An adventouros road bike tour to 'good old times'

  to our Radltour!

 Sept. 17th though Sept. 21st 2012

Iris, age 67, retired
Road bike Tour to Lithuania (Memelland)

The author of this review: Iris from Austria - now retired

Iris, age 67, retired

I have taken the chance and risk to undertake this tour.
Have been interested to bike one of the Baltic States.

There are so many advertisements found at the Internet (most of them not fully true...)

To make a long story short:
I have been twice...
The first and the last time...

Maybe the time is to short, that good old communistic times have changed into new democratic times...

No problem with authority, but standard behavior of people on road and public places are questionable...

I remember one lady, when I checked in on the old ferry at Klaipeda in order to ship to the the Neringa  (the lady has not been talking to me in normal way, her voice sounded more like ...).
She confirmed: 'life is hard at this country'...

Even on Neringa and this is valid for nearly all roads at Lithuania:
It became a transit corridor for Russians, particular for the access of Kaliningrad.

People overhaul with no clearance. Very dangerous.
A lot of roads bear signs : no bicycles.
But on the other hand bicycle trails are not inviting. Most of them end in a gravel and mud Nirvana...

Behavior of people is based on the 'good old times':
Even, when you are already served at a reception desk, the try to overhaul you and try to push you away.

You need time, to find someone who speaks English. German is nearly not present...

I have been somehow impressed, when I have seen a typical local business man:
two mobiles on the desk in front of him, on the road, a strong, huge German car. The Bavarian brand is very liked, at it fulfills the local demand...

In a restaurant, one will pay for 'silence'.
People often somehow 'drunk' and loud...
The rather loud music is a sort of misinterpretation of Hollywood...
Local guys trying to math with an unknown US beat...

I have eaten once in my room...

My advise:
check out carefully your tour. Expect the unexpected.

My tour has been somehow 'wet'.

Enjoy the pictures.
Good luck to our followers!

1st day: September 17. 2012
with the night train to Stralsund via Hamburg
With bicycle from Stralsund to Sassnitz at the Island Ruegen.

Ruegen is nearly the same on bike trails:
A lot are under construction or ending in gravel and mud Niravana...

Day kilometers: 60


2nd day: September 18. 2012
Arrival at Klaipeda (Lithuania). The old German name of the sea area of Klaipeda seems to be 'Memel'...
Ride the bike down to Silute (Heidekrug); nearby the ferry (which didn't operated) at Rusne.
I experienced quickly that bike trail end in a sort of mud Nirvana and travelled on common roads with heavy traffic. And with all the danger with comes with it:
bicyclists are not respected.They are simply ignored!
Day kilometers: 70


Impressions of Klaipeda roads:


Pictures of Klaipeda:


3rd day:
September 19. 2012
Riding to Rusne in order to reach the ferry to Nida at the Neringa...
No ferry...
It only operates in summer, not in September!
The timetable exists only at the Internet.
So what?
I have been riding back to Klaipeda in all the heavy traffic and crossed over to the Neringa

As I have taken accommodation at a hotel at Klaipeda, I did some excursions at the Neringa. Neringa is the local name of the 'Kurische Nehrung', which is a natural beauty.
A huge sand Dune, with villages, roads (unfortunately it became a transit road for the Russians to and from Kaliningrad), with forests, animals and more...
Day kilometers: 100

to Rusne - no ferry...:


and back to Klaipeda:


and finally to the Neringa, the tour target:
Note: there is one picture whereas the bicycle is at the coast: there is still an ongoing wind/sand draft which covered my bicycle quickly with sand...
Easy to understand how the huge sand dune was created...


4rd day: September 20, 2012
Signs... (some make me stop...):


with the bus to Nida: (maybe some will ask for what the holes in the bus body are good for...?)


Houses at Nida: (this looks very much as the 'Thomas Mann House', who lived at Nida (and later moved to California...)
The house looks very much like the hotel, I have booked. But because of the lack of ferry at Rusne, never slept there...


and other houses:


Ferry back to the Island Ruegen (Sassnitz):


A little note about a police check at Berlin:
A scavenger with a smart phone and Internet, with a bicycle, and a valid passport bearing an U.S. visa ...?
see report below:

On my way back I had a train change stop at Berlins main railroad station.

Well, Berlins police is known a in general friendly, but for some, night time is boring...

I experienced a rather provocative check...

See a short cut out from my complaint:

Please allow me a little debriefing ...

On Sept. 16th 2012 I had a train change stop at Berlin's main railroad station. This, shortly before midnight.I was supposed to depart at 00:30. (IC 1950).
I was just on the Internet, right in front of the Starbucks cafe.
But I was forced to interrupt my Internet research, as one of the two police guys asked to provide an ID. 'Immediately'...

I went to my luggage (round 3 meters away from my present place) and took my Austrian passport and showed it. Even this was already wrong in the eyes of the police guys... and caused an 'ah'... (ah not with you ... etc.).
It had rained during the day and I had hold the passport dry in one of my saddlebags. It seems to be not problem (in my eyes, unfortunately not in the eyes of the police guys)... No search, I have been knowing were it was...; but the 1 second was already 'too long'...

You should know, my passport bears even a 10 year valid USA B-2 Visa (which is rare, because in order to obtain a U.S. visa B2 comprises to sort out a number of security checks) ...

Nevertheless, one police guy called their central in order to double check my identity...

All right so far, but the official check has not been finished.

Beside me, a packed bicycle with handlebars sticking out (so you could see that there is a bicycle ...)
Nonetheless I was asked 'what is in there and why at all' ....
The male college of the police woman quickly forced me to answer her questions... 'answer the question of my college'...

A provocation?

My answer was, that certain trains only accepts packed bicycles...

'Where are you going'?
Again: the male college of the police woman quickly again forced me to answer her questions quickly in a provocative way...) ...?

I offered to show my ticket, because I expected a number of train change in order to reach my destination: Wien-West.
Again: 'Answer the question'....!

Those behavior of police you find normally only on TV, but I experienced it in real... (what a good chance to see what it is...)

It seems, this two police guys had been bored by their night shift and thought the have been catching a scavenger... (me!?)

A scavenger with a smart phone and Internet, with a bicycle, and a valid passport bearing an U.S. visa ...?

Well, normally German police is experienced and has somehow knowledge...

Knowledge of normal people skills?

When the police officers went off (thank Goddess!). I talked to another passenger and told him about this incident.

This gentlemen told me that I should expect that some of the police guys are somehow inexperienced, sometimes silly.

Too bad, because I thought the German Police is very professional!
Perhaps these two officers were bored by the night shift ...; and trying to kill time...

Maybe not...?, ...
Because human knowledge can not be learned ...

I hope in future, I will meet more professional police officers!

Maybe police officials, I have contacted, understand my complaint email a small contribution to improve communication.