Day 96-97 – 4.-5. August 2013

After we slept a few hours I went a little bit shopping in the vicinity.

I decided to change my plans in order to make it to Croatia till the end of September to go sailing with some of my friends. To gain some time I will take the bus to Vilnius and to Bialystock and then cycle through Ukraine, Romania and Hungary to Croatia. My rule not to use motorized vehicles will not be affected, because I already made it to Bialystock and now I will start from there again. So the trip to St. Petersburg was just like a little extra tour and will not count for the world trip.

I packt my stuff for the bus to Vilnius and at 6:30 pm we started to cycle to the bus station. The bus was leaving at 9 pm but I wanted to be there early to maybe have a chance to talk to the driver in order to get all my stuff and the bike in the bus.

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First the drivers said the bus is full and you are only allowed one pice of luggage. After a while they showed me a extra compartment and offered it to me for an extra 30€. So what could I do but accept it?

At least I was on my way back to Vilnius.

At the border to Estonia we all had to get out of the bus and take all of our luggage and go through the baggage control. Crossing the border took about one hour and 30 minutes.

At 7 am we reached Riga and I had to change buses. The bus to Vilnius started at 10:30 am so I had to kill some time.

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At the beginning the bus driver had the same problem with my luggage but then I could put everything in the cargo area with no extra charge.

In the early afternoon I reached Vilnius and Dainius my host from my first visit to Vilnius  came and took my stuff to their apartment. I cycled the 3 km to their place.

Day 96: 14 km  all: 3424 km

Day 91-96 – 30. July – 4. August 2013

On Tuesday I did some sightseeing. I took the Metro to the city center and walked 6 hours around all the tourist places.

The next day Sergei and I took a early train to a fiends house. It was a 2 hour ride to the east of St. Petersburg. In a swamp area we meet with his friend and after lunch we took a walk through the forest. In the evening we took the train back to St. Petersburg.

On Thursday evening I meet with Peter,Manfred, Odatta and Jenny again. We had something to eat and afterwards a dink in a british bar. We again had a lot of fun and talked about flying and traveling.

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On Friday it was raining, so Sergei and I decided to go to a museum. We went to the first museum in Russia, the Kunstkamera museum. Established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727.

Afterwards we also went to the Zoological Museum. It shows a wide range of stuffed animals and skeletons of animals.

We were very hungry so we had some sushi for dinner.

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On sunday I went to the city to book a bus to Vilnius. I just walked into the Kempinski Hotel, asked for a business center and could use their internet and printer.

In the night, or better on sunday morning at 1 am Sergei took me to a bicycle night tour around St. Petersburg. All the bridges where open, so we could not cross the river. After four hours we returned at 5 am.

Day 90 – 29. July 2013

At 7:30 am we all had a breakfast and were ready to go at 9:00 am.

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We made some pictures together and talked about meeting in St. Petersburg the following days.

I had still more then 100km to to but the  conditions where ideal for cycleing.

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In the afternoon at about 4 pm I think I reached the city after about 80km. There was no road-sign that announced St.Petersburg but the first big apartment-complexes came in sight. I had still 30 km to go to the north-west of the city.

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The traffic was getting more and more. I was forced to go through the city center and it was hard work to navigate through the streets and to find the right bridges.

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But finally at 7pm I made it to the apartment of Sergei, my couchsurfing host. We carried all my stuff into his apartment and I first took a shower.

Afterwords the had something to eat for me and in the evening a friend came by and we had one vodka.IMG_3380

Day 90: 121,85 km  all: 3410 km

Day 89 – 28. July 2013

Today I will go to Russia.

Or at least I will try. That is my goal for today.

And so I started at 10am to Narva. The weather is perfect for cycling. About 22°C, sunny and almost no wind.

Some small hills are in the way but they do not really hamper my fast progress.

At 1pm I reached Narva and 30 minutes later the border to russia.

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I had to stand in line for a short time on the Etonian side. Then I had to push my bike over the bridge to the other side where the Russians were waiting.

I had to fill out an small paper with all my information, like name, passport, visa number and after a short glance they stamped my Passport and I was clear to enter Russia.

I am finally in Russia !!

There is no welcome sign or Flag at the border so I made a picture a little bit later.

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I do not know what the sign says, probably it is some warning to behave in this country ?!!

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Almost everything was the same before and after the border crossing. Just the road-signs were hard to read and I have to pay in a different currency now.

I wanted to go about 100 km today, so it was possible to reach St. Petersburg the following day. It was still enough time to go on and my plan was to camp somewhere along the road.

At 90km I stopped at a filling station for some water and a ice-creme. While I was eating my ice, Peter started talking to me.

Peter, Manfred, Odetta and Jenny from Lingen in Germany were also on a bike trip to St.Petersburg.

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We talked for a while and they were so interested to here more about my trip, so they invited me to stay in the hotel and have dinner with them.

I was overwhelmed and gladly accepted the offer.

After a shashlik and a shower we sat together drank some beer and talked about our trips.

Peter and Manfred are lifelong friends and started to do bicycle tours in the early 80´s. A few years ago they started at Calais to go the Euroroute R1 to St.Petersburg. This year they do the last part of it. And this time Peter´s girlfriend Odetta and Manfred´s daughter Jenny is with them.

It was very nice to meet them and we talked till midnight and had some more beer. We all had a long day and the next will be also not very easy, otherwise we had talked till the next morning.

Day 89: 92,04 km  all: 3289 km