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Tag: Wima Rally 2017

Wima Rally Day 12, 20.07.2017

Today is the event day with motorcycle.

There are 3 groups in total:

One race track training, or off-road training, or BMW rental motorcycles for test riding (T9, 1200 GS, eRoller) As a last alternative, there is also a moor hike in the immediate vicinity for the motorcycle tired participants.

I already had a moor hike on day 1 of our arrival in Jan├Ąda, besides I’m here to ride my motorbike. ­čśë

BMW motorcycle test drive?  No, thank you!  Not on principle.

Then off-road training?┬á Would be tempting, especially here in Estonia. I’m just afraid that the coaches’ expectations are very low and I’ll probably fall asleep.

So all I have left is the track. Actually also not bad, even if the Versys is not so the race track device now.  But the idea of getting training from an Estonian state champion is very tempting.

To make matters worse there is a little rain again and the day looks already very grey

To my delight, the track turns out to be a GoKart/Supermoto track and this is exactly the area that an Versys needs to let off steam. Curves!

The instructor explains to us the gentle (roadworthy) variant of the hanging off and the correct approach to curves.  There are also a few hats in the curve which are intended as a guideline.

As the track dries up slowly, there is a lot of fun in the corners. The Pilot Road 4 are stable in spite of the curve hunt, which is probably an advantage of the low temperatures in Estonia, otherwise I am used to them slipping in excessive race mode. :-/

However, I don’t want to overdo it completely, after all I am on the road in the textile suit tours, and I would also like to go home from Estonia by motorbike. But at least there is the possibility to round the wheel edges a little ­čśŤ

The other girls are a little more moderate and therefore easy to overtake. Only the Triumph riders also let off steam and stubbornly fight back

DCIM100GOPROG0011746.

DCIM100GOPROG0011542.

The Tiger 1050 finally has to give way due to a slide on a small oil stain, but Susi with her Street Triple does not let up. So, after a few laps of racing match, only the (random) correct track choice decides the head-to-head race when overtaking a group.

Somehow she must have got wormed, because she overtakes me during the laps just before the exit.  Okay, I forgive her.

The Versys has once again shown what it can do with simple road tyres. I really had a good time and improved the technique again.

We then drive back to Jan├Ąda in the group and still have the opportunity to watch the off-road group training. I must say, the participation in the track training was definitely a good decision ­čśë

There are still a few BMW motorcycles (from 1200GS to 9T) available for test rides. But, as already mentioned, I’m simply not interested in BMW. It is not necessarily the relatively poor quality of the overpriced machines, it is more the image that is transported through the brand that frightens me. Just my personal opinion, mind you. 1000th buyers can’t be wrong, can they? ­čśë

Instead, I take the flagpole and our flag, assembled yesterday, for a ride in the surrounding area to test the stability of the construction and its effect on me.

Up to approx. 70km/h it is ok from the train of the flag in the airstream, afterwards really uncomfortable. I definitely need to think of an improvement for tomorrow’s parade.

 

Su is at the presidents dinner (she represents our Wima-Austria president Jane) and we make ourselves comfortable in the stallion stable again.

The last days I noticed that there is also a 1st floor, but so far I have not been able to visit it. Today I have time to look up the stairs.

And, surprise! Here hides a craft shop, which offers all kinds of clothes and souvenirs made of wool, felt, wood, etc…..┬á I’m almost in a shopping frenzy. The goods are high quality and relatively cheap, and so winter socks, 2 caps, a vest and Schaaf are purchased.

If you now wonder how you dress with ┬áSchaaf, ┬áthen you are unfortunately mistaken. Schaaf is actually only a sheep of felt. Since it is small and handy, it will accompany me on solo trips in the future.┬á Where does the name come from? In reference to an Austrian motorcycle “artist” I will call it, slightly alienated, Schaaf. ­čśë

 

The good mood is dampened a little after Su’s return. There must have been some controversity in the presidential round. They say there’ll be another discussion tomorrow after the parade.

So this day ends with food, music and some open questions.

Treasure Hunt, Wima Rally 2017

Today there is another exciting point on the program: Treasure Hunt.

I got up at 7 a.m. in the morning and went for breakfast ÔÇô actually, a miracle that it never rained on the way to or from the event and dinning room (the former stallion stable), but always was warm and sunny.

On our return to the accommodation we noticed that in the meantime the questions and other documents for the Treasure Hunt have been issued.

Therefore, the task was quickly flown over. The daily equipment (rain protection!, drinking backpack and maps) packed and off on the road with us.┬á Today we are only two people on the road. Su wants to take a break. Well, she’ll miss out, but we don’t know that yet. ­čśë

First the same route as yesterday with the bus in the direction of Tallinn, then, near Soodla, turned north and advanced to the Baltic Sea coast. The three characteristic peninsulas in Lahemaa National Park are part of our first puzzles. There are several questions to solve, which can only be solved by visiting the Viinistu Kunstimuuseum and K├Ąsmu Meremuuseum.

The composition of the 100 concrete cases (which symbolize the emigration of many Estonians) in the run-up to the art museum turns out to be a very big pitfall, which of course are not 100 pieces, but have to be counted -> this station will make the essential difference in the final, but at this point we could not have guessed that either.

The roads between the question stations are, as usual, perfectly paved – it seems as if all EU development funds have flowed into roads in recent years – lonely, without any traffic and – this is the biggest surprise for us – also lavishly blessed with curves. This makes the trip through the national park really fun. There are always small islets off the coast, the sea is green/blue and the sun is shining down from the sky. So everything is at its best.

As always, I am too fast on the road, Renate always stays behind, and at some point she asks me – rightly – whether I am on the run?

She’s really right and that’s why I shift down a gear and just enjoy the landscape and it’s really beautiful and invites you to look at it calmly.

Soon we reach the end of the national park and return to the interior to visit the two mansions (mois ) of Sagadi (in red) and Palmse (in yellow), which are also part of our questionnaire. It’s about photos of objects, to assign to the respective manor house. And so we walk through the wonderful gardens of both sites and enjoy the reenactment, which is common in Estonia and is supposed to show the life of the inhabitants (including servants) at that time. It’s a good thing that despite the wonderful sunshine it’s only about 17/18┬░ warm again (in Austria its at the moment close to 40┬░!!) , otherwise it would be a hot affair with the motorcycle gear. Because of the advanced time we decide to have a lunch break in the castle tavern. Here too, the staff is dressed accordingly, but at least we can pay with Euros instead of guilders. ­čśë

So, the questions asked are all be checked off now, so we start our way back to the south, towards Tapa.

In Tapa itself we make a short stop, on the one hand we refuel our machines again, and then there is another special task to do. All I’m saying now is: broomstick and dog toy.

From Tapa it is only a stone’s throw back to J├Ąneda, this time we do not drive on the national road but on a country road cutter, via Lehtse, and so, despite – once again – threatening clouds we arrive back completely dry. What a day!

 

 

The broom stick is prepared in the quiet closet, i.e.: with the unravelled dog toy (chewing bone made of ribbon fibres), gaffer tape and rock straps converted into a strap-on flagpole.

The Austrian flag is attached to it and off it goes for a test drive, for the day after tomorrow’s parade to Rakvere. Finally, I have to test how many kilometres per hour I can withstand before it blows me off the motorcycle, and how many km/h the flag?

In short, I win. ­čśë

As pleasant I feel everything up to approx. 70 km/h, above that the pull of the flag already becomes quite violent. In addition, the flag begins to fray at the edges.  Since the drive to Rakvere takes about 1 hour it seems to be a good fitness training. No big fault, after all this marvellous dishes.

I drive a little back and forth and so attract the attention of other Wimas.

My little “stunt”, as it seems, then have reached the newly elected president, and since she is not riding her motorcycle this time, she suggests that the day after tomorrow I should not ride in the column but at the top together with the Wima Estonia president Annelie, but then with the Wima International flag.
OK, what can happen, it can’t even be bigger than our flag and in the column it doesn’t go so fast.

As always too optimistic Versya, as always……, but we will see it the day after tomorrow ­čśë

So I agree and make my way to the road safety event that Wima EE regularly organizes for motorcycling women in Estonia in the evening.

Appropriately this time with us as Claque and selected presidents around the globe, who well reflect the different aspects of the respective countries in their presentation of motorcycle culture on site, as well as the usual traffic customs. Also interesting: Japan may be the only country that offers for female street motorcycle riders “breastplate protectors” as standard. I only know it from motocross and there with both sexes.

Wima EE has also put out a folder showing the advantages of safety clothing. I confirm with Annelie, that we may use the photos (all Wima EE members), if we should publish a similar information brochure.

After that I plunge briefly into the Estonian nightlife – as always: eating, drinking and loud music…, but the diary waits, I am still about 1 ┬Ż days behind and so I start with the tracking of the experiences, and these are – as women will surely notice when reading here – not exactly few.

A little later Renate and Su join us and we discuss our last experiences, the current information of the last NP election, and so it gets late again and the diary remains still incomplete.  But, so what?

Arctic Summer in Tallinn

Who would have thought it?
In the estonian summer we stood in front of this stand in Tallinn. It had  pleasant 17-20° C and the winter was still far away.

I can still remember very well how we stood in front of the long jelly bag hats and puzzled how women should wear them? After all, they almost hung down to the ground?
The nice saleswoman explained it to us. And, as you can see on the second picture: It brings cosy warmth at the current arctic temperatures.

Today I’m standing in the park with my dog and I’m happy that I struck back then.

 

That’s what I call foresight!┬á Or am I more like a witch?

But how did it come after all, why Tallinn, some will ask themselves, who have missed the description of our long journey there.
Tallinn, the old Hanseatic city, which had to experience so much in the course of history and was able to maintain a relatively original Gothic part of the old town. And, by the way, it is also the capital of Estonia.

As we are already in Estonia, and at least one cultural sightseeing event during a Wima Rally is standard, it was more then obvious that an organized sightseeing tour took place. Naturally optimally organised by our Wima EE

During the bus journey we are introduced by the nice tour guide into the many aspects of the Estonian past, but also the present ÔÇô with its rapid change, away from the communist satellite state, to a modern and very progressive state.

She describes very vividly the division of society into poor and prosperous, Estonians and Russians. According to her statements, there is still a long way to go before these populations will have a greater rapprochement.

Nature and fauna are not neglected either, the differences and similarities to the Finnish language are briefly explained. And so we are already very well established when we reach the prefabricated buildings of the Tallinn suburbs. Our first stop will be at the SingersÔÇÖ Fairground.

It was from here that the Estonian national movement started, which ultimately led to the separation from the Soviet Union.

As a contrast to the spectacular tribune of singers, the tour continues into the upper part of the city, which houses many public buildings and the Alexander-Newski Cathedral.

Up there is also a huge observation deck (Kohtuotsa), with a magnificent view of the harbour and the lower town.

Through the alleyway (Pikk) it goes down to the second part of the city, which still has old structures and resembles a labyrinth. Like a pearl necklace, there are old town houses from the Gothic period.

It is somewhat a miracle that so many old buildings and city walls have been preserved and now, lovingly restored, are a natural tourist destination. And there are more than enough of these in the narrow alleyways.

Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to stroll through the alleys and look at the little shop windows. In between there are always restaurants, and with more advanced time, it also drives us to a restaurant near the old town hall square.

The old Hanse is a medieval-style restaurant with traditional dishes that are also served in and on crockery. So, knightÔÇÖs dinner at Burg Lockenhaus, in Tallinn. However, the price-performance ratio is not so high and a visit to the toilet suggests that the medieval scenery was only constructed as a distraction from the pre-floody toilets.

Or is it because of the tourists?; -)

In any case, the reserves have been replenished and the tour continues through the alleys.

Although the sun shines down warmly, we buy really warm traditional winter caps at the souvenir stall, at the old city wall. With woolly, filled bags we continue to the NO side of the city wall, where along the city wall with its imposing towers, a park and a pond below the upper town invites you to relax.

On a park bench I finally have the opportunity to fill my diary with the events of the last days.

The sun is shining, it is pleasantly warm (rather rarely, without a motorcycle gap) and the park landscape is finally able to bring me down and just enjoy the moment.

The time is over, and we meet again at the bus.

The return journey passes quickly and we have to get in tune with the trash evening.

Each nation represented has prepared a crazy, insane or simply inappropriate action that is presented to the assembled audience.

There is Pinneaple Pen, childrenÔÇÖs songs in Dutch, German mass rally aÔÇÖ la soccer match, spoon and drum music, Viennese waltz, ballet, etcÔÇŽ.

Oblique even. The dinner is more than just sumptuous, and the quality is excellent, itÔÇÖs really hard not to taste everything.

ItÔÇÖs getting late again until we get to bed.

 

 

Criss, Cross to and through Latvia, Tour Wima Rally, day 6

The day starts with breakfast on the balcony, the alternative: having breakfast in the hotel-assigned restaurant was not so tempting in comparison, despite the voucher.

The selection is plentiful and enough for all of us and a small rest is shipped to Su’s topcase bar, as a tactical reserve for the day.┬á nearby

We enjoy the calm and stress-free start to the day, slowly we manage to adapt to the area and leave our hectic everyday life behind us completely. Similar to pilgrimages, the “monotony” of the daily routine is very meditative and creates a unique atmosphere.

So we start the day very easy by throwing the luggage over the balcony parapet to the motorcycles and shortening the towing around the block dramatically and since the “packing up” is already routine, we are on the road very fast despite all the silence.

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The sun is shining, but it’s still quite fresh (17┬░) and we are happy to have a few more layers underneath the motorcycle outfit.┬á Shortly we meet extremely low “clouds”? that sometimes float away within reach, and sometimes lie like fog over the landscape.

In the shade it is even cooler, so we hold it again to increase our layers even more.

 

 

So we drive through slightly hilly terrain in Siauliai and then a short distance to the north on the A12, in order to turn right again. So quickly we have reached Kryziu Kalnas, the mountain of crosses.

The parking lot is almost full and the first buses arrive already, so we leave the souvenir shops on the left for the time being and enter the toilet (the first and last time on our trip, where it really costs something – is also tip, top. That’s really the only thing I envy about male bikers, zip down, do business, drive on.

This usually takes less than a minute. With us queing and undressing and putting on again we need about 20 minutes  in total, until it finally goes on foot the last 400m towards the crosses.

Nevertheless, the bus mob is still behind us and so we can almost undisturbed take the first lap on the narrow paths through the enormous accumulation of crosses.

There are large, small, old, new, wooden, stone and metal crosses and all this shows, despite the mass, a certain deep spirituality that exists here in Lithuania, despite, or even because of the oppression during the Soviet period.

We also see a family (which despite the ban) erecting a new medium sized cross.
As far as I can understand, it is probably dedicated to a child who died about 1 month ago. Greepy. I distance myself spatially from the mountain, in order to let the whole thing affect me with a little distance, it is simply too violent from close up.

 

The temperature has meanwhile risen to 25┬░ and so we get rid of ourselves on the way back to the motorcycles of our shifts, in order to drive now around some more freely to the north, towards the border. But before we enter the souvenir shop and finally we manage to buy patches and stickers from Lithuania.

Once again we stop at the border crossing, which is also picturesque in the area and with its shady shrubs offers protection from the warm sun.

In good tradition, this border crossing is also documented for the loving ones at home, before we continue on our way.

And again we turn off from the Direttissima to Riga and drive eastwards, parallel to the border to take a closer look at the castle of Rund├Ąle.

The idea came up, together with the castle Bauska of Renate, and the visit is definitely worth the detour.

The castle complex of Rund├Ąle is a classical baroque summer palace with a park. Little Sch├Ânbrunn, so to speak. The small, but subtle difference?

Moose antlers; -) on the wall of the main corridor.

The grounds are very spacious, with parks and cafes and beautifully shaped. The whole complex shows the efforts to restore lost values of the past and to incorporate the changing history of the Baltic States into its own history.

During our tour through the terrain, a large black cloud stretches in the sky to the north. We know the sign nowadays only too well, that means putting on raincoats or taking an alternative course as soon as possible.

We decide for the second one and start off towards Bauska to stop there for a short while and have a look at the partially restored castle of Bauska before we swing on our motorcycles for the last time for today and head towards Riga.

This time the navigation doesn’t leave us in the stick on the last kilometres and so we arrive at our hotel Mercure Riga Centre.

A view of the hotel and our booking leaves us in doubt?

130, – ÔéČ for three persons and 2 nights, incl. breakfast?┬á Probably the broom closet at the attic and mattresses on the floor to sleep? Hmm, that reminds me of my wedding night in Bergen, where we, soaking wet, because of a wrong booking by the travel office, have been accommodated in just such?

Okay, let’s get rid of the thought. We’ll see about that.

And what we see is a huge room with a view over the square in front of us, huge beds, a monster tv screen. And, an enormously large bathroom, which we turn into a laundry room right after showering, with crisscross stretched laundry lines. In any case: It doesn’t look that noble anymore. ; -)

Afterwards, a short rest is called for. Su sews her new patches on the robe, Renate checks the extra bed and I write these lines.

When the hair is dry again, we leave for the old town. Since it will be dark at almost 24:00 anyway, and we don’t have a day of driving tomorrow – yes, we still have our reserve day completely unspoiled and so we will use it for an extensive Riga tour. This evening it can take a little longer until we get to bed….. ha, ha, ha… as if… (but we don’t want to know that anyway).

On the way to the Oldtown we pass the main railway station (incl. huge shopping mall), the canal (old town moat) and the National Opera House. And take pictures of a historic tram set that circles around the city, before entering the narrow alleys of the old town.

There’s a lot of activity, all the places are full of guests. We decide to visit the Steiku Haoss because of the hot live music in front of the restaurant.

And the name is the name of the game and therefore it is appropriately slammed.
I almost feel like Svenja and of course I have a….. Entrecote selected!

It takes a while, the restaurant is also full, but from our place we can hear the music well and we see the musicians in action all the time, so there can be no boredom. An astonishing number of staff is on, too. No one in Austria could pay for these personnel costs, it seems that personnel costs nothing compared to the well-off European prices on the menu.

After a – longer – while the steaks (upps entrecote) arrive and they taste delicious!

The atmosphere is good, but at some point (it’s getting really dark now) we want to pay, but we are invited by Renate to dinner ÔÇô she enjoyed the day so much!, and then we head back to the hotel.

On the way back we briefly raid a souvenir shop so that we also have Latvian stickers and patches for our collection, and we watch the rowing boats in the canal as they glide quietly over the water with lanterns.

A truly atmospheric end to a wonderful day.  (And, not a single raindrop!)

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Through Masuria, Tour to Wima Rally 2017, Day 4

Yesterday I was thrilled by Masuria, the landscape and the small roads were nice to drive. At least with Su and me, because with the Versys a standing driving works very well. In addition, woman immediately sees more of the area, and that is actually very attractive. It reminds of the Waldviertel, only with more lakes, old avenues and even fewer people. So in sum almost equal; -)
Renate disagrees with her hard-suspended Duke and the hard seat, so she has to step off the gas again and again. But she also liked the area very much.
So it was clear to us, after a short voting round, that we are not going directly from here via Suwalki to Lithuania, but we are doing an extra lap.

Since the big lakes in front of Gizycko were only grey in grey because of yesterday’s heavy rain, we decided to make a spiral to the Lithuanian border. This will make the journey to Marijampole a little longer than planned, but it is still easy to make under normal conditions.
So we get up early and are happy about the nice weather outside, maybe it will be another warm, sunny day for us?

First of all, there is the breakfast, which is once again served in the form of a huge buffet on the ground floor of the hotel in front of us. It’s probably a Polish specialty.
These oversized buffets, with a strong emphasis on the hearty side, are a wonderful opportunity to eat all day long.
And so we always come with a little snack along the way throughout the day.

The hotel staff has been very friendly and courteous since our arrival. This makes it all the more irritating to hear an outraged German pensioner at the reception who complains loudly about the fact that her towels from last night have not yet been changed. And now I want to talk to the boss, who of course you don’t understand German; -)

I wonder why some of our dearest relatives still don’t get this:
German mentality exists only in Germany – and possibly still in the USA. All other countries have a national culture that can, but does not have to, be compatible.
The nicest sentence is always:”With us in Germany we do so… /would not be possible….” omg, why do you go abroad then?

But back to something more enjoyable, our tour.
After breakfast we turn back into motorcyclists, load our motorcycles and drive out of the yard to head south first towards Orzysz. Just like yesterday, the winding road leads us up and down hills through a mixed landscape of fields, forests and lakes. Again and again we can catch a glimpse of a small pond.

Afterwards we drive around the big lake in the south (Sniardwy) on the relatively small roads, with the farmhouses appearing again and again on the way, and also the old avenues are back again. Then we head north again via Mikolajki to Ryn, and continue to Ketryzn.

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This would close the circle with our tour yesterday. But we drive curiously further north through Wegorzewo. We had hoped that buildings from the past would also be visible, but unfortunately the city was only colorless and dreary. So we immediately went back to Goldap, which is already on the border with Russia. enclave of Kaliningrad.
The city is beautifully beautiful and nestles in the hills of the countryside.
Why are we here, anyway? Of course, first and foremost because we want to go to the Wima Rally in Estonia, of course, also because we want to get to know as many corners and angles of Masuria as possible, but also because we have closed the enclave as close as possible to us – unplannedly – to complete the enclave. The idea originated with our “excursion” to the Polish Spit. Since we drove as far as the stop, we came up with this “crazy” idea. We have planned a reserve day in total, so why not fill it with a small challenge?

This includes a visit to the border triangle of Lithuania, Poland and Kaliningrad, which is situated at the end of a nature park (Krajobrazowy Puszczy Rominckie) that runs along the border. Therefore, we follow the small country road through the nature park along the border area to Russia, to unexpectedly see the impressive railway viaduct, shortly before Stańczyki. Since the weather situation looks a little bit moody in the meantime, we do without the rocker and only look at it from a distance to drive on.
As soon as we leave the forest, the beautifully decorated landmark appears in front of us.

A number of vehicles are parked on the parking areas on site. We prefer to go on and so we continue our journey.
Very small roads lead us finally over an inconspicuous border crossing to Lithuania. The border sign alone stands abandoned in the area and so we use the peace and quiet on site to organize a small photo shoot. We crossed the great Poland first from south to north and then to west. Until our journey home we are now only travelling in the Baltic States!
The landscape changes of the last few days have been manifold, and we are curious to see whether everything is different in Lithuania?

 

 

From the border crossing we continue north to Vilkaviskis and from there to Marijampole, because Renates Duke urgently needs a refuelling stop and there is no petrol station. I have a fuel hose with me, which means that we could give her gasoline from the Versys tank at any time, but on foreign territory we prefer to fill her up in time. And, the breaks are also a welcome change from our “mileage eat”┬á ; -)
The search for gasoline almost leads us out of Marijampole again, when we finally come across a spacious gas station. The machines are being refuelled by us and just as we push them on the side, so that we can have a little snack break in peace and quiet, the rain falls unexpectedly over us. We quickly push the machines back under the roof of the petrol station and pull ourselves into the salesroom, because the wind drives the rain away.

Since we wanted to take a break anyway, we take the opportunity to have coffee, cocoa and various drinks. Sandwiches add a little bit of refreshing and waiting for the worst of the weather front before we set off again.

The rain persistently comes in dense waves and so we have no choice but to wait for the worst and then, protected by rainwear, continue on our way to Kaunas, where we have just booked a nice hotel room online in the Perkuno namai, above the city centre.

The short drive to Kaunas is humid at first, but soon the rain stops with perfect timing and so we can drift calmly through the urban traffic chaos, dry our rain gear and take advantage of the view of the old buildings of the city.
The hotel is actually located on a mountain overlooking the city centre and has a beautiful garden built into the hillside.

Unfortunately, the rain has caused a massive cooling, so we prefer to stay in the restaurant and enjoy the end of the day.
Although it’s getting dark, I still want to stretch my legs and Renate too. Therefore, armed with a rudimentary map, we set off to explore the city centre.

First we go down the mountain through a park and then we follow the pedestrian zone to the west.
Along the way there are many interesting buildings and restaurants, but it’s getting dark and the shops are already closed.

In almost full darkness we turn back and feel our way back up the mountain in the dewy darkness over desolate stairs and paths, until we meet again on the illuminated roads.

Since we have – again – changed our planned route, the itinerary for tomorrow is on the agenda.
The scenic valley of Memel and then, if there is still time, the Curonian Spit? So it’s time to go to sleep, because tomorrow is certainly an interesting day.

Weather:
Sunny, then heavy rain, then cloudy again,
Temperature moderate 20-25┬░ C

Distance: 385km    Travel time: approx. 7h

Morning at the seaside, evening in Masuria, Tour Wima Rally 2017, day 3

At 8:30 breakfast!

This news has shaken us yesterday. How shall we use the day when breakfast starts so late?
Since we have grown accustomed to getting up early, we are naturally awaken too early.

As we didnÔÇÖt want to wait hours for the breakfast, not knowing what to do otherwise, we decided to visit the old Kahlberg and the Baltic sea coast in a morning stroll.

(At Pension Lotus, there were also many black and white photos from the era before the First World War)
Only a small climb from the hotel is necessary to reach the top of the Spit, and there is the original village.

It has its architectural origin definitely in Germany. Remaining houses and the small Franciscan monastery recall this past very emphatically and take us to another time. The following epochs have left their mark on the outside and are mixed with their architectural condition and architectural quality. ­čśë

The old town center is relatively small and so the further path leads us down again the ramp to the broad and sandy beach, which is empty and deserted at this time of the morning. Only a few joggers join us there.

Left my Footprint there

The sand is still cool from the rain and so we pull of the shoes to stroll along the sea for a bit. The water feels fresh and does not invite you to a deeper walk in.

 

The fact, that we face a wonderful day at the Baltic Sea, will be noticed only in our second encounter, but we do not know yet.

Since Kahlberg (Krynica Morska) also has a red lighthouse as a landmark, we are looking for it. We have to search the coastline for a while until we can see it behind the treetops.

So we go uphill again, through a new part of the town, consisting of new luxury apartments, and there it stands in all its red splendor.

Unfortunately, the access is closed. So we can only walk around the foot of the tower, and imagine the view from above.

Meanwhile, the time has went by, therefore we head back to our pension.

There is already a group of German tourists waiting for the entrance (which is possible only from the garden, a strange construction). The door opens shortly afterwards and we discover a truly sumptuous breakfast buffet. The reviews on booking.com, which point to this fact, have not lied, omg! Well, we have already stimulated our appetite through the walk, so we can unrestrained enjoy the many delicacies.

Later, we are groaning up the stairs to our room, to force ourselves into the ÔÇô strangely somehow narrow-feeling ÔÇô motorcycle clothes.

The loading of the machines is all the more speedy, getting used to the routine to strap the luggage to the motorcycle.

We start the engines and roll back the road, we went yesterday, a little way, then follow the course of the lagoon towards Elblag. There, after a short photo stop, we cross the canal to follow it for a short distance. The peculiarity of the canal is that it overcomes almost 90m heights in its course, not with locks, but with a railway similar system, which uses transport vehicles, to carry the ships over to the next hill ­čśë

 

At least ,now we are in Masuria.

Yes, Masuria! We had already read much at home about this largely unspoiled area, and of course were anxious to see whether the full-bodied stories would be true. The descriptions of wide arable land, many lakes and woodlands and small villages are very appropriate. In a sense, it is Waldviertel (NW, Lower Austria) about 60 years ago with even fewer people.

Particularly striking are the many old avenues that line the narrow streets. These are closed by the high alley trees. Trucks are only allowed to drive with reduced speeds, otherwise the avenue is too much damaged.

So we move through the slightly hilly area, always interrupted by woodland and lakes, and sometimes a small village. So we move from west to east, preferably on the small minor roads. So we reached Elblag, there we cross the famous canal ÔÇô with its railway similar ship transport system over the hills (hey, Fitzccaraldo was right!) and ride further on via Orneta, Dobre Miasto, Rezel,

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Swieta Lipka (pilgrimage church holy Linden tree) and Ketrzyn.

 

Again and again we stop briefly for photos. What we already expected at the departure from the lagoon, at about 1pm onward, it starts to rain.

It is perfect that we have our rain cover handy, because except for short interruptions, the rain remains today and ensures a pleasantly cool, but unfortunately also moist Masuren.

Short before Ketrzyn, also known by the nearby bunker system Wolfschanze, the rain is so violent that we are glad that the next village on our route will be Gizycko (L├Âtzen), and thus the end of todayÔÇÖs planed track.

We drive through several centimeters high water puddles right in the hotel Masury yard.

Again we receive a large spacious room on the second floor including a perfect view on our parked motorcycles.

Of course we hang our wet rain gear up to dry, and it looks in the room cozy chaotic already, good, that it is really big.

Afterwards we check the last online news and learn that our second team has been stopped by heavy rain and therefore is staying in a hotel in Gizycko. Hmm, Gizycko? Gizycko!

We are pleased to hear that their hotel is located about 1.4 km away, and we are organizing a meeting on the canal so that we can look for a common place for an exchange of experiences.

The rain has subsided a little now, so walk on foot to exercise our legs. We arrive at the canal just in time, to cross the bridge, before it is locked, and afterwards swung for the passage of several boats. The rotating mechanism is still operated by hand. Later we read that the mechanism was operated with motors at some time, but the mechanics of the bridge were damaged by the strength of the motors. So they restored the old manual way.

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The second attraction in Gizycko would have been the fortress Boyen, the best preserved in Masuria. But the visit unfortunately rains off.

We meet the CH.AT troop at the bridge and leave enter the nearby pizzeria Mariza. The choice is unfortunately not the best, both speed, as well as quality of the food are, from our point of view, rather mediocre.

This is, thank God, the only time on our trip that this happens, but we do not know yet.

 

But really, we donÔÇÖt bother, we chat, exchange experiences and the time flies by.

Before it gets dark (lol, it is only from 22:00) we are back in our hotel. Back to the route planning for tomorrow and for me there are also another pages in the diary to fill.

 

 

Journey to Wima Rally 2017 day 1

Where does Theo go?

And where are we going? Correct! To Lodz!  Why are we going there? This year the Wima Rally takes place in Estonia, and we decided to participate there and to enjoy the ride to Estonia to the max.

The last days were just stress. Business trips, and approvals at construction sites, and I finally managed to come home  on saturday.
I had only the evening to pack and to print out the route map for the coming day sections in detail .

Additionally I changed the complete tank lock, as it did block over the last weeks mre and more, and I do not want to risk to get stranded in Estonia on the way, without fuel. Also a small rivet arrived yesterday and I finally could fix a hole in my fairing. But now, we can really start the adventure! ┬á­čÖé

 

Today it is still cool and the first rays of sunlight flash through the treetops when I do a final farewell round through the park with my dog.

The rest of the family will have to look after him for the next two and a half weeks, because the great adventure of traveling to the Wima Rally 2017 in Estonia starts in 30 minutes.

Su and I meet, as usual, at the Green Mountain, then we will go to Hochleithen together, where Renate will join us.

Su arrives at the meeting point a minute after me, our bikes are filled up, and so we ride further on.

Our two Versys are equipped with the side paniers and a tankbag and in addition with a top case or saddlebag, respectively.
It is always an interesting challenge to estimate the weather and the basic conditions to expect on the journey, and on this basis to estimate the actually required clothing and utensils.

My approach was as follows:

First, everything is spread out at the bed, unnecessary parts will be removed first.
Second, items, only used at the destination, or items used only in emergency cases are in the left side panier. The garment and regularly used items in the easier accessible (right) side panier. The saddlebag is usually equipped with sleeping bag, sleeping mat and other camping equipment, but this time it carries the flags for the national Wima presidents, as well as stickers and pins for the participants of the rally. Our Austrian flags for the parade are stored here, too. For the return way I will use it for my souvenirs. So it does not return empty, the poor one ┬á­čśë

Renate has arrived in Hochleithen already, she has chosen the Duke 390 for her ride to Estonia and so she will sit the next 2400 km wedged between tankbag, luggage bag and luggage reel on the thin seat, admirably spartan to travel and perhaps also a little masochistic? We will see.

So we take a photo of us, and the big adventure starts.

For the first stage – in Polish ┼ü├│d┼║ – we only use expressways and highways, according to the plan.

It is also the longest travel distance for a day. After about 650km we should reach our destination in the evening.

The weather is fine and so we drive without great obstacles over the A5, then in Czech the A1, close to Ostrava, where we refuel the first time. In our case, the Duke measures the refuel distances, the Versys covers almost 400km with moderate gait and this will be our pace traveling in the group, nevertheless we refuel in such cases too. Of course, we use these stops also for toilet visits.

Su and I always share a fuel station, so we alternate the payment and do not have to reckon much.
The border crossing between CZ and PL is a new motorway (A1), it was unspectacularly, at the least,  to get through here, only a few signs on the roadside indicate the border crossing, and we are in Poland already.

Here, too, the road continues for the time being without any special incidents, but the motorway soon becomes a kind of expressway with traffic lights. Sometimes we manage to cheat with the loaded machines to the front row, sometimes we just have to wait for the green phases to go on again.

In Czestochowa there is still no bypass, so we have to torment ourselves with the cars through the city. After that, we continue on the same expressway system for a while, until a fully-fledged highway suddenly appears in front of us, this in the area around Kamiensk.

Of course, we have to refuel and so we fill our tanks again in the “same procedure as every tank stop”.

Lodz, Łódz, is already much earlier than expected announced on the signs. Short after Piotrkow over the S12, then over the S8, the S91, and in between there are even smaller exits, which are also signal Lodz as exit.

So, how big is this city? Finally, the expected Lodz Centrum exit appears and we take it, just to turn right at the first roundabout in the wrong direction. Now, you might suspect that there is an alternative route after so many exits to Lodz. That was at least our hope, after we had noticed our mistake, but it took us almost 10km until there was again a possibility to turn towards Lodz and take aim at our hotel.

This we had – on the basis of the good progress done in the afternoon, on the road, with the help of booking.com – reserved and we were not disappointed. Housed in an adapted old factory building, the Hotel Focus offers newly furnished rooms, which also provide a lot of free space, a well-developed Wlan infrastructure (important to keep home updated), a locked parking lot. What can You wish for?

After we had set up – photos of the room afterwards will not be shown – we decided to go by tram to the city center, maybe to eat a little. Because, up to this point, muesli bars were our only food, which was supplemented with plenty of fluids – of course alcohol free.
But, to use the tramways in Lodz isnÔÇÖt so easy. They drive regularly, but the intervals are about 20 minutes and our tram had just driven off.
Short discussion, we will walk to the center.
Now, in the former Eastern bloc countries there is the tradition to cover pedestrian ways with tiles, but for a long time they do not represent a flat area, anymore. So, a walk on foot means to get to know the ground of a city very thoroughly, but the rest of the city is only very schematic to get to know. This improves however, the closer we get to the lovely restored city centre.
Wima Rally 2017 Tour Day 1Perhaps it was also not so bad to lift the view not too often, the rest of Lodz shows only a glorious past. ­čśë
In the centre, street musicians and restaurants change at very short intervals and so it is not too difficult for us to find a place where we sit down in the garden in the pedestrian zone and dine delicious Shoarma. Not necessarily a usual Polish meal, but it is excellent. May the following days be as pleasant!┬á ­čÖé


Returning back to the hotel is easier than in the other direction and en route we discover a few nice sculptures and buildings.
While Su and Renate visit the hotel bar, I return to the room to let the impressions of the day set on me and fill the diary with the first scribbled pages.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Gallery for day 1:

 

Wima Rally, First Reports

First Press Medias:

(Warning: Estonian can confuse your sense ­čśë

https://tv3play.tv3.ee/sisu/seitsmesed-2017/852182 First 30sec advertising, then start from 14:30 minutes on

and

http://virumaateataja.postimees.ee/4185613/galerii-tsiklinaised-vurasid-rakvere-tanavatel

 

Bonus:

5 min Parade

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A hint: It’s easy to spot me ­čśë

 

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