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XCovlov70
05-06-2013, 10:13 AM
Stage 15A “A Day in and around Snåsa”

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

After a bit of food shopping that required a return trip to the ‘Tin Tent’ for some rather expensive Fish Fingers to find their way into the freezer compartment, we ventured back in to the Tourist Office in Snåsa and met ‘Ann’ a really nice lady who spoke excellent English and gave us a few tips about places to have a look at while we are here, one of which is a Sami Museum which although quite small has quite a bit of information about the Southern Sami…

Having then found the place after making one error and going down the wrong track we came to the entrance…

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Inside, even though a number of exhibits have been packed away as the museum will be moving to a bigger series of buildings, there was still plenty of information along with the outdoor buildings from bygone days…

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While in one corner we see BIG Daddy Bear and ‘Little Pink Riding Hood’…

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As we then move outside we see firstly the place where the firewood is stored and kept dry...

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While just in front of the wood pile is the family home, made from tree branches that hopefully you saw in the second picture of today, then covered in grass and earth just like the roofs of houses we see that are still in use today.…

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While inside each member of the family has a specific position around the fire to sit…

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What was left of the fire, but the smoky smell was extremely strong even with a rather large hole at the top and the small hole in the wall for the air to come in as the door would be shut to keep the heat in…

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The family food larder, raised up to stop the food inside from decaying and animals getting at it…

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While around the buildings it must have been the first day of Spring as the temperature got to 18C with glorious sunshine and some really nice little flowers opening up…

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Back to the ‘Tin Tent’ for a spot of lunch then off up the hill to see if we could get to a place that gave us a very nice view of the surrounding area, as we passed this small waterfall coming out from rapidly melting snow….

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Setting off on the path that was supposed to lead to the view we soon realised that we were not properly equipped with just normal walking boots on and turned around…

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So back to ‘Flamenco Red’ and a drive over to another small town called Grong…
Tourist Information was closed so as it was a nice day we just got 2 ice creams and strolled around the town…

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They seem to like Bears around here!

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Inside a small shopping centre was a display about Sami and other residents past lifestyles, unfortunately the text on the pictures was not in English but you could understand certain words which made the pictures more interesting…

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Reindeer herding as now practised by the Sami as they use Ski-Doo’s for this purpose now…

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Couple of other views around Grong…

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By this time it was back to ‘Flamenco Red’ and a 3 mile trip ‘Off Roading’ back to the campsite to find out how tonight’s Beef Curry was shaping up in the slow cooker…

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It smells good so we should be OK and tomorrow sees us back on the road and North Bound again!

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-07-2013, 07:05 AM
Stage 16 Snåsa - Svenningdal (106 Miles)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Last night all those Geese on the lake in front of the Hotel decided to leave. When we set off this morning there were 5 left, do they know something we don’t in terms of the weather?

On the road again but not sure about the next destination as requests yet again to a supposedly ‘open’ campsite have remained unanswered.

I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens when we get there…

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As we trundle along as this is the Main North – South Trunk Road in Norway which is surprising as it is not in good condition, we spot this ‘Overnight’ halt where you can rent a cabin directly under the railway bridge!

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Majestic waterfall dropping down into the river and making a lot of noise in the process…

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Followed by mini ‘Icebergs’ floating along in the river…

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Then a short while later we think for a minute we are back in Morocco thanks to the state of the road!
We just came to around 3km of ‘roadworks’ but the complete road has been ripped up!

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The reason becomes a bit clearer as we see up front bridge with 40+Tonne Trucks trundling across…

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As we make our way around to it…

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We see that the bridge is single track with just enough room for one vehicle to go over…

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While alongside they are building a new wider bridge, that hopefully will have a lane going each way!

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Meanwhile just a bit further up the road is some of the MUD that had been removed from the new road to meet up with the new bridge….

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Further along and back on the E6 we see another part of the river where the ice covering is starting to break up….

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While a bit further along it’s well broken up….

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Even the road in places is also cracking apart….

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Interesting building then appears it’s the ‘Booze Shop’ and it’s miles from anywhere!

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Still away from any communities but plenty of nice houses as we roll along…

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Then we reach the line between Nord Norge & Nord Trøndelag

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With a quick picture of the way we have just come….

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A short distance further on we hear this ‘ROAR’ of water and manage to stop in a small parking area, get out and are met by this sight……

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A few miles later we are at our destination and while there are a few vehicles there, no one is around, we wait a few minutes and a man arrives in a tractor!
“Are you open?” we ask, ‘Yes’ comes the reply, so we find a spot and get set up…

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This is the section next to the river that is quite water logged…

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Whereas on the upper level you have a nice view and not as soggy underfoot…

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God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-09-2013, 04:18 AM
Stage 17 Svenningdal – Mo I Rana (87 Miles)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Up and off again but the ‘Road Workers’ were away by 07:30 this morning even though we see no actual road repairs on our journey…

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You can nearly see the snow receding as we travel along…

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First tunnel of the day and for some reason this one felt quite scary going through…

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Coming out the other side and a little bit further we come to…..

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Railway station in a nice shade of ‘Barbie Pink’!

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Carrying on past the port…

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Logs waiting for shipment…

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Now on the northern outskirts of the town….

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Then we get a ‘Double Tunnel’ which throws TomTom into a bit of a wobble…

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Short time to recover and we are back on track….

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Between the missing upper layers of tarmacadam and the undulations which are rocking up and down both ‘Flamenco Red’ & the ‘Tin Tent’ you could very nearly drop off to sleep coming along here.
I thought the roads in Morocco were bad but these take the biscuit!

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We then enter the outskirts of Mo I Rana……

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However as we cannot find a place to park the 10+ Meters to have a look around the town, we carry on…

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Not sure what is inside the structure over the road, but it wasn’t a pedestrian footway…

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But on the other side was this rather nice small waterfall…

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With again some rather nice ice flows in the river…

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A few miles up the road we stop to go and get a couple of food items from a supermarket and spot this alongside…

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Closely followed by the explanation…

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This was the parking area for the supermarket…

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Off we go again…

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We later found out having gone under this railway bridge that the railway up here was constructed by 100,000 Russian Prisoners of War and in certain places there are small memorials to the men who died while working on the railway…

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‘Comfort break’ halt, but what a view…

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We then roll up to a parking area for a spot of Lunch which is not far from the Arctic Circle line….

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Sadly having just finished, we then look over the snow and see the remains of a Reindeer that has been eaten we think by wolves…

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I then get to try out ‘Flamenco Red’s new ‘Boots’ as they are M+S
(No Mabel not Marks & Spencers, they are Mud + Snow tyres!)
No problems there.

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OK here we are….

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If you stand behind this next ‘marker’ and look towards the mountain on the other side of the E6 you can see two other ‘markers’ while the Arctic Circle line runs across them…

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And continues via this ‘marker’ at the rear of the building…

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Come on let’s go and have a look inside….

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At the back of the building we can still see how high the snow got this year as it hasn’t melted yet, although this year was OK as last year it covered the whole building!

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Meet our ‘Friendly Polar Bear’ at 3.6 Meters tall he is still the highest in Europe…

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Watch out for the talons as the eyes see if you are OK for lunch!

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Still waiting to see the real thing on the road, but I guess they will not be white by now…

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While I think this is the only one of these we will see this time…

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Little bit of history…

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Just to give you an idea of the height of the snow around the back…

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As we didn’t get to spend any time in Mo I Rana, then yes we are planning to spend the night here, well you might not come back again!
Then we have a diversion planned that will take us up to Salstraumen where a natural phenomenon takes place twice a day, but you will have to wait until we get there to see what it is….

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-09-2013, 07:21 AM
Stage 18 Arctic Circle Crossing - Salstraumen (87 Miles)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Well it was a really quite night on the Arctic Circle last night until the wind started in the small hours of the morning, as it managed to blow out the gas light on the fridge, but when I checked the freezer having found out, all inside was still frozen solid, which is a good job as meat here in Norway isn’t cheap…

Just after 08:00 we were on the road again, and surprisingly there was not a lot of traffic about…

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Looks like someone beat me to it up here…

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Not long till we get to the right hand turn that will take us back over the E6 onto the 812 which is shown as a ‘white road’ on the map so not sure if it’s narrow or in worse condition than the E6…

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Surprisingly once we are on it, the condition is better than the E6 but within half a mile we are into an 8% climb with ‘Flamenco Red’ growling nicely…

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The 8% then becomes 10% and lasts for around 3 miles……

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While the scenery is rather nice….

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However it does get a bit ‘hairy’ when you see a LARGE Tanker Truck & Trailer looming towards you and the driver does not slow down, then having passed successfully you breath a sigh of relief….

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Seems like some Scottish Highland Cattle have escaped….

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Long drop waterfall….

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The Baker who also has a side-line in antiques…

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Not much further on having come over the 8 & 10% climbs and dropped down again, but we will have to repeat the same route in a couple of days going the other way as we return and make our way finally back into Sweden…

While up ahead is the Salstraumen bridge

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Turning onto the bridge…

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It’s up and over time…

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Then down the other side….

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Just after we turn left and in 200 yards we are at….

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With excellent facilities and a discount of 60% on the normal price of 240NOK/Night we opt to stay for a couple of nights….

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Get set up and go for a short walk as tomorrow we will go and see the Maelstrom in action, meanwhile it looks like a Dragon is asleep just behind the bridge, so keep the noise down!

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God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-10-2013, 05:19 AM
Stage 17A “A Day in Salstraumen”

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

While this was the view at 22:00hrs last night over the cabins on the campsite…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-1.jpg

The Tide time today is 12:14, when over 400 Million Cubic Meters of water comes surging into a 3km 150meter wide strait between Saltenfjorden & Skjerstadfjorden so we made our way which is just a short walk from the campsite to the Salstraumen Bridge for the daily spectacle.…

While one of us is up on the bridge near the centre, the other is down near the surging water and we have 2 cameras on the go…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-2.jpg

As the surge starts the water starts to swirl around…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-3.jpg

Creating little ‘holes’ in the water that you really don’t want to get to close to…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-4.jpg

But these ducks were having a great time getting sucked down and popping back up again!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-5.jpg

As the tide increased the sizes of the swirls seemed to get bigger…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-6.jpg

Then this small fishing boat went onto a rather large start of a swirl ‘Ooops’!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-7.jpg

Then made a very sharp exit, but he did have his engine running!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-8.jpg

While the waters carried on churning like a witch’s cauldron…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-10.jpg

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If you come to see this daily free event then up on the bridge gives an excellent view but it was very cold with the wind and the camera battery just lasted long enough, while down below there is a small channel light you can get in front of to keep warm!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-14.jpg

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However after all that ‘excitement’ it was nice to find that the locals had provided an outside WC!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S18A-16.jpg

For tomorrow having made some enquiries we are not going back over the 8 & 10% climbs. We will be going on a more gentle route around part of the coast before we re-join the E6, but thankfully not for many miles before we then 'Hang a Left' on the road to Sweden and our visit to another Arctic Circle crossing point!

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-12-2013, 08:33 AM
Stage 19 Salstraumen – S/E of Silvervagen, Sweden (113 Miles)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Well we managed to say goodbye to Salstraumen after a rather noisy night between units arriving after 11:30 and what seemed like an all-night fight between several seagulls who kept landing on the roof of the ‘Tin Tent’…

Quick breakfast and by 08:15 we were off on the road to Fauske which was a lot flatter than going back over the 8 & 10% hill climbs to get to the E6, and to be honest with the change in the weather I did not fancy hill climbing only to find that the road had been closed due to more snow…

Under the rather strange ‘wooden’ railway bridge…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-1.jpg

While it is not long before we enter Fauske and the rock adorned traffic islands…

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The join the E6 and start a couple of small climbs where we can look forward and back along the Fjord, on a damp and dismal morning…

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Further along just before Saltdal we see this long drop waterfall….

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Then we come to the National Park Tourist Centre where we stop for a final cup of coffee in Norway…

New exhibition hall for a local artist, the outside is completely clad in wood….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-7.jpg

Inside the café/restaurant/tourist shop is this rather splendid Elks head…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-8.jpg

While sat on the counter and up for sale is…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-9.jpg

With a final reminder of our time in Norway is this guy with a price tag of 3000NOK!
(£350) ($475)

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-10.jpg

A short drive later and we are at the Norwegian/Swedish Border, going through the Green Channel we just carry on…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-11.jpg

While the Sweden ‘sign’ is another couple of kilometres further up the road!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-12.jpg

It must be getting warmer as the snow line is receding and the waterfalls getting more prolific…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-13.jpg

Even the Army have abandoned their winter tracked vehicles and gone home!!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-14.jpg

Bit more climbing…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-15.jpg

Then we are back in the snow and yes it was snowing for a short while….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-16.jpg

But it didn’t stop the Skidoo Riders from taking to the slopes…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-17.jpg

While we arrive at the Polar Circle Campsite….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-18.jpg

With a look around we see that the campsite reception does not open until 12:00 while the campsite seems to be full, possibly of people who have come for the weekend….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-19.jpg

Skidoo trails…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-20.jpg

As we cross the Arctic Circle again going South this time we decide to carry on and see what we find a bit further down the road….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-21.jpg

Then a little bit further we spot a man out on the ice of the lake with his Skidoo getting set up for some ice fishing….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-22.jpg

After another hour or so we find this large piece of ground at the side of another frozen lake which is rather nice and stop for lunch, then decide to spend the rest of the day here just admiring the scenery and waiting for the wildlife to appear, as the sun is also making an appearance…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S19-23.jpg

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-12-2013, 11:53 AM
Stage 20 S/E of Silvervagen – Lulea (228 Miles)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

I had a bit of a premonition about today when I saw that the first picture I took of a landscape shot on a beautiful morning of where we spent last night turned out ‘funny’…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-1.jpg

Then we pass this ‘two’ level Dam that had one overflow point near the top and another halfway down the wall which seemed strange but made sense, but the picture this time was dark!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-2.jpg

While we make our way along and pass through this little place called ‘Moose Village’ and there wasn’t on in sight….

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But being a Sunday I guess they were still asleep like it appeared all the village was….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-6.jpg

Then as we are still quite high up we start passing more of the completely frozen lakes…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-7.jpg

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While surprisingly this one was largely ice free…..

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Don’t see many ‘Pink Churches’ around….

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With other buildings in different colours it made for a vibrant place.…

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Then a short way up the road we spot the first two of Santa’s ‘Helpers’ who were running as though they were making a break for freedom!

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Passing by a rather large farmstead.…

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While around each corner we came to the road just ran off into the distance….

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With the snow line receding.…

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Arriving at what we thought was going to be our stop for a couple of days….

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We make our way to the campsite only to be told that as we have not got a certain small piece of plastic that you need for certain campsites in Sweden we cannot stay!
The ‘piece of plastic’ comes from an organisation called ‘Camping Key Europe’ (SCR) and provides the holder with Third Party Insurance.
As I already have two pieces of plastic that also provide me with this insurance but are not recognised by ‘CKE’ or SCR we decline the offer to purchase another and move on, and having also found out the cost of a night’s stay we left even faster!

As we ‘Exit town’ we see this ‘Ice Fisherman’ who has cut the hole ready to drop his line through and hopefully get the evening meal!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-18.jpg

While a little further on we see this family of Reindeer with the youngest nibbling on the grass as we pass by.….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-19.jpg

Hey Ho, the cotton wool balls are appearing in the sky….

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We then head for the coastal town of Piteå….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-22.jpg

Having arrived, we remembered this very large paper/board making factory from which came an odour in the air that while not totally unpleasant it was not pleasant…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-23.jpg

While the campsite thankfully was upwind of the factory we got the same reception as the previous one, and having then established a nightly fee of £23 ($35) Showers were extra we again decided to decline and move along….

Coming off the E4 which is the main road North we headed for a campsite in Lulea that we stayed at 3 years ago on our Arctic Circle Tour only to find that was closed.

Another quick search and we find a second campsite but they have the same requirements as the other two and their price is out of this world again for ‘Low Season’ while they had this little Railway Museum just across the road!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-26.jpg

By this time things were looking a bit bleak with Finland looking likely as the next stop!

However a young man we met walking his dogs tied to help us and advised us of a campsite that is part of a Hotel & Conference Centre in Ornvik, so off we went to this as it was close by.

To get there we had to go over this bridge which I think some drivers coming the other way were a bit nervous of passing us due to the width of the road and the room taken by the ‘Tin Tent’, but we made it!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20-24.jpg

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Arrival at the complex after passing under a 2.9Mtr Bridge and find we can stay with a ‘Low Season’ price that is 50% less than any of the other places including electricity, showers and Wi-Fi.

Pictures of the place tomorrow as we have got a load of washing and food shopping to do first, but tonight it’s just nice to be able to put the feet up after a PITA Day!! [thumbup][thumbup]

God natt! (Goodnight)

finnvolvo
05-12-2013, 04:42 PM
First post. Decided to register just to say that I've enjoyed tremendously following your trip. Interested to see your upcoming pictures from the old "Fatherland". Drive safe and enjoy your journey.

XCovlov70
05-13-2013, 09:37 AM
First post. Decided to register just to say that I've enjoyed tremendously following your trip. Interested to see your upcoming pictures from the old "Fatherland". Drive safe and enjoy your journey.

Hello 'finnspeed' welcome, and 'Kiitos' for your comments!

We hope that the 'Third Seat' in Flamenco Red is still quite comfortable as we have quite a few more Miles or Kilometers to go. [thumbup]

I am sure you will recognise some of the upcoming pictures from your 'old Fatherland' providing the weather is kind to us, although we are going over to the East side of the country which while I am told is quite beautiful, not many people go to visit!

Best wishes

XCovlov70
05-13-2013, 09:41 AM
Stage 20A In Camp near Luleå (Sweden)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Well after a really glorious day yesterday with the temperature on 18+C we woke this morning to the ‘pitter patter’ of rain on the roof of the ‘Tin Tent’ not quite what we were hoping for with a HUGE bundle of laundry to be washed and dried.

Finally it stopped and the sun did try to get through as we got going, but as we finished the clouds came over and we felt a couple of spots of rain, so I went and asked if we could use the tumble dryer and the lady very kindly allowed us the use of the machine.

Next job was ‘shopping’ for that all important thing called Food, but before we set off to the shops we got a few pictures of the Hotel/Conference Centre/Campsite….

The cabin in the middle of the picture is intriguing as the bedroom is up a ladder inside!

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While there are as many cabins as there are campsite pitches the facilities for cabins and campers are in a large cabin where there is also a kitchen, WC & showers.

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20A-4.jpg

OK, off we go to the shops and initially we think we might be driving into the sea as in the middle of the traffic islands are these….

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While at the last traffic island you had to DUCK!…..

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Shopping done, with a nice surprise! We found that the shop had some Tunnbröd that we tried and really liked during our trip here in 2010.
Last time we got it was inside the Arctic Circle during a visit to a Folks Museum in Ostersund, where it came out of the oven and had butter spread over it that melted into it and the taste was delicious!

So after we finished the shopping it was back to the campsite and a slice of Tunnbröd with some Swedish cheese for lunch, followed by a rather nice small cake from the in store bakery…. Yummy!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20A-15.jpg

We wondered when we got back if there was a ‘problem’ as the car park had several vehicles belonging to the Fire Service as well as an equipment tender, but it seems that it was a training course that was being run between the Fire Service, Ambulance & Traffic Management personnel in how to move accident victims to get them away from the area with the minimum of effort and it looked really good….

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The men in Red Trousers where the instructors, the people in Green Trousers were Ambulance while the people in Brown Trousers were Fire Service and the people in Black Trousers were Traffic Management.

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Training session over it was time to haul the container back on the truck and go back to base…

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We just hope that with their BIG Truck they took note of the notice made by local children about the wild Hedgehogs that are in the area and cross the road to the Hotel….

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Hopefully the weather will be kinder tomorrow as we intend to set off for the very short trip into Luleå for a look around the town.

God natt! (Goodnight)

ssicarman
05-13-2013, 06:01 PM
Glad that your weather is thinking about getting better, hopefully you get better as you head south.

An observation: I suspect that your Elk on the wall is actually a Moose.

XCovlov70
05-14-2013, 07:54 AM
Glad that your weather is thinking about getting better, hopefully you get better as you head south.

An observation: I suspect that your Elk on the wall is actually a Moose.

Hi ssicarman!
Thanks for refreshing my memory, it has gotten a bit stale with all the happenings and I believe they don't get Elk in Scandinavia.

P.s. We seem to have moved thanks to the warmer weather, from Snow to Rain now, so not sure when we get to the 'Sunshine Region'?

XCovlov70
05-14-2013, 08:01 AM
Stage 20B “A day in the town of Luleå”

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Not to disappoint us while the rain came again last night we woke to quite a misty morning that took some time to clear away, so it was a leisurely breakfast and then off into the city by 09:40 as the shops etc don’t open till 10:00 here…

Our short trip into Luleå took us across this long bridge with a section that is between the ‘hoops’ that lifts up to allow the larger boats to pass through….

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As we arrived we had to park in a carpark where you pay for the time you wish to stay for as there is no free parking in this city. All day parking costs 40SEK or about £4 ($6) so after sorting out how to get the ticket it was off into the ‘Centrum’…

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The main street in the Centrum at 10:05 in the morning…..

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While at the far end is the Bus Terminus….

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At various points around the city are these concrete baby Bears….

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Some more views of the city in the side streets and along the main street…

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While in the middle of all the city flats is this old house that is being refurbished…

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This building was rather intriguing as the octagonal part had smaller windows with bars on that made it look like an old jail or prison…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20B-12.jpg

Meanwhile, down on the waterfront was this solitary quayside crane…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20B-13.jpg

Going back and just on the outskirts of the ‘Centrum’ is Luleå Cathedral which was built after the great fire that happened in 1887 and has gone through some transformations inside since then….

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Our next stop was….

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On entering the museum we found that there are 3 floors of exhibits while the ground floor had an exhibition of horse hair that looked rather strange…

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Next floor was dedicated to….

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You can dress up in the clothes of the time if you want to…

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Or buy some items from the local store….

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While this is the living room….

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We understand that this was used for separating milk from the cream to be able to make butter….

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While on the other side of this floor was….

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While on the top floor was this special exhibition that had been set up to remember the work done by a Swedish man whose name was Raoul Wallenburg, and who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust during the final stages of World War II.

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In following this exhibition around and reading the different screens it was a very sad and harrowing story to follow…

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http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20B-31.jpg

If anyone would like to learn more about this immortal Swede there is a website:
http://www.government.se/sb/d/15163

After getting ourselves some late lunch in the ‘Centrum’ while making our way back to the carpark we spotted a shop called ‘Norrlands Orientallivs’.
‘Intriguing’ we thought, so had a look inside where we found packets of Hot Curry Powder, Garam Masala Spice & a jar of Sweet Mango Chutney which we bought to replace our depleted stocks in the ‘Tin Tent’.
However it came as a bit of a surprise to find that all the spices had been packaged in Bradford (UK)!

‘Flamenco Red’ does a nice “Cook on the Road Curry” in the slow cooker as we travel on the longer stages!

So with a final view looking back into the city, we made our way back to the campsite…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20B-32.jpg

Tomorrow we hope to get up to Boden for a look around that town….

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-15-2013, 10:31 AM
Stage 20C “A side trip to Boden”

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

WOW! We have Sunshine and the temperature has gone up by a few degrees…

Boden was our intended ‘exploration point’ for today so after breakfast we set off a bit later as the place we wanted to visit did not open until 11:00 while any other places opened at 10:00.

Arriving not long after we parked up and noticed a Hydro Electric Dam across the road at an aptly named location called….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-0.jpg

This was the installation on the outlet side of the dam, while the ‘white water’ in the bottom right of the picture came straight from the lake behind, the water in the upper right hand side of the picture passed through the turbines producing the electricity…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-1.jpg

This was the water coming straight over 2 gates from the lake and there was some considerable force behind it…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-2.jpg

While this was an indication of the mini maelstrom occurring on the lake side of the dam…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-3.jpg

This was the force of the water coming through 1 gate….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-4.jpg

While this was the other, and I am glad I was not a fish trying to swim back up!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-5.jpg

On our way into Boden ‘Centrum’ we spot this rather nice quite old Volvo 444 in excellent condition .…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-6.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-7.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-8.jpg

Then a short while later we are in the ‘Centrum’….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-9.jpg

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While on the far side of the town is this rather nice small park…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-12.jpg

With a commemorative statue to Sven Utterström, who was a Cross Country Skier, while a replica of his skies were on the side, and his achievements were on the rear. There was also a small canon a little bit further over as this was a large military town…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-12A.jpg

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Going back into the town we see this grand building….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-14.jpg

Then some of the towns housing….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-15.jpg

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We make our way just as the doors open over to our next stop ‘Bodens Military Museum…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-17.jpg

With some rather large outdoor exhibits.…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-18.jpg

The museum from one side to the other, vehicles to and including the building on the right….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-19.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-20.jpg

Haven’t seen one of these since I took a small trip in one at the Antarctica Centre in New Zealand…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-21.jpg

As we make our way through the entrance, get our tickets and go into the museum itself we see 2 Motorcycles….
(1) An ‘Albion Monarch’ 500cc from 1942

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-22.jpg

(2) A ‘Hägglund 358’ 350cc from 1973

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-23.jpg

Inside the main hall we find a Tank that….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-24.jpg

You can climb up a set of steps and look inside, which was very cramped but you could see the breech where the shells were loaded, while up towards the top of the picture is the adjustment mechanism for the gun barrel….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-25.jpg

Not one of the famous ‘M*A*S*H’ series Huey’s but a full size Huey nevertheless…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-26.jpg

Some of the former Officers on Boden Railway Station….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-27.jpg

Further along was this model of a forest scene during one of the wars covered in the museum…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-28.jpg

On the left of the next picture is the house as it was in 1944, while on the right is the house as it is today….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-29.jpg

Some of the epaulettes of the 19 different Army Units that were in Boden…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-30.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-31.jpg

Now there are considerably less Army personnel here but those that are specialise in certain expertise and as we continue through the exhibition we meet one of them….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-32.jpg

With some of the older equipment in other areas…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-33.jpg

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With a look back at the Officers old dining room….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-35.jpg

While another part shows the work of the Engineers….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-36.jpg

We then finally make our way back to ‘Flamenco Red’ where after a quick phone call we are offered a ‘lift’ back to the campsite by another ‘Huey’ outside, well saves me driving! [thumbup]

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20C-37.jpg

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-16-2013, 11:48 AM
Stage 20D “A trip to Teknikens Hus”

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

Well the Sunshine today was clear blue sky and 16C while it felt warm until a fresh breeze started …

But as this is our last day in Sweden we decided to go and pay a visit to the ‘Teknikens Hus’ which is on the Luleå University site….

I guess the best way to describe it is that it is a building filled with different simple scientific ‘things’ like making electricity to light a bulb or altering the flow of water to make a paddle wheel turn and lift a weight up.….

OK that’s ‘Kids stuff’ and yes it was, but sadly not all the exhibits were working correctly like the ‘Tree Log Grab’ that had no logs to pick up, or the Flight Simulator that had no instructions on what to do to make it go for a short 4 minute flight! :o

So here are a couple of pictures relating to a somewhat wasted morning….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-1.jpg

Just inside after you have purchased your tickets are these two full size ‘models’…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-2.jpg

Looking around you can see some of the ‘hands on experiments’….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-3.jpg

While this was the ‘Flight Simulator’ with no instructions and a jammed Pilot Seat that could not be moved, resulting in your having to try and squeeze into a small place! [nonono]

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-4.jpg

The ‘Half of a Railway Engine’ was a replica of the railway from the Kiruna Iron Ore Mine to Narvik with a camera picture displayed onto the inside windscreen of the ‘Engine’ to simulate you driving the train!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-5.jpg

Inside the Engine Cab, with my foot on the ‘Deadmans Brake’ that didn’t work …..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-5A.jpg

In the middle of the picture is the train, with one wagon, except the real thing has 2 engines and around 50 wagons of Iron Ore…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-5B.jpg

While the next was a mock up of a small scale steel mill with coloured lights to represent the fire from the molten metal as you made steel suitable for making into bicycle frames or car doors .…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-6.jpg

Another view looking around, but make note of the LARGE World…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-7.jpg

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As we made our way back to the entrance as we had ‘completed the circuit’ so to say….
We noticed a piece of science that basically lets you ‘adjust’ one satellite dish which is one of the ‘Ground Stations’ of a Satellite called Sirius and is located on the New Zealand Platform, while another person adjusts another satellite dish on the Puerto Rica Platform which is also part of Sirius.
When both satellite dishes are correctly aligned with Sirius each of you see a picture on a monitor of each other and you can also speak to one another.

I did however think that the last comment on the instructions (The "P.S.") was a bit sad as it looks like some people don’t know where in the world New Zealand is!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-9.jpg

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The young girl in the picture was taking a picture for either her school or geography class!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S20D-11.jpg

Next stage tomorrow is into Finland, with hopefully another blue sky and warm temperature!

God natt! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-18-2013, 07:18 AM
Stage 21 Luleå - Ranua (163 Miles)

God morgen! (Good Morning!)

After what seems for us a long time here, it’s time to move on and the next stage was going to take us to Tornio in Finland and Tornio Camping, but when we saw the place and the cost of €24/Night excluding Electric Hook Up we decided there must be better places around and carried on ending up a few more miles up the road at Ranua Camping which is a lot nicer with better facilities including a Sauna that is included in the nightly fee of €15…

Not far from a place called Kallix we pass this extremely big wood yard

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-1.jpg

On the outskirts of Kallix as we pass over this bridge is this church with a completely separate bell tower…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-2.jpg

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While on the other side of the traffic island is this large orange ball for the shopping centre…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-4.jpg

Travelling along we see a few houses with Solar Hot Water Panels fitted but surprisingly we have not seen any Solar Electricity Panels which is a bit puzzling in view of the large amounts of sunshine and daylight during summer….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-5.jpg

Approaching Haparanda, we see the signs for Finland….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-6.jpg

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With a traffic island decorated with imitation wooden tulips…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-9.jpg

As we caught sight of this small ornate church with a couple of Onion Domes on top….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-10.jpg

Next winters fuel.…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-11.jpg

Someone’s new house!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-12.jpg

As we got to this section of ‘road’ we wondered what was happening?
It is an emergency landing strip for aircraft, hence the width!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-13.jpg

Back to normal with the pine forests and a variety of lakes….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-14.jpg

While not much further and we are at our next stop for the night.…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-15.jpg

Reception building….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-16.jpg

The campsite which has got excellent and very clean facilities….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-17.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S21-18.jpg

Back on the road tomorrow for the next stage and Kuusamo

Hyvää yötä (Goodnight)

finnvolvo
05-18-2013, 08:20 AM
Welcome to Finland! Noticed that your next stop is Kuusamo. Spent there a few days fishing for local steelhead in the rivers of Kuusinkijoki and Kitkajoki in the mid-80's. Good memories! There is a popular ski resort in Ruka outside Kuusamo, doubt any of the slopes are open anymore this time of the year. You will be getting close to the Russian border, some of the fiercest fights during the Winter War were fought south of Kuusamo in Suomussalmi. If you're interested in that part of the Finnish history, google Battle of Suomussalmi and Battle of Raate Road.

XCovlov70
05-20-2013, 06:43 AM
Welcome to Finland! Noticed that your next stop is Kuusamo. Spent there a few days fishing for local steelhead in the rivers of Kuusinkijoki and Kitkajoki in the mid-80's. Good memories! There is a popular ski resort in Ruka outside Kuusamo, doubt any of the slopes are open anymore this time of the year. You will be getting close to the Russian border, some of the fiercest fights during the Winter War were fought south of Kuusamo in Suomussalmi. If you're interested in that part of the Finnish history, google Battle of Suomussalmi and Battle of Raate Road.

Hi finnspeed!

Both places Suomussalmi & Ratte Road including the crossing to Russia have been on my plan since December 2011 after we met a couple of nice guys from Finland in Portugal!
Just wait till you see the results!!!

XCovlov70
05-20-2013, 06:46 AM
Stage 22 Ranua - Kuusamon (197 Miles)

Huomenta! (Good Morning!)

On the road again but after a relatively quiet and relaxing night even though we were on a campsite at the side of the Zoo…

Interesting that we are now in Finland and beginning to see businesses that have closed down as we travel along, so clearly the downturn in the economy is having its effect here as well…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-1.jpg

While we travel along roads that are like a big roller coaster passing through the forests of fir trees….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-2.jpg

For a minute we think we are approaching the seaside as embankments at the sides of road become ‘sandy’….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-3.jpg

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While a short distance later we find the answer….

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At this place…

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That also surprises us with places to put your caravan, but no electrical hook up and no water or waste disposal facilities, so what you bring you take away….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-7.jpg

Passing through the entrance gate….

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We find after a very short walk….

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This is the wood store for the fireplace in the previous picture, note the door handle and latch which are all wood….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-12.jpg

Pulled into a lay-by just before a bridge a few kilometres further on as we saw a rather strange sight….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-13.jpg

While on one side of the bridge there was ice still on the water of the lake….

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On the opposite side of the bridge the ice had completely disappeared…..

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Not much longer and we are on the outskirts of Kuusamo….

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The as we get into the town we are greeted by this very large traffic island sculpture!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-18.jpg

While 8 miles further on we arrive at our stop for the night Kuusamon Portti camping .….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-19.jpg

Pitch down by the lake side, but as the temperature has risen, the Mosquitos have made an early appearance so it’s on with the lotion to stop getting stabbed…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22-20.jpg

Time for lunch and then we are off for a look around Kuusamo….

Hang in there we ain’t finished yet for today, but it’s going to be a long day!!! [thumbup][thumbup]

finnvolvo
05-20-2013, 08:59 AM
Hi finnspeed!

Both places Suomussalmi & Ratte Road including the crossing to Russia have been on my plan since December 2011 after we met a couple of nice guys from Finland in Portugal!
Just wait till you see the results!!!

Excellent! The economy has always been worse in the (mid and north) eastern parts of Finland compared to the rest of the country. Looks like you've got nice weather for a change. We're following with interest your journey here in the "backseat" of Flamenco Red!

XCovlov70
05-20-2013, 10:33 AM
Stage 22A “An afternoon in Kuusamon

Well after a quick lunch it was back into Flamenco Red and head into town, to find that the Tourist Information closed at 14:00 on a Saturday, and we missed it by 8 minutes!

So we settled for 2 Ice Creams from the ice cream hut below, which at €5.20 for two single ball ice creams seemed a bit expensive…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-1.jpg

Having found a town map in the box outside the Tourist Information Office in English, we saw that there is an outdoor museum not far away, so off we set for a look having finished the rather nice ice creams, and it wasn’t long before we came to the main town road junction ….

Looking left this is what you see….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-2.jpg

While looking right it’s this view….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-3.jpg

So as the museum was out passed the church we went that way and called into the church on the way…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-4.jpg

Monument to Finnish Soldiers for WWII….

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Venturing inside the church the view towards the altar….

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Then looking back towards the church organ we see the 12 Apostles across the front of the balcony, but strangely we could not find ‘Mark’ and even a young lady who was attending a christening that was going to take place could not find him?

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-8.jpg

After a short walk down the road we come to the outdoor museum, but it was closed, well the buildings were locked up but you could still walk around and look through the windows with the following results…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-9.jpg

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http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-13.jpg

Finally a rather interesting windmill but alas not sure what it was used for….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-14.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-15.jpg

Walking along the cut logs that kept you off the rather wet peaty ground underneath….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-16.jpg

We could not help but notice that there were no nails in any of the joints, it was all wood….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-17.jpg

Then as we make our way back into the town we get a few people on bicycles and roller blades but with polling themselves along on the roller blades with long poles….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S22A-18.jpg

That took care of the afternoon, so it was back to the ‘Tin Tent’ to fight the mosquitoes and set off tomorrow for the next stage to Suomussalimi….

Hyvää yötä! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-20-2013, 10:52 AM
Stage 23 Kuusamon Portti – Kuhmo (225 Miles)

Huomenta! (Good Morning!)

Early start this morning after a restless night that I put down to a couple of mosquitoes that we missed getting rid of while the temperature inside the ‘Tin Tent’ remained high all night…

As we left the campsite about 3km down the road we see these reindeer out for an early breakfast. The youngster ambling along the road has no radio collar which presumably will be fitted at the next roundup….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-1.jpg

Came around a corner on the E5 and we see all these people just standing in a field!!!!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-2.jpg

The translation I believe is….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-3.jpg

I hope you can read the description in the picture below….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-4.jpg

This is the little café which is open in Summer….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-5.jpg

From it you walk out along this boardwalk…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-6.jpg

Then as you turn right you see in front of you……

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-7.jpg

There are just under 1000 ‘Silent People’ in the field who are looked after by the local youngsters who take care of their clothes and heads twice a year, and when the wind blows their clothes flap and straw hair moves as if they have come to life….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-8.jpg

Moving along again we arrive at Suomusalmi K.K. which I guess is an outer village of Suomussalmi town and pass this rather nice but strange church with a lot of activity taking place in the grounds…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23-9.jpg

It is a special day for remembering the Suomussalmi KK Soldiers who lost their lives in the Finnish Winter War ….

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While across the road from the church are these animals made of tree branches….

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Making our way then to the town of Suomussalmi we arrive at the lake front which is impressive….

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We had planned to go out from here to take a look at Suomussalmi Raate and the Winter War Monument, Museum & Raate Road, but were told that as today is a special day, the Museum would be closed, however we decided to take a ride out and see what we could see.

As a result I have had to split this stage into 2 parts as there are so many pictures to show, so the Winter War Monument, Museum & Raate Road will be following shortly after I can get the pictures sorted out as it was a fantastic experience for the afternoon!

At the moment my laptop is balanced on my legs in the 'Second Seat' while Flamenco Red is supplying the power as my mains laptop power supply blew up a few weeks ago so I am using a spare mobile type while sat outside the restaurant here on the campsite that closed at 17:00hrs here in Finland! [thumbup]:D[thumbup]:D

Hyvää yötä! (Goodnight)

finnvolvo
05-20-2013, 11:51 AM
The "special day" on Sunday was the Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commemoration_Day_of_Fallen_Soldiers

Can't wait for your next post! Thank you for taking the time to post all of this, it's very much appreciated!

XCovlov70
05-21-2013, 10:31 AM
The "special day" on Sunday was the Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commemoration_Day_of_Fallen_Soldiers

Can't wait for your next post! Thank you for taking the time to post all of this, it's very much appreciated!

Hi finnspeed,
Kiitos for the clarification of 'The Day' and also for your comments, they are also appreciated.
I hope the next instalment due to be uploaded in a few minutes meets expectations? [thumbup][thumbup]

Kind regards.

XCovlov70
05-21-2013, 10:37 AM
Stage 23 Kuusamon Portti – Kuhmo (225 Miles) Part 2

Our afternoon after visiting the lake front in Suomussalmi commenced as we arrived at the ‘Flame Monument’ on the Suomussalmi – Kuhmo road

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Our next stop as we reached the Winter War Museum was ‘The Winter War Monument’….

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I hope you can read the enlarged text in the next picture….

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The central memorial is in the centre of the next picture, and enlarged in the one after…..

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Ironically one of the two wreaths in the next picture had been moved out of view, so I put it back in its proper place which was alongside the other wreath, just then a small gust of wind came along and the little bells started their soft ringing….

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As we came out we took a final look back at all the stones that form the memorial…

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Making our way to the Museum we pass these relics from the Winter War….

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Then we get to the Museum itself that we found to be open, even though the lady inside did not speak much English, we were made welcome and as she knew we were from the UK she put on the short video in the cinema making sure we got the English version …..

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I managed to get 3 pictures during the video presentation the first one depicting how the Russian Army planned to cut Finland in half from Suomussalmi in the East to Oulu in the West….

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After the video which was very realistic in parts and made you feel as though you were there we made our way into the exhibition….

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The next two pictures described the work undertaken by the Finnish ‘Lottas’ who were women volunteers who in the early part of the war managed the feeding of the entire Finnish group….

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Morse and field telephone equipment…

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Items from a Ukrainian Soldier….

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Having completed the tour of the Museum we then wanted to go along the Raate Road as that was where some very fierce fighting took place.
As it is a pisted road we asked if we could leave the ‘Tin Tent’ in the car park and just go in Flamenco Red, this was no problem, so having made sure it was OK off we set along the road which is 18Km long to the border….

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First stop was at a Russian Memorial which was set up for the 79 Russian Soldiers who lost their lives at that particular place in one battle….

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While a bit further on we come to one of a number of fortified places along the road that have been preserved and in a lot of cases realistically restored….

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The ‘white’ floor in the next picture is ICE that had not yet melted from the winter just gone, which made me think of the conditions that the war took place as it was in December & January time….

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As you can see in the next picture the fortifications/trenches were looking at a bridge and river….

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While walking along another part of the trench….

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This next one caught me out…..

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I could not get up through the square hole to look out so presume that some sort of periscope was used….

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After a further few kilometres with clouds of dust at the back of Flamenco Red (Just like parts of Morocco!) we arrived at the new border post….

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With the actual border crossing just to the left of the tower and building….

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The other side of the gates is 3Km of ‘No Man’s Land’…..

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Then just back from the gates and on the road itself is the old restored Raate Road Guard House…

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Unfortunately the double glazing with a 50mm gap between the panes of glass made it very difficult to get any pictures of the inside of the building, but just to keep you happy I got one decent one, and here it is…..

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Part of the Museum Items Description document that provided information on all the exhibits…

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On our way back to the Museum we spotted this small building with some Ex Army Field Guns outside and initially thought it was part of the Winter War Museum, but it is a private collection which for a small fee the collector is happy to share with you, and with some very halting English we got to know a number of his exhibits which he had searched for over the last 30 years….

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As he opened the doors the items in his collection was amazing…..

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Although it did not come out clearly the next picture is of a Winter Horse Shoe with small metal lugs that clip into the bottom of the shoe to give the horse grip in the snow…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S23A-45.jpg

A pair of Russian Soldiers Boots in surprisingly good condition, but the soldiers feet would have been wrapped in strips of blanket, no socks!

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With our visit to Raatte Road & The Winter War Museum at an end we made our way back and connected up the ‘Tin Tent’ then set off on the road to Kuhmo, and about 15Km along a minor disaster happened as Flamenco Red had a ‘Bird Strike’ on the front grill that smashed the right hand side and the bird ended up between the grill and the radiator…..

Initial enquires put a new grill at £300 (€320) ($450) OUCH!
Even though it is only the rear black plastic that has been broken you have no alternative but to buy the complete item!

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Having laid the bird to rest and cleaned out all the feathers we set off again and finally found this rather nice parking place at the side of the road….

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With a nice ‘pink tint’ on the sky at the far side of the lake….

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It’s been a heck of a day!!! [thumbup][nonono][thumbup][nonono]

Hyvää yötä! (Goodnight)

finnvolvo
05-21-2013, 05:57 PM
Thank you for the interesting photos! Looks like you had a great day, except for the encounter with the bird. Finland looked quite a bit different back then (the photo from the video). My family from my fathers side came from the town of Viipuri, which you can see in the lower right hand corner in the picture, now of course it's part of Russia.

The bird you hit, I think it's a hazel grouse or "pyy" in Finnish. Excellent tasting game bird, you could have had "pyy" for dinner! Talking about dinner, if you want to taste a great fish, try to find "muikku" in one of the markets. Great tasting when fried on a pan or smoked. It's a small white fish, about 6"-10" in length typically. It's a bit fatty as it belongs to the salmon family. Another great tasting whitefish is "siika", especially smoked. A local traditional food, especially when you head south on the eastern border is "kalakukko". Basically it's small fish, typically "muikku" or perch, baked in a rye dough, like a calzone. If you want to try a slice of it, request the one with muikku, it tastes better IMO.

Safe travels, we'll be watching over your shoulder here from the "backseat"!

finnvolvo
05-21-2013, 07:16 PM
I took a closer look at the picture with a lot of grenades on the table. I bet that the bottle in the middle is a so called "Molotov coctail". During the war they filled the bottle with a flammable liquid and threw it on top of the engine in a Russian tank, which then caught fire.The rusty gun with a round magazine in one picture is probably a Suomi-machine gun. Both important Finnish weapons in the Winter War

Looks like you found a beautiful spot for the night. How are the mosquitoes?

XCovlov70
05-23-2013, 03:55 AM
Thank you for the interesting photos! Looks like you had a great day, except for the encounter with the bird. Finland looked quite a bit different back then (the photo from the video). My family from my fathers side came from the town of Viipuri, which you can see in the lower right hand corner in the picture, now of course it's part of Russia.

The bird you hit, I think it's a hazel grouse or "pyy" in Finnish. Excellent tasting game bird, you could have had "pyy" for dinner! Talking about dinner, if you want to taste a great fish, try to find "muikku" in one of the markets. Great tasting when fried on a pan or smoked. It's a small white fish, about 6"-10" in length typically. It's a bit fatty as it belongs to the salmon family. Another great tasting whitefish is "siika", especially smoked. A local traditional food, especially when you head south on the eastern border is "kalakukko". Basically it's small fish, typically "muikku" or perch, baked in a rye dough, like a calzone. If you want to try a slice of it, request the one with muikku, it tastes better IMO.

Safe travels, we'll be watching over your shoulder here from the "backseat"!

Hi finnspeed,
Now with a good friend near Helsinki will look out for your recommendations as we go for some shopping before we head off to Estonnia.
Kiitos

XCovlov70
05-23-2013, 03:58 AM
Stage 24 South of Kuhmo - Punkaharju (203 Miles)

Huomenta! (Good Morning!)

After a nice overnight on the side of the lake we set off this morning with our next stop some distance away but travelling through the pine forests and archipelago with not much traffic on the roads became a very pleasant drive…

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Bridge Repairs with a single way through but interestingly although you cannot see it in the picture below. all the scaffolding was made of Wood, with additional supplies should they be needed on the right of the picture….

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Fuel stop on the way produced this sad looking ex-army truck whose parts had been taken for a 4x4 Adventure company whose office was opposite the fuel station….

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While a bit further down the road was this company manufacturing very substantial garden saunas….

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This next vehicle took up the whole of his side of the road, I was rather glad we were not following…..

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Turned off the main road to a smaller cross country road……

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This took us through more of the archipelago where you could actually see the little islands as you travelled along….

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As we then pass over a bridge with an opening span in the middle for larger boats or yachts with tall masts…..

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With the channel marked out that you needed to be in to pass through….

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After a few more kilometres on the country road…..

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We finally arrive at our next stop which I have to be honest and say was disappointing and expensive…..

Reception/Restaurant with Internet Access only open from 09:00 till 17:00 after that if you need internet access you sit outside, there was no site wide coverage provided….

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Camping places on the right hand side of the picture which in the majority of cases were very uneven, while the utilities building is on the right hand side, and while inside was very nice, there was no cassette toilet disposal point, which I think the management forgot about …..

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The cassette dump was to be found some 500 meters away in the middle of this lot, which is by another camping area that was not in use due to building work…...

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The building work was this, which looks like a row of Motel Rooms….

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Meanwhile as we found a relatively ‘flat’ pitch we spotted this exceptionally long ‘Tin Tent’, so long it requires 2 doors in the side!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S24-15.jpg

Camping costs are the same price here all year around Pitch is €14/Night, each Adult is €5/Night while Electric Hook Up is a Whopping €7/Night, while if you have the SCR/Camping Key Europe ‘plastic’ you get a €2/Night discount. [mad2]

We declined the extortionate price for the EHU as we thought that was total ‘profiteering’ :mad:

Tomorrow is exploring Savonlinna….

Hyvää yötä! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-23-2013, 04:06 AM
Stage 24A “A day in Savonlinna”

Huomenta! (Good Morning!)

A short drive of 22Km saw us in the centre of…..

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First stop was at the Tourist Information Office to obtain the information about the most interesting places to see in a day…..

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Next was the main church in the town….

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01-03-1940 when it was burned down…..

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Just outside was this wooden model on a tree as a bird box…..

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Turning around we start to make our way to the Market Square….

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Not much activity in the Market Square as all we could see was this stall with garden flowers for sale….

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But on the other hand there were a couple of snack bars so we thought, ‘Why not’ so we did….

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On Tourist Office advice we made our way around the edge of the water with the following results…..

Old cruise boats waiting for passengers….

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Tulips in full bloom….

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I wonder if the lawn mower drivers are at that snack bar?

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Children’s playground….

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Cultural museum….

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While behind is the old ships museum….

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Looking back into part of the old town…..

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Across part of the lake to the road and bridge into the town….

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Next was the rather impressive castle…..

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Through the entrance….

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We found ourselves in the Opera Hall that takes a couple of months to erect, then a couple of months use before it is taken apart again…..

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After which we find a picture of the stages of the castles life as it went from 5 Towers to 3 up to today….

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Resulting in this nice full view model….

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As we then started the Castle Tour…..

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Kings Hall….

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Formerly ‘Kitchen’ now Restaurant….

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Little chapel where weddings are still carried out.....

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Two of the towers showing the Russian ‘tower extensions’ as they are in bricks that were added to the existing stone walls….

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While at the top of the tower the semi-circle inner stone work is typical Russian design that was easier to defend….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S24A-44.jpg

While downstairs is the very first ‘Eco-Loo’….

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In a side museum are a few of the Russian religious icons….

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Walking back through the ‘Old Town’ we see the oldest house in Savonlinna that dates from the 1820’s…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S24A-47.jpg

Having then had some lunch outside we returned to Flamenco Red to take a trip back out of town to Punkaharju as ‘harju’ means ‘ridge’ in English and there is a 7 Km drive across this ‘ridge’ and the Archipelago during which you are supposed to see some beautiful scenery, but unfortunately someone forgot to ask Mother Nature’s Trees to stop growing as they now obscure the view, and to be honest we saw better and more complete views as we drove down here, but we did go down to the side of one of the small bays for the next couple of pictures.

The first was taken as a landscape while the second was the same bay but a normal shot….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S24A-48.jpg

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While the next couple were as we made our way back to the ‘Tin Tent’

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Next stage is down to a place outside Helsinki to have some R&R and spend some time with a good friend for a couple of days before we set off for Estonia…..

Hyvää yötä! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-23-2013, 04:09 AM
Stage 25 Punkaharju – Helsinki (201 Miles)

Huomenta! (Good Morning!)

As the ‘Building/Camp Site’ reception did not open until 09:00 this morning it was for us a bit of a lie in and late start today but it wasn’t long before we were rolling along again with Flamenco Red purring quietly as the Km rolled under the wheels…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-1.jpg

Then we spotted our first ‘oddity’ of the day…
A water tower the top of which looks like a flying saucer has landed on but it actually an observation deck, presumably to keep an eye out for forest fires….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-2.jpg

As today was a long trip we designated Flamenco Red as ‘Chef for the day’ so set up a Beef Curry to be cooked in the slow cooker as we rolled along, and yes it was very nice when we came to eat it as you will see later the weather turned rotten on us as we went South….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-3.jpg

Not long before we started to come onto Motorway type roads around the bigger cities…..

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While travelling quite close to the Russian Border the road signs started showing the names of the nearest town/city if you came off and turned left, but with no Visas we just kept going South, but we did see a number of vehicles from Russia travelling along or the owners were doing some shopping in the local supermarkets before presumably going back home ….

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Section of cross country road between motorways to get across….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-9.jpg

With the ‘Giants’ golf tee and ball from ‘Jack & The Beanstalk’ which was rather good…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-10.jpg

The Sun meanwhile had disappeared and the ‘spots’ started to appear on the windscreen…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-11.jpg

While a few kilometres further on…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S25-12.jpg

With quite a drop in temperature that was the end of play for today, but the curry was a nice ‘body warmer’ as we arrived at our friends place near Helsinki for a bit of R&R.

Hyvää yötä! (Goodnight)

XCovlov70
05-26-2013, 07:28 AM
Stage 26 Helsinki – Tallinn (Estonia) (58 Miles)

Huomenta! (Finnish “Good Morning”)

After a very refreshing and relaxing stay with our good friend outside Helsinki we set off this morning for the trip to Tallinn in Estonia on the next stage of this tour…

While it wasn’t long before we were back on the motorway….

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It wasn’t long before we were heading to Helsinki City Centre and then the Docks area for the ferry….

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Arriving at the check in area after a short while we presented our ticket and went into the queue for embarkation….

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Then the ‘Tallinn Shuttle’ arrived showing a nice coat of paint….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26-6.jpg

After turning through 180 degrees and coming astern to the dockside, even as the vehicles were coming off they started the loading process of cars etc going onboard!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26-7.jpg

The Volvo on the far left was actually coming off with a line of cars behind also disembarking, unbelievable in the UK!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26-8.jpg

Got into place then it was up on the top outside deck for a quick look around before we departed, as we spotted the P&O Cruise ship Aurora….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26-9.jpg

While inside the Tallinn Shuttle it looked like this up in the bow, giving the impression of a nightclub with a show stage in front and a massive window looking out over the ocean…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26-10.jpg

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Just under 2 hours and we found ourselves approaching Tallinn…..

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With the ‘Old Town’ up for a visit tomorrow as we understand that Pensioners get to ride on the Public Transport for free….

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Not long after getting in we are disembarking….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26-15.jpg

No Customs or Border Security to pass through so it was straight out onto the rather bumpy roads to make our way to the campsite…..

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Having arrived and checked in the rain started to drop which has had a temporary halt on any more pictures for today…

head ööd (Estonian “Goodnight”)

ssicarman
05-26-2013, 08:48 AM
Looks like you are still enjoying the trip despite birds and rain. At least things are looking greener and warmer(?).

XCovlov70
05-27-2013, 07:09 AM
Looks like you are still enjoying the trip despite birds and rain. At least things are looking greener and warmer(?).

In three words: 'Yes' 'Yes' & 'Yes' or should that be four words?

After a rather stormy night when the fog horn did not stop sounding till around Midnight today as you will see has been rather pleasant, which was very nice!

XCovlov70
05-27-2013, 07:13 AM
Stage 26A “A day in Tallinn Old Town”

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

As promised a couple of pictures of the campsite for starters which is also a Yacht Marina and Olympic Park ….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-1.jpg

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While very close by are these old houses and now offices….

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Outside the complex was this reminder of the Olympics in Tallinn….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-8.jpg

While I got those pictures last night after we had a very heavy rain storm it was quite different this morning with a sea mist that even the Estonians were surprised to see and gave a few different views of things…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-9.jpg

This was another very large cruise ship coming into the harbour but looked a little weird as it came in through the mist.…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-10.jpg

After a very short wait along came the Bus, while the free tickets for pensioners we found have been stopped in January of this year, the single fare to the Bus Terminal at €1.60 was a lot less than the parking charges that we saw later….

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Off the bus and making our way to the Old Town of Tallinn….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-12.jpg

Then we saw the Car Parking Charges and were very glad we decided to give Flamenco Red a day off!

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-13.jpg

It wasn’t long before the outline of the Old Town appeared in front of us….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-14.jpg

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On one side of the church were these carvings set in the wall which were attracting quite a bit of attention from the tour guides escorting the cruise ship tourists….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-20.jpg

Part of the old town walls…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-21.jpg

While we meander passed some old warehouses that are now shops and restaurants…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-22.jpg

Down the end of this lane is one of the old theatres…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-23.jpg

A little chapel along one of the main streets….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-24.jpg

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This is the Brotherhood of Blackheads building….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-27.jpg

While further along the street we see a few more decorated buildings….

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Next stop was…..

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With some very interesting displays inside….

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Guesses permitted as to what this is?

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-41.jpg

This is the answer….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-42.jpg

Bone carving….(No Satellite TV in those days!)

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-43.jpg

Out of the Great Guildhall and down another narrow street….

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Brought us into Reakoja Plats…

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While as we made our way across and out we nearly get run over by the City Train….

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Next stop after spotting the ‘Onion Domes’ was Alexander Nevsky Cathedral…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-49.jpg

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While outside we found a plan of the area….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-54.jpg

Opposite Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-55.jpg

Which is…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-56.jpg

While it is closed to the public you can walk around part of the outside….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-57.jpg

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-58.jpg

We then set off to make our way to ‘Vabaduse Väljak’ (Freedom Square) passing some more of the outer walls…

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While it was not long before we arrived at Freedom Square…..

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Tucked under a tree on the far side was the reminder of….

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While a bit further along was another of the Old Town Gates….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-64.jpg

With the Flower Market on the outside…..

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With a final look back as we made our way back to the Bus Terminal and the trip back to the campsite…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26A-66.jpg

Hope to get to some of the outer parts of Tallinn tomorrow if the weather permits…

head ööd (Goodnight)

giorgio
05-27-2013, 12:23 PM
Very nice girl in Tallin ! Isn't it ?

XCovlov70
05-28-2013, 07:13 AM
Stage 26B ‘A day in some places outside Tallinn’

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

After a very nice day yesterday exploring the Old Town in Tallinn we set off this morning on foot for a look further afield, but started in the Marina as it was the home of the Olympics….

Not long before we found the Olympic Flame now extinguished but the structure was in stainless steel so no signs of any rust, while it had winners of the sailing events on the plaque on the front wall as they took place from 20th July till 2nd August 1980…..

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While the plate at the bottom of the flame shows the old ‘CCCP’ having been made in Russia…

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Directly behind was the event control tower….

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While down in the Marina is this rather small but authentic ‘Pirate’ vessel….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-4.jpg

Up on the quayside is this rather strange but totally capable crane for getting your boat out of the water….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-5.jpg

With a final view of the marina as we crossed the river bridge….

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We made our way to…..

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This is the first Abbey that was a combined convent and monastery in Estonia, established to bring Christianity to the Merchants of Tallinn….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-8.jpg

As you get to the front wall that is still standing….

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Just to the right of the entrance door you see a plan of the place with all the outer rooms identified (You are at the little red spot on the plan near the bottom, and you have to turn your head on its side to read the numbers, sorry!)…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-10.jpg

Then you can match the numbers to the description in the next picture….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-11.jpg

View looking down the right hand side from the front….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-12.jpg

View looking down the left hand side from the front…..

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View looking straight through the front entrance door into the Abbey….

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Looking back from the rear wall to the front. Notice the square holes in the walls, we think these held wooden joists and there were floors built into the Abbey although there are the remains of large pillars on the floor….

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While at the rear is the kitchen, well and provisions rooms…..

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With a large rear wall of the Abbey that had a corner tower, but the gate inside was chained and locked, so no entry…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-17.jpg

Looking back across the rear rooms….

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From the left side it is a very large building…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-19.jpg

Looking through the centre rear doorway towards the front of the Abbey….

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While on the left hand side are these upper and lower walkways along the wall of the Abbey…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-21.jpg

Make a note of Number 4 in the next picture…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-22.jpg

While this is it in the graveyard at the front of the Abbey.

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The majority of gravestones were unreadable as the concrete had deteriorated so you could not read them, but a couple of iron headstone crosses gave the dates of 1845 on a couple of the graves, as we understand that the Abbey was burned down.

By this time we were running a bit late for lunch, so we headed back to the campsite where there is this nice little café…..

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So we settled for a Feta Cheese Salad and a Russian Meat Soup which were quite nice….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-25.jpg

Followed by a dessert of 2 ‘Marsipani Küpsis’ half coated in dark chocolate, but I think that the chef had run out of ‘Marzipan Essence’ as I could not taste it…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26B-26.jpg

Back on the road tomorrow when we head South East to a small place past Tartu…

head ööd (Estonian “Goodnight”)

XCovlov70
05-29-2013, 04:19 AM
Stage 26C ‘Last evening in Tallinn’

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

Just after I posted the last update we were provided with a ‘show’ on the water in front of the camping and dockside for the boats which we had never seen before……

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This is a picture of the Boots/Water Tube and other bits that are worn by the person who ends up ‘standing on water’….
I believe it’s called ‘Flyboarding’

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26C-6.jpg

With our last Tallinn 'Sunset' at 22:30hrs

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S26C-7.jpg

head ööd (Estonian “Goodnight”)

XCovlov70
05-29-2013, 10:19 AM
Stage 27 Tallinn – Elva (Estonia) (134 Miles)

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

A last look this morning as we ‘roll along the prom’ at the ferries and rather large next cruise liner to come into Tallinn Harbour …

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As we pass this garden piece on the other side of the dual carriageway while on our way into Tallinn Centre….

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Then a bit further along is this statue….

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Next up was ‘Lane Control’ as we made our way into the centre with a couple of left hand turns to get onto Road Number 2 in the direction of Tartu….

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Passing the airport in the process of ‘getting out of town’….

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Also passing one of a number of Storks and their nests that we did not expect to see this far North….

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Must admit that the 4 lane dual carriageway was in much better shape than the equivalent roads in Norway, with far less undulations and no potholes….

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While further along the road building program or ‘upgrade’ is continuing, which caused us to really slow down to 30Kmph as we swung around 90 Degree Left & Right Hand Bends….

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We think the ‘Ring & Cross’ was part of a topping out ceremony for this as yet unfinished bridge….

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Back to ‘normal roads’ but still a good surface…..

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With a rather nice windmill, now a restaurant on the right hand side….

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Oops our first bit of ‘wobbly’ road….

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Nice green fields and rape seed being fertilised as we pass by…..

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We must be in ‘Farming Country’ as we see this large statue of a Horse and Plough….

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Still on road no 2 so need to make a right turn…..

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Then short while later we enter the city on the outskirts.…

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We arrive at ‘Waide Motel’ that also has a camp site at the rear with good facilities (WC, Shower, EHU and Internet –Wi-Fi that you can get on the pitches, however the temperature is high along with the humidity so the Mosquitoes are out in force!!!

It was a fast set up on the ‘Tin Tent’ followed by lunch then a trip over to Elva for some food and diesel fuel that turned into a very pleasant afternoon….

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New roof on a house in the town….

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Blocks of flats needing a bit of TLC on the outside….

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Description of Elva Church that was locked up…..

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Completely new house under construction….

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Ex Camper earning its next load of ‘Holiday Pay’ for the next ‘Winter down South’…

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With all the trees in the area there is a lot of wood carving around….

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Old large wooden house…..

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Elva Railway Station that also has the Tourist Information Office inside which was open and full of information for the area and transport to and back from Tartu…

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At the rear….

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Down the line….

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Up the line….

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Tonight’s ‘Dessert’ a result of shopping in the Konsum Patisserie….

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Off to see the Ex KGB Cells tomorrow in Tartu, so if there is no update, then you can guess what has happened, and that will be the end of that! [sly][sly]

head ööd (Estonian “Goodnight”)

XCovlov70
05-30-2013, 10:49 AM
Stage 27A “A Day in Tartu”

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

While today has been nice for the visit to Tartu it has also been a harrowing but very humbling experience after our visit to the KGB Cells Museum …

On the 08:30 Bus to Tartu, while it wasn’t long before the tarmac ran out and we were ‘On the Piste’ as we passed through the small villages before making our way back to the main road to the city….

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Terminating at the Bus Terminal it was a few steps and we were in the Outdoor Market, that was Bread, Cakes, Biscuits and Clothes ….

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While not far away was the Indoor Market that was more ‘Meat & 2 Veg’…..

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Back down at the river was this Pedestrian Bridge that had a Norwegian aspect to it….

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With the Viking Longboat at the top….

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From the bridge looking down river….

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Then looking up river….

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Making our way along the river front we turn left and after a few yards we find ourselves in the Town Hall Square….

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While up at the top in the fountain is the statue of the two kissing students, well this is the biggest University City in Estonia….

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A bit further down the Town Hall Square is this building that looks decidedly out of alignment, even to the walkway…..

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Meanwhile up at the top around the corner is this rather nice mural that is of the main University Building….

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That happens to be a bit further along the street…..

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With a building on the left that has pictures in the windows of people…..

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Further along we find ‘Tampere House’ as this town in Finland has been twinned with Tartu since 1993 which between the two towns restored the building….

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Then on the right hand side is…..

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Showing some of the 1000 Figurines around the walls and tower…..

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Old house in the town now unoccupied….

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Turning left at the top of the road we come to….

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With the Theatre on the corner….

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The next picture is of Gustav II Adolf the Swedish King who signed the founding charter of the University of Tartu in 1632….

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While a bit further along and around the corner is the monument to General Field Marshal Barclay de Tolly who became famous during the Napoleonic Wars…..

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While in the ‘playground’ were these bent pipes that had water running out of and on a hot day were used by the schoolchildren for water pistol fights that invariably soaked you to the skin……

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By this time our main destination was open, and I must admit that I had to borrow this image from Google Earth as the address for the KGB Museum is for a nondescript building at 15 Pepleri Road….

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As you go through the entrance door and down the stairs to your left you can feel a coldness and silence start to move into you. At the bottom of the stairs you turn right and there is reception, from there you walk along a corridor and enter a large room that has been set up as an exhibition room of propaganda pictures….

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As you then come out you look down the corridor with the cells along the sides….

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At the far end on the left is a fairly large room that is in the bottom left corner of the next picture, (Room ‘5’ in the picture below that) it measures about 14 feet by 12 and held between 40 and 50 prisoners who were not allowed to sit down or lean on anything including the person next to them, if they did the guard who was watching through the ‘peephole’ banged on the door and issued threats, which were carried out if you continued….

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Leading into that large room along the corridor was this iron grille gate…

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While at the end of the corridor was the Guard whose eyes were very lifelike.
As you walked forward you heard a recording of banging of cell doors, then screaming and finally a gunshot, followed by an eerie silence…..
Another of the 2000 people who never came out alive had just been terminated….

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On the right hand side of the corridor as you looked at the guard were the solitary confinement cells…..
Note how much room you got. Then see what you got to eat every 3 days…..

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The Solitary Confinement Cells.....

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A closer picture of the Interrogation Chair where both arms and your legs would be restrained before the interrogation started…..

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The cells in the rest of the corridor had been modified to hold the exhibition and here are some of the pictures of the exhibits on display…..

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While listening to a recording of one of the ladies held in the cells with other prisoners male and female in with her, we learned of her daily routine which was quite harrowing.
She would be woken in the morning after very little sleep with interrogation being carried out any time night or day.
While mattresses were on the beds during the night they had to be moved to the upper bunk during the day and were not allowed to be used, the prisoners had to sit on the wires of the bed base when they were allowed to sit down, light in the cell was from a window high up in the wall that had an iron grille and wooden boards covering it, so the light came through the cracks in the wood.
Exercise was 10 minutes in a yard with a guard, while everything else you did, and I mean everything, was monitored continuously by a guard via a sliding cover over the peep hole in the door.
Breakfast was a small square of bread about 10cm with a sprinkle of sugar on it.

“The fish soup in the evening was the worst meal as it was full of bones and very little fish.
To drink we had a bucket with brown water in which we called our coffee break”

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While the lady on the ticket desk told us that the whole underground complex had been refurbished, and had it been in the original ‘non colours’ we would never have gone down the stairs. I must admit that it was extremely refreshing to once again be able to climb the stairs up from ‘The Grey House’ open the entrance door and step out into the sunshine and fresh air, something that a lot of prisoners there never did again.

It really brought it home as to what ‘FREEDOM’ is as we passed through this park and saw the faces & colours on all the different Pansies in the flower bed…..

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While the Flower Sellers went about their business outside the gardens….

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Our next stop was to be Tartu City Museum after our lunch, purchased from the Outdoor Market that consisted of homemade cheese pizza that was really nice followed by a couple of very ripe nectarines and a coffee…

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Inside the first floor depicted various events in the history of the city with information in each room being provided in English on plasticised sheets of paper that you could have spent several days reading and digesting, we had a couple of hours before the bus back to Elva….

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After a quick return to the Indoor ‘Meat & 2 Veg’ Market to purchase a very nice loin of pork it was time to head back to Elva and the campsite after a very interesting day….

head ööd (Estonian “Goodnight”)

XCovlov70
05-31-2013, 09:42 AM
Stage 27A “A Day in Elva”

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

WOW! What a really nice and rather exhausting day we have had today!

The day started after breakfast by returning to the railway station as we wanted to do the ‘Small Trail Nature Energy’ walk that is 3Km long, except it also takes you another 3Km to get back to the start that it looks like someone forgot about, oops! ….

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While along the trail are 36 Wood carvings that are related to Estonian Fairy Tale Stories, the first one is a story about a boy caught in a lightning storm….

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As we made our way along the trail we would come to clearings in the forest with some very nice houses built in them….

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While a bit further on was this ‘Old Boy’ whom you could sit alongside and have a conversation with, albeit one sided….

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While each carving was related to an Estonian fairy tale story….

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Girl on a broomstick….

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As we spotted this BIG Bear we were able to get with the help of Tuuli in the Tourist Information Office at the Railway Station a translation of the Estonian story, which goes like this:
“Once a farmer had beehives from which he got his honey, however there was a BIG Bear in the area who used to sneak in and steal the honey from the beehives. The farmer became desperate as all is honey was disappearing, so he thought of a plan. He made a sweet of honey and a drink for the BIG Bear and put it near the beehives, then climbed into a tree and waited.
As night came the BIG Bear came and ate the sweet, then fell asleep, so the farmer climbed out of the tree and tied a bell around the BIG Bears neck, then climbed back into the tree and waited.
The BIG Bear woke up and was startled by the bell ringing as he moved his head from side to side, he ran off into the woods and never returned to steal more honey, but if you ever hear a bell ringing in the forest then look out for the BIG Bear who stole the farmers honey!”….

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The next carvings were of a Wolf a Fox, some Fish and a Man, but the story was rather long to include in the Blog….

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The fishes carved into the end of the Wolf carving….

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Then just around the corner was this nice view with the small bridge and open area along the trail….

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While a bit further along we find this man having a rest…..

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Some quite large carvings on the trail….

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The just when you think they are completely dead, you see the colourful fungus growing…

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While this was the last carving on the trail it seems to have had something to do with Halloween from the expression on the face….

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With another nice Forest House as we made our way back to the start….

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With the carving that was a permanent resident in the Tourist Information Office as we got back,

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We were asked if we had any plans for the afternoon by ‘Tuuli’ the young lady on reception?
Our reply was that we did not but needed to get some lunch first.
We were then asked if we would act as ‘Guinea Pigs’ for a walking town quiz that would not take long to complete, but would take us on a short tour of the town with clues, questions and answers as we went along, we ‘signed up' for the challenge.

Lunch was duly sorted out then it was back to the TIC (Tourist Information Centre) to collect the Quiz Sheet and a Town Map, then we were off as the results of the first clue gave you the location of the next one and so on, and the answers with the next clue location on was in this format, either pinned to a pole, doorway wall or seat, so you had to use your eyes to spot them!….

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On the way around we saw the 'Old' no longer used Fire Sataion…

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While next along the quiz route was this 342 year old Fir Tree that is now a permanent feature of Elva….

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We then had to find the Ice Cream Kiosk that sadly was not open as the temperature was hitting 25C today, so this was hot and thirsty work!

This was the kiosk ….

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While close by was this children’s playground that got some adult attention as well!

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Our next stop was the lake for the next clue and and answer to the question, however I was not tempted to strip off and jump in to cool down even though it did look inviting, but we did see a small boy selling bunches of Rhubarb outside his house for €1/Bunch, so we stopped and got one, then watched the smile appear as he went off to tell his Mum that he had sold one! WOW. I think we made his day!!!

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While after that we made our way to a house that was used by the Professors of Tartu University for relaxation.
While all the windows of the house are different sizes and shapes which is called ‘Wackwerk Lattice’. The building is now being used for child daycare.

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Next answer was the Elva Singing Area which is a very nice outdoor arena….

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With a visit to the Town Hall unfortunately we did not have time for the journey to get the final 3 answers to the quiz, but it was very interesting to take part seeing parts of the town that we had missed out on seeing as you drive around, and for that and being asked to take part we were really grateful to Tulli for asking, it was good fun.

Meanwhile I think we will definitely be in for a good night’s sleep tonight before we head off on the next stage into Latvia tomorrow….

head ööd (Estonian “Goodnight”)

XCovlov70
06-01-2013, 09:05 AM
Stage 28 Elva – Raiskums (Latvia) (92 Miles)

tere hommikust (Good Morning!)

Hey Ho time to hit the road again and head for the next stop which is Apalkalns Camping and across the border to get there as it is in Latvia….

Not long and we pass through the small village of Rongu.

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As we breathe twice we pass through and out the other side

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Passing through countryside that is not unlike the flat parts of Austria with the Valga sign popping up as that is the Border point between Estonia & Latvia….

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While the next villages name was quite an eye opener….

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Not long and we are entering the town of Valga, where TomTom and the road sign differed as TomTom said straight on and through the town centre whereas the road sign required a right hand turn….

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So we took the right hand turn passing the old border crossing point that is now totally closed down. The building in the next picture was just before it with a small fuel station.
We went through it that quickly that we nearly missed it, but did miss the sign telling us we were now in Latvia! ….

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But got this one a bit further down the road….

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Then we made our way through part of Valga….

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Passing the house in the next picture who had old farming implements in the garden…..

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As we came out of the town into countryside we found the road condition had deteriorated, and then we got pulled over, while I got that sinking feeling of violating some obscure traffic law, but it was a check by Latvian Immigration Control and after a look at our passports we were wishes a ‘Good day’ and carried on down the road…

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While a little bit further on we came to the Roadworks that are resurfacing the road with European funding….

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Couple more towns to get through…

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Then it was a left turn off road number 3 and into the entrance to the National Park for a few miles to the village of Raiskums and the camp site was not far after….

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Campsite entry road….

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And very nice it is too, with your own deck, excellent facilities and wood fired BBQ’s

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Wood fired BBQ! I think the camping & caravanning clubs in the UK might require de-fibrillation kits to be installed in their offices for the officials if they even saw the pictures as Health & Safety would throw a fit!…

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Still while the meat cooked very nicely it made a very warm evening meal, especially as the temperature is still around 25C at 19:00hrs, and we understand it will be hotter tomorrow!

Labvakar (Latvian ‘Good night’)

ssicarman
06-01-2013, 12:56 PM
Looks like you have hit the jackpot on this site as well as the weather. I don't think that I have ever seen such a well appointed camp site.

Strange thing, I seem to be able to pick out what I assume are the Soviet era flats/buildings in your pictures. They all have that certain special look to them.

XCovlov70
06-01-2013, 10:20 PM
Looks like you have hit the jackpot on this site as well as the weather. I don't think that I have ever seen such a well appointed camp site.

Strange thing, I seem to be able to pick out what I assume are the Soviet era flats/buildings in your pictures. They all have that certain special look to them.

Hi ssicarman!

I think you are right, Apalkalns has certainly come up trumps on this trip for us.

Even though several families came to the camp site yesterday afternoon, as well as a birthday party for one of the children with Minney Mouse ballons, we had a really nice quiet night last night, with just one mosquito that didn't stay long.

I understand that the weather will be even hotter today while certain other parts of Europe are having serious rain storms and floods

I also thought that about the buildings as my good lady took the pictures, even outside the KGB Cells in Tartu the building had that Soviet look about it, while some of the houses look really nice, especially with the vibrant colours.

ssicarman
06-01-2013, 10:28 PM
BALLOONS!!!!

Did you get me one? :)

XCovlov70
06-02-2013, 06:35 AM
BALLOONS!!!!

Did you get me one? :)

Aw shucks, sorry no, I didn't realise you were a Minnie 'Fan' and the family have gone home now or I would have asked! [thumbup]

XCovlov70
06-02-2013, 11:48 AM
Stage 28A “A visit to Cēsis”

Labrit (Latvian “Good Morning”)

After a very relaxing and peaceful night we decided to head off into Cēsis for a look around as the town has quite a lot of history associated with it…

A short drive and we arrive in Unity Square & Cēsis Victory Monument , that was built to commemorate Latvian & Estonian soldiers who were killed in the Latvian War of Liberation…

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We then after parking but not sure if we can only stay in the place for 1 hour even on Sunday, make our way to the Tourist Information Office following the signs & passing by these buildings….

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While the next building has a very interesting inscription on a plaque mounted on the wall that you cannot quite see in the picture as the Police vehicle is obscuring it…..

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But then I got closer…..

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Across the road from the building in the picture before last is the Police Office and not being sure of the parking time I went in to see if we could stay longer on Sunday. As I got to the enquiry hatch immediately on my right on the wall were around 10 or 12 TV screens displaying pictures of various parts of the town…..

Out and back on track through the castle wall to the Tourist Information Office…

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Turn left and there is the modern castle built on some of the old castle foundations with mains electricity....

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While from around a clearer view this is the old castle with no electricity and there is a reason for telling you this as you will see a bit later….

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Because there is no electricity in the old castle if you wish to go up the tower with a roof on you have to take a ‘Candle Lantern’ to provide some light when going up some of the stairs and along a couple of corridors, so we ‘signed up’ and off we went like ‘Wee Willy Winkie’ and it was interesting and good fun….

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I hope you can just make out the stairs in the next picture, without the lantern it would have been really tricky to get up…

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The thickness of the tower wall was incredible….

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While this was the ceiling as we got on the first floor…

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While this was inside the all wood roof of the tower….

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The wooden tiles that are fixed to the outside just like clay or slate tiles….

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With the views from the windows in the wall of the tower…..

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With the help of the Candle Lantern we made our way back down and out which if anything was more difficult than going up….

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To be reminded just outside….

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Tower entrance…

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That’s what you went up and came back down with the little Candle Lantern....

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Then making our way back to the new castle to start that tour we get another clearer view of the thickness of the walls…..

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While catching the young lady from the TIC trying out a pair of stilts….

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Off into the new castle….

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Ground floor with large thick pillars holding up the inside…..

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Then into the first exhibition room that had pictures of old style Latvian clothes….

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Next came the true story about the biggest mass suicide in Europe when around 300 inhabitants of Cēsis and the near vicinity who were hiding in the castle and failed to resist the army of the Russian Czar Ivan Grozny and decided to blow themselves up rather than surrender to ruthless invaders…..

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While the next picture shows some of the treasure that was found later….

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The next picture is of the sculptural reconstruction of a young woman’s face who was one of the suicide victims….

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I thought the item in the next picture reminded me of the ‘Toolmaster’ Swiss Army Knife…..

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Family living quarters….

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While going upstairs we see the first ‘Loft Ladder’ but built into the wall….

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The next picture is also of another part of the living quarters that are no longer there…

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But the picture is….

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Library room….

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Back outside there were some preparations for a medieval festival, and on a table we spotted some medieval Europe ‘biscuits’….

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While the oven was being prepared for baking bread that had been prepared earlier….

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Meanwhile some of the people taking part in the festivities had arrived in the clothes of the period….

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Making our way through the castle park….

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We pass the open concert auditorium….

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Then come to the Christ Transfiguration Orthodox Church, while the grounds were open the church was locked….

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Then walking back into town we pass some interesting and quite old buildings…..

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While for every child on a hot day, what better play area than a water fountain….

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We come to St John’s Church but as there was a service going on inside we settled for this rather nice model just inside the outer doors…..

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While outside is this large sculpture of Matiass Jansons (2005). Belief says that if you rub the Lantern, the light will show the way for good thoughts, dreams and deeds.
Maybe we need a ‘Politicians Pilgrimage’ here, transport is by bus for just that purpose?

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As we returned to the TIC we then passed this memorial erected for all the Cēsis people who were deported to Siberia through communist terrorism…

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Making our way back to ‘Flamenco Red’ we pass this sculpture on the corner of the old brewery with a very nice children’s playground alongside…..

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While having arrived back at the campsite for the princely sum of around £2 ($3.50) the Bird damaged grille on ‘Flamenco Red’ was suitably repaired, and the ‘smile’ is back! [thumbup]

It certainly saved shelling out the price asked for a new grille that was between £200 & £300 + Fitting ($350 & $450)!

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Labvakar (Latvian ‘Good night’)

XCovlov70
06-03-2013, 02:08 PM
Stage 28B “A visit to The Secret Bunkers”

Labrit (Latvian “Good Morning”)

Firstly I need to make an apology!

I put a picture on the update of me using a Steel Camp Site BBQ on the wooden decking outside the ‘Tin Tent’!

BAD Mistake as the BBQ has vents underneath that hot charcoal can drop through and set the wooden decking on fire.

My apologies, for this error, and the grey matter between the ears has been re-programmed to ensure there is no repeat performance!

Today we are going to Ligatne and the Rehabilitation Centre where underneath is the ‘Secret Nuclear Bunker’ that was built in the 1980’s for the needs of the political and state authority elite who were responsible for state administration in case of nuclear war…..

We head off for the 26 Mile drive and get there in time for the 10:00 tour only to be told that the tour would have cost us 33Lats/Person, however there is a tour at 15:00 that will cost us 6.30Lats/Person and will be in English, so we decline the first and go for the second …

We then go back into Ligatne for a look around as it is still a ‘Paper-Mill’ Town and this is one of the old stone rollers, as a “Welcome” sign to the town…

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After a very nice visit to the Tourist Information Office that was once the Guard’s House for the 1st Paper-Mill, we set off on a walking tour of Ligatne as we have 3.5hours to use before we go back to the Rehabilitation Centre and Bunkers….

First stop were the caves in the rock face that are nowadays used by craftsmen but previously were used for the needs of the first Paper-Mill….

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While climbing up all the steps at the caves when you get to the top you get to see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ effect of a number of years of Mother Nature….

While the building in the right hand corner is the old Paper-Mill…..

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This is the new view….

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Down at ground level is this rather nice floral display with a couple of Swans in the middle….

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Taking one of the trails out of the town we pass by the outdoor concert area…..

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While a little bit further we come to a couple of bridges one set up on the cliff face….

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While you might be able to see part of the ‘Eugen’ name on the smaller bridge at the back…

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While next we come to the wooden sluice that was used to increase the water pressure for the Paper-Mill from the river….

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The water being controlled by these rack and pinion gates that were raised and lowered….

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With more caves in the rock face used for storage….

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Walking back we nearly step on this little fella that we think might have been a Mayfly….

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Then as we start down the road to the new Paper-Mill we pass…..

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While on the other side of the road is Zakusala (“Hare’s Island”). These were the first wooden houses for the Papermill workers, were built in the 1880’s.
They are wooden row houses with separate apartments for each family. The apartments consist of one room, the kitchen and small storeroom. While the single workers were given rooms on the first floor. Since 1890 the houses have been electrified. Electricity as well as water & firewood has been provided by the Mill free of charge….

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Then at the end of the road is the new Paper-Mill…

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Back along the road and it’s time for some lunch at the Pub: “Vilhelmines dzirnavas”
We asked for a typical Latvian lunch, so for starter we had ‘Cold Soup’ that had lots of salad vegetables in with half a boiled egg and yogurt mixed with beetroot joice….

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Followed by Potato & Onion Pancakes, lin0gon berries, salad and sour cream…
Both courses were really nice….

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After managing to stand up it was back to ‘Flamenco Red’ for a trip to the Ligatne Ferry to see if we could use this as an alternative route for our return….

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Then turning around to head for the ‘Bunkers’ we make our way past these Soviet style flats….

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With a rather nice but old property a bit further along the road…..

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Next stop is……

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Or…

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While waiting for the tour in the Rehabilitation Reception there is this very large fireplace with a good stack of wood waiting for the cold days to return….

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While a short walk outside in the grounds as we were a bit early, showed us the now disused swimming pool….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-27.jpg

A pair of swings made of wood, but don’t swing up to high….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-28.jpg

Forest carvings….

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While back inside it was time to start the tour, so after going down 3 flights of concrete steps we are confronted by a very heavy steel door that once closed is airtight…..

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Passing through and along a corridor we enter the main communications room that connected to other communication rooms in other towns and cities….

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The Bunker covers 2000squ meters of ground and is 27feet underground with very thick concrete walls and roof, while the corridors reminded me of the KGB Cells in Tartu, they were somewhat wider with better lighting.…

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-33.jpg

The next room was a bit like a Telephone Exchange with the racks of equipment…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-34.jpg

While next door were the teletype machines…

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The 1988 log of communications…..

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Meeting room next stop with a rather good map of Latvia on the wall….

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Next door was another telephone room for receiving messages from other places….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-38.jpg

While looking over proceedings was…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-39.jpg

Next stop was the area of two rooms that were reserved for the KGB, and that only named KGB Officers were allowed to enter. A device in the door sent a message to Riga if unauthorised entry was detected…..

Having passed in OK I was loaned a KGB Coat and hat to get a feel of what it was like, the coat although made of leather was extremely heavy, bit like chain mail….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-40.jpg

Outside in a rather dark corridor was this picture, not quite clear of the types of Nuclear clothing and masks to be found and worn in the bunker…..

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-41.jpg

While in another room along with a large number of books in Russian was a book showing the different emblems and flags of the USSR States, this one being Georgia’s….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-42.jpg

The emblem and old flag of Latvia….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-43.jpg

Next we make our way to the Kitchen & Restaurant….
The large grey unit on the left is the heating radiator as the temperature in the Bunkers never gets above 14C….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-44.jpg

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While finally we go into another conference/meeting room with a display of different flags and gas masks for Nuclear fallout….

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/SBST2013/S28B-47.jpg

Other rooms that had the air filtration/conditioning systems, backup power plant that is 2x12 Cylinder Diesel Generators that came from 2 Soviet T46 Tanks, and strategic maps in were off limits for photographs, never the less out 1 to 1.5hour tour turned into 2 hours and was very interesting, but I would not like to be in there for the expected 2 to 3 months that had been planned should a Nuclear event happen……

Our thanks to Apalkalns Camping for making our stay a really nice time here. [thumbup][thumbup]

On the road tomorrow for the next stage to Riga…

Labvakar (Latvian ‘Good night’)

ssicarman
06-03-2013, 09:13 PM
Campsite deck was a bit singed I take it?
Bit of glue for the grill?

Don't blame you guys for going for the cheaper tour. Some on line currency conversion showed the Lats (?) at nearly two to one against the Canadian dollar.
The soup looked, shall we say different.
Comrade you look very Russian in the coat and hat.

XCovlov70
06-03-2013, 09:52 PM
Campsite deck was a bit singed I take it? Not quite but could have been
Bit of glue for the grill? Well as the grille is only for 'decoration' then $3.5 beats $350.00 in my pocket any day

Don't blame you guys for going for the cheaper tour. Some on line currency conversion showed the Lats (?) at nearly two to one against the Canadian dollar.
The soup looked, shall we say different. It was. First time trying for us, but would definitely have it again!
Comrade you look very Russian in the coat and hat.

"Spasebo Comrade" :D:D