The new & open
20 countries, 74 days, 9400 km
Bike: Triumph Bonneville SE -09
The East – genuine & full of surprises
If you're after a real adventure, places where tourism hasn't exploded yet and motorcycle riding far beyond expectations... Eastern Europe has what you're looking for.
What I loved the most about this trip was that I never knew what to expect around the next corner. A lot of countries here are still quite unexplored by the typical traveler and they're still struggling with bad rumours, but the mythical East was and is still one of my absolute favourites from my travels. I experienced nothing but pure warmth during this trip!
Explore not only new roads, but new relations and cultures – go east!
Spent two nights in Tallinn and Laulasmaa. Very inspiring and nice places. The coast was also very nice, especially the little pearl Pärnu.
Riga got my heart immediately! Amazingly cozy town with a lot of history and a lively biker culture. Stayed at the biker friendly hostel "Two Wheels" where I met the owner who gave me the phone number to one of his friends in Bulgaria. Went on a day trip on the nice roads around the city with a group of bikers from Belarus that had left their contacs on my bike.
Stayed two nights in Panevezys and learned engine renovation with my AirBnb host. Vilnius was one of my favorite cities during my whole trip! Felt at home since the first minute. Applied for my visa to Belarus here.
Here it felt like the trip started for real! Very interesting country and nothing like the others. It felt like traveling back in time and visit the Soviet Union, but Minsk, the capital, is still a modern and developing city with a lot of cool things to do! Met up with the bikers I met in Riga. Loved Minsk and will go back.
Kiev surprised me, it's a big city with a great night life. Visited Chernobyl and Pripyat which was an interesting experience. Odessa and the Ukrainian coast was great too with nice beaches.
The biggest surprise during my whole trip! I was told that Moldova didn't have roads, but I was greeted with great(!) motorcycle roads, amazing wine yards everywhere and welcoming people. Stayed with an English teacher from Germany and met up with a local couple that took me out to see the nightlife. Got chased by Moldovan TV.
Dracula's castle in Transylvania, the mountain passes Transfagarasan and Transalpina. I Bucharest my case. Romania is amazingly cool to explore!
Met up with the bikers in Sofia that I got the contacts to in Riga. Made friends for life in this amazing city. This is also the country I've revisited the most after my trip. Bulgaria has the best food, the oldest cities, cool people and a coastline worth exploring more than once.
Went to Nis and had a nice rest for a couple of days. Met wonderful people in Serbia, every stop I made gave me a new friend.
A special country to visit due to it's history. Wasn't accessible from Serbia, but easy to enter from Macedonia. Green card not valid, but an insurance was cheap and easy to buy at the border. Pristina was a really cool city and totally worth to see.
Took a long ride over the mountains around Tirana. Brought my thermos and got the best therapy the soul could ever need.
Went to Kotor along the road around the bay, and this place is like taken from a postcard. Had to force myself to keep the camera in my bag after a while, or I'd probably still be there taking photos to this day.
Beautiful coastal road, reminded me a lot about Highway 1 in California. The coast is full of gems and the best thing about going here is to find your own little treasure.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Stayed in the little town Stolac, which was amazingly cozy. Went to Mostar to see the famous Stari Most and was incredibly lucky to visit during low season and could therefore really enjoy the city.
Also an incredible surprise! Wonderful little roads perfect for motorcycling and cool sightseeings with castles and pretty cities. Very beautiful during the fall.
Only went to Graz to change the wire for the speedometer that broke in Bosnia. 25€ for the wire and work – I was very happy.
Stayed with a loving family and their cute little dog in Letenye, on the border next to Croatia. Took the route north of Balaton Lake from there to Budapest, where I had a really nice time.
Stayed at a Motel in Ruzomberok. Took an evening ride to the UNESCO-village Vlkolínec. Went there 15 minutes before the ticket office closed and had the whole place to myself until sunset. Amazing!
The last country of my trip. Krakow and Warsaw were the perfect last stops before I finally reached Gdansk where I also took the ferry back home to Sweden.
Skopje, the capital, was a really cosy and beautiful city that I loved to just stroll around in. The best ride ever went through Mavrovo Nationalpark and Ohrid wes breathtakingly beautiful. Stayed at a friend's house in Bitola and got spoiled beyond limits.
STOCKHOLM – MINSK
Ferry from Stockholm to Tallinn. Stayed in Laulasmaa. Traveled along the coast to Riga and continued to Vilnius where I applied for a visa to Belarus. Continued to Minsk three days later.
MINSK – ODESSA
Took the smaller road P35 with the less busy border crossing into Ukraine. Visited Chernobyl (without bike). Took the highway to Odessa.
ODESSA – TRANSFAGARASAN
Took the border crossing to Moldova through road M15 (NOT M16 due to corruption problems there!). Followed E581 from Chisinau + 2D + E574 to Brasov. Then Highway 1 and 7C (Transfagarasan).
TRANSFAGARASAN – PRISHTINA
Road 7 to Bucharest, then E85, E83 and A2 to Sofia due to time lack. But there are a lot of nice roads around Sofia. E80 to Nis with a stop in Pirot. A1 to Skopje. E65 + M2 in Kosovo (green card not valid here, but you can buy an insurance at the border).
PRISHTINA – KOTOR
I loved Mavrovo Nationalpark! Followed the mountain road to Galichnik and back again, then R1201 to Ohrid, E65 to Bitola. SH3 + A2 to Tirana. SH2 to Durres. E762 + M2.4 to Ulcinj. M2.4 + E80 + Jadranska magistrala around Kotor Bay.
BLED & LJUBLJANA
KOTOR – LJUBLJANA
E80 + E65 + 8 to Dubrovnik. Followed the road up to Utvrda Imperial. Took Ivanica Border Crossing into Bosnia. M6 to Stolac + M17.3 to Mostar. Stayed in Stolac. M6 + M17 + 62 + 8, then I just followed the Croatian coast. Road 6 + E61 to Ljubljana.
LJUBLJANA – RUZOMBEROK
E57 + E59 (boring) into Austria just to change a wire, then 65 and the small roads down to Letenye. M7 + 74 + 75 + 71 + ferry + M7 to Budapest. E77 to Ruzomberok.
RUZOMBEROK – NYNÄSHAMN
E77 through Krakow and Warsaw. E30 + E75 to Gdansk (boring roads, but I was tired in the end of the trip). Ferry from Gdansk to Nynäshamn.