Crossing the border from Poland to Lithuania is easy. The dirt road we’re on is only used by tractors. There aren’t any guards or controls. We are in the Baltic States!
After about 100 km we are stopped by the border police though. They ask for our passports since we are very close to the Russian enclave. After some minutes we are allowed to continue. North Cape here we come!
To enter Latvia we did make a detour through the forest to avoid controls. Estonia, on the other hand, wasn’t guarded at the official border near the seaside. We could even make a nice photo of the Latvian flag.
Back on the road
Compared to the numerous cycle lanes in Poland we are back on the road. There is hardly any traffic though. In Lithuania and Latvia the gravel roads are a bit tiring, especially the sandy “wash boards”. In Estonia we are on tarmac almost all the way. The route is flat so we have cycling days of 100+ km.
On the Reiseknowhow map and on Strava, it looks like we are cycling along the coast. We are indeed, but the road goes through the forest and don't get a chance to see the sea. It makes the road a bit boring. We both prefer views or more variety.
Before we reach Klaipeda we do see the beautiful Curonian Lagoon.
From the Aegean to the Baltic sea. If the sea doesn’t come to us, we go to the sea. In Palanga we take a side path to have a look at the beach.
Rigas Jūras Līcis bay is full of campsites, restaurants and bars compared to the other coastal side of Latvia. Many Lithuanians and Germans come to the beautiful beaches. However, the season starts on June 15, so we are nearly the only ones here.
Through Facebook we have the chance to have a real Latvian homestay in Riga. Ainis gives us a warm welcome. He is a real bon vivant. He likes to cook, eat and drink. He makes us feel like home. So relaxed and so much appreciated after many long cycling days.
In Lithuania we noticed that the cable of Ben’s gear shifter is broken. At Ainis we can repair it indoors. However, it’s very complicated because Ben’s shifter is on the left hand side and the instruction video is made for the right hand side. We end up needing help from Reinis and Andis at Feel Free bike repair shop. They help us straight away. We are so relieved. Thanks again.
Aines and his wife Ines join us on the first 40 km towards the Estonian border. Thank you for our wonderful stay. We really enjoyed it! When we organize a party after our world tour you are certainly more than welcome.
While cycling to Parnu we go along the coastline and can watch the sea all day long. This is how we imagined cycling here. The beaches are beautifully white. The stones in the sea give it a rough touch.
Back to camping
We are heading to some islands. Our budget is way too small in this tourist area. And from Finland onwards it only gets more expensive. We are both ready to get back to camping. This is easier said than done. The camping sites are still closed and there aren’t many shops here. On Muhu, Saaremaa and Hiiuma Island it is even worse.
The village of Koguva is hardly inhabited, it’s one big museum.
Meteor crater in Kaali: this is the most beautiful one in Estonia.
Panga: the highest cliff of Western Estonia.
Camping in garden at locals in Ongu.
Kopu Lighthouse. One of the oldest lights found in the Baltic Sea and still in use. It is located on the highest peak of the Kopu Peninsula and the whole of Western Estonia.
Tahkuna Lighthouse, entirely made of iron. Next to this lighthouse there’s a monument to the children who died in the Shipwreck of The Ferryboat "Estonia" in 1994. In a strong wind its cross-shaped pendulum starts ringing the ship's or soul bell by itself.
Heading to Tallinn
A long day of cycling (127 km) is rewarded with a wonderful stay at Kalev Spa Hotel. Time to relax our muscles before we continue our way to the North Cape. A nice way to end our tour in the Baltic States with a new milestone: 100,060 meters altitude at 12,295 km.
Tallinn's Old Town
Through Facebook we e-met Meelis. We used his postal address to get a package send to us. Moreover he gave us some good tips about must sees and camping sites in Estonia. He also helped us about getting info about crossing the border to Finland. Thank you so much for your help! We meet him in Tallinn and he shows us Tallinn's Old Town.
Ferry to Finland
Finland remains locked for tourists till at least June 27. We always say we aren't tourists. We are allowed to cross the border because we're working in a societal function for Foundation XPLORid. On the ferry to Helsinki we can we do a Covid rapid test.