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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Circling the Baltic solo by car by rainbowdrop on 5 August 2007 4:44pm
With the recent additions to the EU around the Baltic, you'd imagine there wasn't that much of a challenge here, but it truly was humbling and I was shocked at the vast difference between East and West.

I guess the challenge started in that I had been driving for almost one year when I got on the boat from Harwich to Esbjerg. For those of you who don't know, the British drive on the left, and it can be a challenge to drive on the other side, especially in foreign languages. Oh yes and I'm a young female on her own.

I first stopped in Copenhagen, then to Jonkoping, then Stockholm, then Helsinki (eurovision was on and hotels were booked but I found somewhere). Then I arrived in Tallinn on memorial day. With all the riots and death apparently happening, I legged it through to Riga, Latvia (not easy to drive through) and on to Kaunas, which from the motorway late at night appeared to me like a spaghetti western film set.

So I made it just past the Polish border in a day, though I never thought I would. The roads were terrible in places and it was easy to get lost. Single carriageway all the way to Liez in Poland from Helsinki.
Then I started to enjoy myself and got to Warsaw, Berlin (the most amazing place) then Hamburg, Kiel and Esbjerg and home again. 16 days.

There's obviously a lot more to this story in what I saw and what I was amazed by. I wanted to do it because I get to be in control of where I go and when and get to see what 's on the ground rather than going by plane. It was well worth it.

I did it on my own and so I have only come across one girl who did a drive to Morocco with a friend, but no one the Baltic. I'd love to do that too one day.

I'd like to know if anyone out there has done a similar thing or plans to and what was your experience like?

Re: Circling the Baltic solo by car by johnnythemonkey on 5 August 2007 7:43pm
Just wish I had your spirit, well done.
Re: Circling the Baltic solo by car by geordiegirl on 5 August 2007 11:41pm
What an experience! You are a courageous person to have tackled all that alone.
I have just visited Riga for a week (in June) - lovely city, drivers OK (at least they stopped for pedestrians!)- rolling stock to Jurmala quaint & it always strikes us how much derelict land there is in eastern Europa around railway stations - land is at such a premium in weatern Europe it just wouldn't happen.
Helsinki also I've visited - plan to do Tallinn & Vilnius, but travelling by air, trams, & rail!
Have you any more travel planned soon?
Re: Circling the Baltic solo by car by peripatetically on 6 August 2007 2:41am
You deserve a medal!!
Re: Circling the Baltic solo by car by suzulu on 6 August 2007 5:51pm
What a great experience, rainbowdrop!

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