Home Top

Archive | Eastern Europe

Kolyma Highway Photos – Winter Biking – 2000km Yakutsk to Magadan

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


Well, there are many stories to tell from the last couple of months. The 2000km from Yakutsk to Magadan was a fantastic ride, made all the more memorable by the incredibly kind, generous, hospitable people I met along the way. My journal is full!

Winter Biking Kolyma Highway

But this blog post is not for telling those stories with words.…

Too Cold – Winter Biking Yakutia Photos

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


Oh where do I start?!
I think for now, I will just show you the photos from the last couple of weeks.
Mostly it was too cold to stop and take photos… sometimes when I did, the camera wouldn’t work anyway. When it’s -40C and colder (when I woke one morning from the bivvy, it was -50C), priorities are about…

Biking to Lake Baikal and Olkhon Island

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


Just over a week has passed since leaving Irkutsk… and now I’m back. Briefly. Tomorrow I take a train to Neriyungri to begin the very cold cycle to Yakutsk.
But back to the last week. It seems a lot has happened. Firstly I cycled to Lake Baikal – it took five days. A bit longer than expected. The first 3…

Into the White

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


Time for a long-awaited update…
After a few weeks back home, I’m finally back out in Russia – in Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal.
The first 3 weeks at home were spent indulging in the guiltless excesses of good food and drink over xmas, safe in the knowledge that I’ll be burning those calories off soon enough. No New Year’s Resolution…

10/24/2013 – 112 days/11604 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


While walking around Bratislava one night, I found an area filled with graffiti/streetart/vandalism/whateveryouwannacallit. Lots of it was pointless scribbling of names or words, but there was also quite a bit of stuff that was worth looking at.

 
         

        

        
           …

10/23/2013 – 111 days/11594 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


After two weeks in Nemčičky, it was definitely time to hit the road again, but it was a little bit tough to say goodbye to the Stáveks after having such a wonderful time there.

If I make a trip back to Central Europe any time in the future, I’ll make a point to visit them again.
And I’ll also plan…

10/20/2013 – 108 days/11472 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


At a glance, an address from another country can sometimes be a little bit confusing, but it’s really been interesting to see how different the addresses in small villages can be.  For example, in Nemčičky, where I’m staying now, street names apparently are not necessary.  It’s a small enough place that everything just has a number.  And on top of…

10/16/2013 – 104 days/11433 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


Good news!  I just got word last night that my passport with an Indian visa arrived at my parents house.  So they’re shipping it to me today…should be here in two days!
I’ll probably still stick around here for a few more days before moving on.

This little working stint has been surprisingly refreshing, and the learning experience has been…

10/13/2013 – 101 days/11433 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


We met up on Sunday morning (5 bikes) to head up to Brno.  Being that it’s an opportunity for people to ride on a race track, there were obviously mostly sport bikes up there, so I (wearing cordura/goretex riding gear) looked a little bit out of place on an Enduro wearing panniers.  And the Colorado license plate didn’t lessen the…

10/11/2013 – 99 days/11333 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


The village I’m in is called Nemčičky, which is in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic.  This area has a really strong wine culture (To put into perspective how important wine is in this region…in Nemčičky, they produce 2000 liters of wine per resident annually), and the majority of the houses here (and in the nearby villages) have wine…

10/10/2013 – 98 days/11132 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


My plans have changed slightly…I’m waiting to get a visa for India, and this involves sending my passport to the office of a 3rd party company in Houston that doesn’t seem nearly as organized as they should be.  I was hoping I could just have stopped at an Indian embassy somewhere in Europe and have it taken care of there,…

09/17/2013 – 75 days/9600 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


I vaguely remember hearing of the Sedlec Ossuary in the past, but basically, all that I knew was that there was a church somewhere with a bunch of bones in it (my parents probably should have given me the middle name “Britannica”). Its located in the town of Kutnà Hora, just a little east of Prague, so I made the…

09/16/2013 – 74 days/9600 miles

Read the original post and follow a pat on a motorcycle's overland adventures on their website: a pat on a motorcycle.


For a while now, I’ve been excited to get past Germany. There was a lot that I wanted to do up to that point, and I’ve had an amazing time up until now, but I felt like leaving would be a bit of a turning point for me, for a few reasons. First, I don’t have any friends to go…

Russian Altai part 2 – Photos of Chulyshman Gorge and Lake Teletskoe

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


I finally met someone who likes all the off-the-beaten-track beaten tracks and mud and dirt and gravel… and it was fortunate I met him where I did. A local family I had met had suggested riding up to Lake Teletskoe from Aktash. It would be hard on a bike, but of course it can be done, they said. I was…

Russian Altai – Photos of The Chuysky Trakt

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


The next proper blog post will have to wait. I have the time to write, whiling away the hours until tonight’s train to Novosibirsk from here in Biysk. But unable to find a quiet place to form coherent thought, the writing will have to wait.
Noise everywhere. I’m sure Russians aren’t hard of hearing, they certainly don’t speak like it.…

Thoughts on Russia

Read the original post and follow Scarlet 4x4's overland adventures on their website: The Adventures of the Scarlet 4x4 - Blog.


World masters of the hard stare…

After leaving Volgograd we headed South East along the Volga river delta towards Astrakan. Apart from the attractions in Volgograd this part of Russia has not been massively exciting, and was always planned more for the transit through to Kazakhstan.
We’re really looking forward to our return to Russia though, around the Altai region…

A Week Biking Baikal and Buryatia – in maps

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


Well, it took 8 days to reach the Mongolian border from Irkutsk. As always, the shortest route is not always the quickest!. Here’s how it went. I haven’t been feeling particularly creative with words, so I’ve resorted to child-like arrows on google maps. I think you’ll get the just…
Day 1 – Out of Irkutsk

Day 1 – Out of…

Lord of the flies – pestilence in Southern Russia

Read the original post and follow Scarlet 4x4's overland adventures on their website: The Adventures of the Scarlet 4x4 - Blog.


First roadside lunch in Russia….blummin’ heck….we’re in Russia!

Again – the border crossing we had chosen was a fairly rural and quiet one, but unlike Ukraine, here in Russia the roads were soooooooo smooooooth.
In fact first impressions were of a first world country with neat road borders, signs and junctions amongst intensively cultivated countryside.
(Not representative of the whole…

Crossing into Russia – an idiot abroad

Read the original post and follow Scarlet 4x4's overland adventures on their website: The Adventures of the Scarlet 4x4 - Blog.


Border crossing used: Mariupol – Taganrog on the M14 / M23Border process / Hassles: 
The good: At last – you can buy your Russian green card on the Ukranian side of the border, AND, for once we had roubles with us that we bought from the UK!
The bad: CIS customs forms – repeated failed attempts to fill them in…

Photos of Lake Baikal and Off-Road Biking in Buryatia

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


It’s started hard and slow out of Irkutsk to reach Lake Baikal. But since then things have been great… it has been long days of hard ups and fun downs, of dirt trails, rocky tracks, rivers to wade through and one to packraft across, ferrying the bike and then my bags as the rain poured down.
I’ve met Russian cyclists,…

Wine and caviar in the Volga Delta

Read the original post and follow IntoTheWorld's overland adventures on their website: Into The World.


It is the largest river in Europe and crosses the largest country in the world. Yes, we are in Russia. One month a year – half of May and half of June - Volga swell but even more. Taman when we do our appearance after days of desert and dryness. Delta flies paradise becomes flooded, not be inquired of anything. It gets in the eyes, the nose,…

Guide to Not Taking a Bike on Trans-Siberian Train

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


My intention was to fly to Moscow with my bike, and then bring it with me on the trains across Russia to get to Irkutsk, where I would then begin biking.
Within moments of being picked up at the airport, I had a new plan. Denis, who worked at the hostel in Moscow suggested an alternative as we drove through…

An Eye on Irkutsk the Siberian City

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


I’m liking Irkutsk a lot. It’s a shame I have to leave (but I am looking forward to starting the bike ride). Fortunately, I should be back here in about 6 months. It’ll be winter then.
For now though, the flowers are starting to bloom, the evenings are long and the air is warm making it a lovely time to…

Moldova II

Read the original post and follow Scarlet 4x4's overland adventures on their website: The Adventures of the Scarlet 4x4 - Blog.


We used the travel agent (see Useful Links…On the Road) that had been so helpful the day before, to book a wine tour.  All the major wineries such as Cricova, Milestii Mici, Cojusna etc and the famous Orheiul Vechi cave Monastery that are listed in LP’s Eastern Europe guide were booked up until after the weekend :- (
We could…

Moldova I

Read the original post and follow Scarlet 4x4's overland adventures on their website: The Adventures of the Scarlet 4x4 - Blog.


On the World Happiness Database the UK ranks 28th with an average score of 7.2 (2000 to 2009).Moldova ranks 114th with a score of 4.9 – the lowest of any of the Nations we would be travelling through, and with only Macedonia and Albania ranking worse in Europe.
Notwithstanding that – we really liked Moldova :- )
Although it obviously…

Moldovan Border Crossing

Read the original post and follow Scarlet 4x4's overland adventures on their website: The Adventures of the Scarlet 4x4 - Blog.


Romania
Border crossing used: Targu Frumos (between Pascani and Iasi)Border process / hassles: Our first mildly problematic border. Total time, about 2.5 hours:
Exiting Romania:
No queue – but a more thorough check exiting than arriving?  Usual doors opened and checks of various bags and boxes and usual questions about narcotics, weapons, and did we have more than €10,000 – “I…

Journey Across Russia – Trans-Siberia

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


Bundles of Russians and an English touristka trundling across industrial city sprawls that churn smoke to the skies and spew cars along straight roads that cut through the vast swathes of taiga. And we go silently through the night except for the clickety-clack of steel wheels on the rail tracks or whistle of wind as two trains pass side-by-side and…

From Delsbo to Russia

Read the original post and follow Chasing Our Shadows's overland adventures on their website: Chasing our Shadows.


The trip up to Rovaniemi, Finland and then down to Russia has gone well. We are a bit surprised about peoples driving skills though, heart in the throat most of the time.
We have arrived in St. Petersburg, sitting in a hotel room now listening to the rain outside.
Just gonna bomb with some pictures from the road so far…

Made in Kazan

Read the original post and follow Helen's Take On....'s overland adventures on their website: Helen's Take On....


So, I hopped (more like stumbled with heavy feet and loaded rucksack) onto the train in Moscow, bound for Kazan. A ‘short’ overnight train journey that saw me greet the new day to a new town. I had a good feel about this one. Smaller, more my style. Not so lost in the crowds and away from the tourists. Kazan,…