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Topic: Russia and Scandinavia - Four weeks on a SV650S (part 2 online)  (Read 41463 times)

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hazra
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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 06:31:33 AM »

Wow... great report, sounds like quite a trip.  Can't wait for part 2!

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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2012, 10:07:07 AM »

Thanks for your write up. I brought this to my teenage son's attention. He was very interested in your experience. He can't wait for your remaining continuation...
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2012, 10:53:51 AM »

Fantastic.  The video was awesome. Hail
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2012, 11:59:52 PM »

Great report (and amazing video).  Can't wait for part 2.  
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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2012, 10:27:54 AM »

That part of Russia you went through looks pretty much like the UP of Michigan.  It is uncanny Lol.

More please, those northern roads and the beautiful harshness of the land is calling to me.
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2012, 09:49:27 AM »

Wow, thanks for all your comments, I wasn't expecting that.  Smile Part two is in the works, but you will have to wait for a few more days.

Meanwhile, here's a kid on a scooter doing a wheelie in St. Petersburg.  Lol

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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2012, 12:53:03 AM »

Very nice!
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« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2012, 09:37:18 AM »

Awesome ride report and video. Man It's been a while since I've ridden or camped out on the motorcycle forums, what a story to come back to. I enjoyed every picture and evey post Thumbsup Looking forward to part 2
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2012, 06:25:10 PM »

Due to popular demand by a single person, here are some more impressions uf Russia.


In St. Petersburg, sports bikes are zooming by at insane speeds, doing wheelies and other stunts. Completely ignored by cagers and the police. They were too fast for my point and shoot. ;-)



Kivach waterfall in Karelia



Hearing about Gazprom on the news is one thing - but seeing a plant is another. Shortly after taking the picture, a truck with armed guys came from the plant. Phew, they didn't see me taking

pictures...



Changing roads at regional borders.



About 90% of the traffic between St. Petersburg and Murmansk is lorries. The gas stations show...



Every other Mile are turout points with these things to drive on - I don't know how to say in english.



They are used to repair your car - which is a common sight along the street.



Unfortunately, the truckers do the maintenance there and just leave the old tyres and oil at the place. :-(



The same with garbage. Shortly after I stopped at this turnout, the police stopped arrived and made a break (probably ate some donuts). Again a few minutes later, an old couple drove next to the

pile and added their stuff. The police didn't care at all.



The arctic circle in Russia.



People rip off a piece of the scarve and add it on the tree. I did, too.



This couple from Moscow was already photographing themselves in different poses in front of the arctic circle sign. They were still on it, when I left. Seemed to be an importan photo stop.



I like their license plate though.



The only english road sign I've seen. I had to check it out.







Road works on these sand roads? Just plow it.




Since the hiking trip was a pretty cool experience on the trip, I thought I'll show you some more pictures.







Meet the russians









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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2012, 06:33:37 PM »

Part 2: Riding South

The Nordkapp is neither the northernmost point of Europe, nor is it on continental europe (it's on a island), some typical tourist trap. But anyway, it's the northernmost point in Europe you can ride to. That's at least something. ;-) But that didn't matter too much, the ride is what counts, and riding in northern Europe is terrific.







Although I'm technically heading home from now on, there were still lots and lots of nice roads in front of me. I made a loop through finnish Lapland. I found a long and lonesome gravel through the nothingness of the Taiga. A stretch of 200 km (125 miles) with only a small village in between.



Getting dirty as it starts to rain. These kind of gravel roads are fun to ride on. They are unlike the gravel roads I've seen around here. Under the gravel is firm clay, which gives you at least some traction. The gravel and the vast hills make it interesting.



Sweden greeted me with sunshine. At a gas station I met a german couple on BMWs. Their travel itienary was pretty cool: Every morning, they would throw dices and let them decide the general direction of today. They started out in Oslo and had a lot of north and east "throws" but still plenty of time to play their game. Will have to try that out one day.



Beautiful Lofoten.



The Lofoten (Archipelago connected with impressive bridge constructions) are just at the right latitude to have the sunset all night long. I initially wanted to pitch my tent on the Lofoten sometime in the evening, but just couldnt stop myself from riding on. The sunset merges into sunrise seamlessly, so I ride through the night until 4AM and enjoy the empty roads and beautiful colours.







I finally settle at this beautiful spot on the beach.



Back on the mainland, I ride along the scattered coast, often the only way of getting further is taking the next ferry. I had to wait four hours for this ferry. No problem at all with a view like this.





Beautiful sunset on said ferry.



The captain mumbled something through the speakers and everybody got out with their cameras. I was no different. Apparently, we were crossing the Arctic circle.





And then the big rain started. Since I've crossed the border to Norway, there was rain every day, but the sun always came back. The dropped temperatures were ok, as long as it didn't rain all day. But it was different now. For days it has been raining 90% of the day. Only a few times I got some sunshine - this was when I mostly took out the camera. Unfortunately, I forgot my cheap point & shoot in a hut a few days earlier (got it back though), and I didn't take a lot of pictures in the rain with my new and shiny DSLR.



All this rain was too much for the spark plug in the front cylinder. A known problem with the SV - the only one I ever had in 62'000km! I ride slowly to the next gas station, where I can replace the spark plug. The clerk seems to have pity with the drowned rat and supplies me with free coffee. It takes a while until I figure out how to replace the spark - hey I'm a noob at working with my bike.



I'm riding late into the night, there's of course still enough light. I love the calmness. The rain stops for a few hours and I enjoy the sights.



This is what the motorcycle school looks like in Norway.



I don't really want anybody to influence throttle and brakes from the backseat.



Roadside attractions



Extremely expensive, but tasty burger from the gas station.



The atlantic road south of Trondheim



The next highlight: The Trollstigen (Trolls ladder). Not a lot of pictures - but I captured a lot of clips for the video. Had the road almost to myself. Ok it was about 10PM and raining, but it was fun.



Completely wet and cold I look for bed a and a shower. Temperatures of 6°C (42°F) and rain all day long for several days is extremely wearisome. No chance, I'm too late. Every hotel is booked, stupid me, it's main season in Norway! I catch the last ferry to Geiranger where I meet a fellow swiss, having the same problem. Our last chance is the small village of Eisdal on the other side of the Fjord. We're in luck, there's one small room with two beds available. He still has some bread and sausages left and I provide us with beer. Many hours and good travel stories later, we go to bed.



The next day, we ride over the famous Geiranger.



Being one of the prime tourist spots, it's extremely crowded, and we ride with a top speed of 30km/h (19 mph) over the foggy pass. Meh.





We separate later, as he rides towars Oslo, I want to take the western route.

Too bad about this cool road (see old road on the right)



Cooking at the bus stop.



My last night in Norway is in a fancy ski resort hotel. Looks expensive, but the price was ok. Too bad I awake to this.



As I check out, I hear about the attacks in Oslo and Utøya island. All the flags are on half-mast.



The rain is intense. If it weren't for the attacks, you would have probably heard about these floodings in southern Norway. I have to take some detours because of flooded roads.





I still have a lot of distance to cover, missing the ferry would be pretty bad. On the main road towards Oslo, all the traffic is stopped by the police.



Just in time, I arrive at the docks. The sun finally shows as the ferry leaves. I meet two danish riders who invite me to a beer in their clubhouse, and to pitch my tent. Joe (the swiss guy on the cruiser) joins in, he took the same ferry as I did. I love these evenings with good beer and interesting company.

Look how Joe still can't take his hands down from all the apehanger riding. ;-)





Denmark... Flat as a pancake. There is a lot of water, I like that.



Unknown to most, they have some wicked twisties, too! Look at the sign warning you!



Hmm ok, not that twisty, I admit.



The next evening, I arrive in the Netherlands, where I meet my aunt and her husband. We go for a ride with their oldschool BMW bikes. I remember, when I was a kid and always rode on the back of their bikes (or in the garage). Now I could finally ride their bikes!



Afsluitdijk, holding back the ocean from overflowing the Netherlands.





Some smaller roads through the countryside lead me to Germany...



...where I ride on the Autobahn to the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife.





The custom officials at the swiss border think I'm suspicious with all that luggague and want to know where I come from. They don't believe my story, but let me in anyways after a short check. I should clean my license plate as soon as I get home... Suuure, officer.


Arriving at home. Exhausted, happy, filled with new experiences and the will to do something like this again soon.



9501 km (5903 miles), 31 days, about 500 liters of fuel, 1 liter oil, 400 ml chain spray, 1 spark plug.

Thanks for your attention.
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2012, 07:45:31 PM »


That part of Russia you went through looks pretty much like the UP of Michigan.


There was at least one that looked just like Maine  Lol


Great trip - can't wait to see more of the Scandinavian countries  Thumbsup
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2012, 10:53:16 AM »

Wow! Absolutely beautiful scenery!  Thanks for the share.   Clap
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2012, 03:49:47 PM »

The scenery was amazing and thank you for putting together this trip report...well done sir  Bigok
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2012, 04:23:09 PM »

Inspired!  Clap

Good stuff  Smile Thumbsup

Thanks for posting all the pictures  Bigok
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« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2012, 05:12:04 PM »

One of the most interesting Ride Reports I've read.  Thanks for taking the time to post it.  
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« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2012, 07:42:07 PM »

Very good ride report.  Amazing scenery.  I'm terribly jealous.  
What were you using to take those videos?  Some interesting angles, great shots.
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« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2012, 08:18:03 PM »

Oh, never mind.  I see at the end of the vid that you used the Hero and the Nikon  Lol
I have to get my Hero working properly.  Fun to watch.  
I have two problems on trips like that.  a) I never take the time to get good pics and video and b) I never get to take trips like that Lol
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« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2012, 12:34:35 PM »

Very well done good sir.  Clap  Two items from the report that are universal in any langauge. "Meh" and the can of Red Bull with the burger in Norway.
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« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2012, 12:58:38 PM »

Again, my son and I thank you for the terrific write up. Great adventure!
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« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2012, 01:57:36 PM »

Thanks for the report!  Thumbsup
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