try adjusting brakes, but no real improvement.
Off we go on the Ural...
Day 2 - Saturday 27 June 2009
This morning we have to pick up the BMW's at Krefeld. After ca 30km the Ural drive got hot, oil leaking at the engine, intermittent loss of power. Decided to call it a day and parked the bike at an autobahn parking area. Left the bike unattended, made arrangements for collection. Bike was still there in the evening!
End of the Ural
Proceeded now to Krefeld to pick up the other bikes. (Got the bikes with no deposits, no credit card swiping, were told to pay when we return them, only copied passports !) The team is now complete and comprises a BMW 1200 GS, BMW 800 F, BMW 650 GS a Yamaha SR 500 and a Citroen with trailer.Today we have to ride about 520km to the harbour at Kiel at the Baltic Sea.
In the Ships Lowest Cellar
Hurried up, since we had to check in at the ferry at latest 20h00.Just made it in time. Ferry, commissioned April 2009, left at 23h00 to Klaipeda / Lithuania. Captain permitted visit to engine room.
Day 3 - Sunday 28 June 2009
Arrive 22h00 at Klaipeda. Customs clearances limited to showing passports only. Looking for hotel. GPS inaccurate / useless. Check in at 23h00. Surprise, we still get super meals at midnight.
24h later arriving at Klaipeda/Lithuania.The strange building is the hotel we stayed in.
Day 4 - Monday 29 June 2009
After breakfast we are off via the Neringa to Russia. Superb Landscape, beautiful villages. Stop for coffee at Nida, just before the Russian border. At the border no other travelers but us. All documents in place but it still took four hours (!!) The only matter outstanding is now the Russian vehicle insurances, not obtainable at the border. Fortunately we made arrangements to be met by our Russian lady guide at the border who took us to the next village to obtain the insurance documents (about 8 Euro per vehicle, another two hours !).
Highest dune in Europe near the border Russia/Lithuania
Were told by the officials that we were lucky since there was no road block on the way today. (fines are 500 Euro per vehicle!) "Climbing" the highest "wandering dune" in Europe ( appr.120m) Finally on our way to Swetlogorsk, in german Rauschen. At the seaside, about 120 km, were we had booked our B&B accommodation. Poor road conditions, direction signs are few and obviously only in Russian, and again our guide was invaluable. Arrived 20h00 at destination "Alter Doktor" a renovated, clean place, nothing fancy. Went to the beach promenade to a five star for some delicious meals and drinks. Sun only sets at about 22h45 , boys coming to sleep at 03h00 !
The highest wandering dunes in Europe.
Day 5 - Tuesday 30 June 2009
Met our lady guide at the outskirts of Kaliningrad. Parked the bikes at secured parking and toured town, amongst others visiting the Bernstein museum. Left at 15h00 , heading west to Mamonowo, in german Heiligenbeil where we stayed for the B&B. A typical small Russian hotel,clean and functional , close to the Polish border. Enjoyed our beers and the young ladies looking for an opportunity to come along with us.
Galina , our tour guide in Russia
Orthodox cathedral in Kaliningrad/Russia
Day 6 - Wednesday 1 July 2009
Arrive early at the border and join a long queue. Bikers get waved through and make the border crossing in about two hours. The support vehicle, however, is stuck in the car rows. Eventually it's the car's turn and then the fun starts all over. The bikers had all their luggage in the support vehicle and customs went through each and every bag. Having decided that we have "nothing to declare" , the officials were not to happy to find some spirits in the bags.(you are allowed two packets, not cartons, of cigarettes per person)
Thunder and rain storm in Gdansk/Poland.
Nevertheless, after four and a half hours the support vehicle was also on Polish territory.ow we are on our way to Krag where we had also B&B. Poland displayed superb roads, picturesque villages, beautiful lakes and forests.At Gdansk such heavy thunderstorms that 4x4s got stuck. However, our night's stay at the Podewils Krag Castle, absolutely tops with very moderate prices.
Day 7 - Thursday 2 July 2009
Heading north again to the Baltic Sea and follow the coast westbound to Swinoujscie, in German Swinemuende, where we crossed the border, via ferry, again to Germany. Numerous windmills for electricity all over the hills, sight and site pollution? Heading for a beautiful country estate where we booked for B&B.
Overnight at Gutshaus Neu Wendorf
Day 8 - Friday 3 July 2009
After breakfast taking country roads to visit the birthplace of one of our guys. Visiting the castle at Weimar. Then aiming for our next stay at Hannover, and you guessed it, visiting a brewery.
Last night at the brewery in Hanover
Trip leads us to Krefeld on autobahn where we returned our bikes. The bums by now reflected the shapes of the bike seats, which by an appropriate amount of beers eventually returned again to original form...