From Rostov-On-Don to Sochi

The distance from Volgograd to Rostov-On-Don is about 550km on good roads, partly on M4 which is a well built 2 lane highway. However we decided to have a stop over in a hotel about 170 km before Rostov so we don’t have to drive so much too much that day.

Nice hotel, nice food, good rest. The next day we headed to Rostov-on-Don or Росто́в-на-Дону́ or Rostow-na-Donu. Smaller than Moscow or St.Petersburg, still 1.1 million, but cozy, relaxed right at the river Don. We had booked an Airbnb in the center of the city before we arrived there, walking distance to the Fan Fest and the Rostov arena as we were going to watch the round of last 16 Match Japan vs Belgium here.

Firstly in Rostov-On-Don we had to get rid of our extra tickets for the game, went to Decathlon with the hope of finally getting new gas for our cooking stove (still no success) and checked out the city for a bit whilst feeling to be on a cooking stove ourselves – still 38 degrees during the day…

Nothing more, dinner at night and good rest again. Walking distance in Russia means 8-12km a day. That needs good rest for sure. Sightseeing and Russia playing Spain deepened our T-shirt-tan in the burning sun and to our surprise we gonna watch Russia in the stadium in Sochi on 7th July…What a party! Happy Russians everywhere and surely we are also happy to see a match of Russia live!

Finally it was game day in the Rostov arena! Before our highlight of the day we went to the Fan Fest to watch Brazil beat Mexico. From there the shuttle bus took us conveniently direct to the brand-new stadium on closed roads and to watch what we thought will be a boring game – but yeah we were wrong! 2nd half with 5 goals and Belgium conceding the winning goal in the 95th minute… we felt sorry for the Japanese!

We had some traditional tasty Khachapuri (picture 1) and excellent Khinkali (picture 2) in a neat local restaurant after the match. The next day we planned to arrive at the Black Sea, we were very excited after so many kilometers over land.

2600km more or less on straight roads within Russia has been less attractive hence we were happy to drive through the mountains to the coast of the Black Sea. Windy roads and some stunning views were very much appreciated! And it’s nice to see some other bikers again even more as everyone is greeting while heavily waving in full stretch of the arm. We even got some fist bumps while overtaking! And in between the horns or thumbs up from passing cars. Cool stuff!

After a 2 nights stay at the coast in Lermontovo in the very nice guest house Shokolad close to the beach and a lot of tasty shashlik we drove another 5 hours on the beautiful coast line to Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Olympics and the quarter final of proud Russian’s Sbornaja. We’d love to see the next World Cup’s surprise – GO RUSSIA!

We have passed the 7000 km mark by now, check out our route to Sochi.

Russians rock, drivers suck!

Check out the route before start reading todays post. You’ll see that we were on the road for quite a while getting to watch all the matches we have tickets for. You’ll also see that more or less for the first time we really visit places apart from the two most famous and biggest cities of Russia.

But let’s start with leaving Moscow. A great time and the longest stop on our route so far was over and our bikes also got some rest for one week. All four of us exited to hit the road again decided to start slow, get out of the city and concentrate on the big chunk of the route to Volgograd the day after. Good idea, as we experienced a very uncommon and rare phenomenon on our trip. When we rested in our beautiful Russian Motel room with the „special taste“ bedsheets, it rained 😉

Not too hot, cloudy and dry, perfect conditions the next day for the 550 km in the direction of Volgograd. Time to drop some words about the things we deal with on the bikes during the long hours driving.

Actually there is one rule to follow: Always expect everything to happen! Parts of broken cars, burst tires, holes, bumps, dead animals, strong wind, cyclists, people walking in the middle of nowhere, cars overtaking left and right, with or without cars on the opposite lane, trucks driving 120km/h, speed cameras, and never slow down on roadworks sites, it’ll jeopardize yourself more if you do so.

On the other hand there is much to see actually. It seems as if there are certain areas or villages where one sort of goods are being sold. These things don’t seem to be originated in that particular region. Why should you sell popcorn and Russian bread in a village named Electric? Why are pickled beans, peas, peppers, carrots, pretty normal stuff being sold out of cars on a stretch of 30km and then never again? Why are in whole Russia Cafès, gas stations and little restaurants along the street, selling coffee and tea and all of a sudden there is one village with approximately 30 little booths selling tea and coffee out of the traditional Samowar? Apple juice, fur boots and vests, carpets, garden gnomes, stuffed animals, squirrels and we probably forgot something exceptional that was being sold at some points.

The Russians are a very proud folk and remember the latest history. That mirrors in war memorial statues and sculptures in dozens of places along the route. Sometimes it’s just a tank or a fighter jet, sometimes an individual piece of art. The most stunning monument of course is the Mamaev Kurgan statue in Volgograd. The woman with the sword in her hand measures 87 meters and encourages her sons to defend their homeland. It also commemorates the battle of Stalingrad (later renamed to Volgograd) and the 30.000 soldiers who lost their lifes on that hill.

Before we got to see this statue, we detoured approximately 250km eastbound to meet an old friend Daniel has a special relation to. 10 years ago Daniel and his brother travelled to this more remote region of Russia. Reason was to find out where his grandfather was born as Wolga German. A coincident brought the brothers together with Artur Kaiser, whose parents shared a similar past as Daniels grandparents. Artur not only hosted them, he also drove them around in his Lada. Far away from smartphones and internet they hadn’t have contact for ten years. We found Artur and family in good health and we couldn’t deny to stay at their place for the night. We can’t say how thankful we are for such friendliness as a matter of course. They don’t live in wealth with good office jobs and social security services, with foodora, shopping malls and Netflix. But they were as happy as we were that google translate also works offline 😉 We generally experienced that in Russia. Russians sometimes come across as a bit fierce and very serious. But once the ice is broken we had fun and help everywhere.

We looked forward to see Volgograd, though we just had two nights here. We liked it very much but bottom line the following things happened. It was 38 degrees on both days, what simply restricted us to do things outside between 12 and 4pm. We walked to the fan fest to find out that they show Mexico-Schweden 10 minutes before kick off. Met Andi and his squad to watch in a nearby hotel Germany get eliminated from the World Cup.

The next days match Japan vs. Poland in the new Volgograd arena was less interesting and less atmospheric than all the games we’ve seen so far. Though we had sympathies for Japan before, we wanted Columbia to draw their game against Senegal and England to win against Belgium for our round of 16 game in Rostov to be more exciting. Nothing of it happened. Now we watch two teams playing we already watched. „No-atmosphere-Japan“ against „Let’s-be-polite-and-just-score-3-goals-Belgium“. We decided not to watch England vs. Columbia in TV 😉 Last but not least the morning of departure we figured out that the battery of Jendrik’s BMW was empty. Then again everyone went way beyond to help. Russlan, the parking guard and Andrey who was just passing by helped pushing the bike, organise a starter cable and even a battery starter for us to get it started. It worked, however took 1,5 hours and destroyed our plan to escape the heat of 39 degrees at noon on the way to Rostov. We expected these temperatures in India but now we know how it’s gonna be…

Moscow: Colorful, friendly, state of the art – frankly, not as expected…

St. Petersburg, stated to be the most European of all Russian cities became smaller in our rear mirrors when we hit the motorway towards the Russian capital city. Almost hit the motorway to be more precise. A huge puddle in the curve leading onto the motorway was hidden behind the crash barrier and unavoidable when visible. The bike slipped away under Daniel and both him and the Tenere slid 20 meters on the asphalt. Fortunately no irreparable damages on man and machine were caused by this crash. We don’t have any explanation how this incredibly huge amount of oil got on the street and most likely remained there for quite some time. What is clear, that it needs more attention every single minute from both of us. We kept going but were happy to get off the bikes in the evening in Valdai. Spoiled by St. Petersburg, Valdai is probably a small town which is more representative for most of the small to midsize towns in the Russian countryside. Damaged roads, crumbling house facades, less fashionable clothes, dirt – an obvious difference to what we experienced a day before. Luckily we witnessed some kind of anniversary of the town which was celebrated with a small public festival. We didn’t expect the Hamburger Dom, but small monkeys, snakes, camels and reindeers, plus laser tag and 15 inflatable jumping castles are a little bit unusual.

Another daytrip to Twer left us just a short distance to Moscow, our home for the next 7 days. A cosy Airbnb apartment from Danila in a Northern outskirt of Moscow was the perfect base for several day trips to the stadiums and the inner city of the 12 million inhabitants metropolis.

Despite the 20 kilometers to the city center it doesn’t take long to get there at all. Busses operate in a 7 minutes interval, trains departing every 3 minutes and less – on every of the 20 lines, wow! I don’t have to mention, that Wi-Fi is everywhere: subway, restaurants, shopping mall, you name it. You want to buy a ticket for the train, a coffee, a bun or just a bottle of water in the smallest grocery store ever and you don’t have cash on you? No problem, take your credit card and pay contactless. By the way it’s probably open 24/7.

Before live match #two of the world cup for us we got off at the closest metro station to the Iranian embassy. We still had no visa for the Islamic Republic of Iran one of the future stops on our route. We got an idea of the distances of this huge city. It was quite a walk. We handed in all documents, information and fingerprints (like a criminal in the 80ties with a inkpad and paper) and hoped that it would be granted until Friday.

Next stop was the Spartak stadium for Poland’s opening match against Senegal. The support of the Polish fans was incredible and they outnumbered the Senegal follower by far.

Though the Africans showed more creativity in appearance and performance. They really danced and clapped their hands throughout the whole game without stopping for a second.

What seems to be a big advantage could turn into a disadvantage if you don’t deliver as expected. The Polish crowd whistled and shouted against their team with no mercy after Senegals second goal.

The next day we already got to see the stadium where the final game will be. Luschniki, a huge 78.000 capacity bowl hosted Portugal vs. Morocco that day.

Morocco really played well and deserved to at least equalize Ronaldo’s early header, but was instead send home after a poor performance of the European Champion.

Sightseeing was scheduled for Wednesday and of course the way to the red square and the Kreml was mandatory.

So we walked there around 12 o’clock, expecting to line up a bit. We decided not to get in. An estimated waiting time was 2 hours – for getting a ticket! Then another two for getting in to the Kreml. We visited Poklonnaya Hill instead a huge war memorial for all victims of WWII in Moscow and the fan fest at university.

Also a magnificent building with surrounding park area. As we already discovered in St. Petersburg: Everything is way bigger than in all European cities we have seen. All areas are clean and everything is well organized. Even though it’s hard to understand the language, we get along pretty well and not only in the vibrant world cup hot spots in town. A big „spasiba“ to Moscow that gave us a stunning last day for good bye. Belgium vs. Tunesia 5:2 in Spartak stadium again, top notch seats right behind the goal and Germany’s breathtaking last minute victory over Sweden at the fan fest again.

We even got a decent tan from 30 degrees sunshine weather over 3 consecutive days.

Now we’re facing the next big stretch of road in the next 3 days. 970 kilometers to Volgograd. Let’s go and follow us on our route.

Russia calling – St. Petersburg

12th – 16th June

We didn’t really get to experience Finland as we had only two nights here. However we did enjoy the stay at a well located campground in Hamina at one of the several beautiful bays of the Baltic Sea, approx. 50km before the Finnish/Russian border. We were ready to finally go to Russia, get into the World Cup spirit, inhale the special atmosphere and explore this huge country. But first we had to get into the country and as we had been told before it’s not as smooth as other borders. Hence we were prepared, well we thought we were…

Firstly we were quite happy not seeing queued cars and long lines on the Finnish side, a quick stop, passport check and off we go through the green border and into Russian territory, not at the border yet:

The Russian border building showed up about 1km later. We can’t deny a certain nervousness, we really couldn’t explain. We lined up behind a few cars and then were told to drive up front and park our bikes. Is that a good sign or bad? We did and waited. The young soldier whos job it was to coordinate the arriving cars didn’t look too friendly and there wasn’t any English word coming out out his mouth on the other hand our Russian not existing. We figured out to go to the booth where we showed our visa (so called fan ID as we had tickets for the World Cup), passport and immigration. Pretty quickly done actually and we were ready to get back on the bikes. It can’t be that easy…surely not. Bikes registrations and customs are on the list…second booth!

We met some guys who went to Russia with their bikes last week or so and they gave us a form which must be filled out for the bikes for the customs beforehand. We handed this thoroughly filled out form together with all paperwork and documents over to the Russian customs lady in uniform after queuing up for 20 minutes. Light blond shoulder long hair cut straight, heavy make-up and a chewing gum, didn’t say a word just gave us exactly the same form 4 times which we had handed in before to fill it out again. She needs a copy (the word says it – make a copy!!!) and we had a spelling mistake in it, which she highlighted with a marker… puuuhh. We did it and after 30 minutes of standing in line again we were hoping that we did everything right then. We felt like in school and we weren’t nervous anymore, just annoyed. Finally we passed this test but the bikes needed to be registered… it took another 10 minutes for each bike and people behind us got a bit impatient. But finally we had to sign another pile of papers and the lady even smiled for the first time, wished good luck for the World Cup and we were ready to drive off. Another customs lady had to check our luggage and of course the paperwork again! Now we were good to go and we were even allowed to pass by all the cars 🙂 Another check point came up 2 minutes later, again paperwork and passport check. 2,5 hours at the border, about 10 stamps later we were happy in Russia. This whole procedure is annoying but in the end we felt treated kind of friendly.

First impressions of Russian traffic wasn’t as rude and chaotic as we thought it to be. A calm 4 hours drive into beautiful St. Petersburg didn’t even change our mind. Surly more cars and traffic lights but not worse than Hamburg traffic. It took us quite some time to find our hotel as it was more a student house at the Christian university – how should we know? Anyways it was very convenient – location wise. A bit tired after a long day we went out for some Russian food and a beer and had an early night.

A bit of garlic bred and meat with garlic, whole grilled garlic and garlic sauce…

The next day was just for organising stuff like SIM card, check out fan fest and get into Russia and strolling around in the city. The deep down crazy metro system and beautiful stations, huge houses and plazas, the river and big streets are impressive! Beautiful city with many cafes, bars and restaurants.

And of course the opening game of the World Cup took place! Well done Russia!

Another good night of sleep and finally it was match day for us! Before leaving to go to the beautiful St. Petersburg stadium we had to handle some ticket issues and hand overs at the ticket center were we also met up with Alex, a nice guy from Berlin now living in St. P. who took one of our left over tickets, Daniel met him on the fan fest the day before.

Awesome atmosphere everywhere. In the streets, in the train, on the way to the huge stadium the Iranians as well as the Moroccans made that day, celebrating their teams, just like a big party. Finally we felt the special World Cup mood!

The game, well it wasn’t the best but it was one of the loudest. Crazy loud. The sounds, the chants, constantly. You could barely talk to each other but on the other hand that’s what makes the mood. Passion and craziness!

So even our team wasn’t playing we were enjoying and even more when in the 95th minute the only goal has been scored. Own goal from Morocco… the Iranians went crazy, crazy happy!

After that game also Spain vs Portugal was on TV so we decided to watch this game in the city center in a bar. It was nice to enjoy these teams playing, 6 goals in total after the pretty boring game we witnessed. We had dinner together with Alex at a sushi place and just enjoyed the white and light night in the streets of St. Petersburg. Our impression of St. Petersburg and its people is very positive. We enjoyed best weather but also can imagine that this city is enjoyable in freezing winter time. We didn’t stay out for so long as we had to start to the 900 kilometers away Moscow the next day as we had to be there 3 days later…

For convenience here is a short video summary of the last 10 days:

Crossing the Baltics to Finland

6th – 11th June

After a good sleep in the tent again in Barzai we headed off for Latvia. The perfect road behind the border (nothing reminds of a border here) gave us the hope that the roads would continue like that. This hope was taken after 20 kilometers or so. The strong wind coming from the coast pushed us from side to side like ping pong balls. Luckily there weren’t as many trucks on the road as in Lithuania or Poland.

Riga was never really on our itinerary from the beginning, as we both have been visiting already. It is the only city in the Baltic area considered as metropolitan city. A coffee and a quick lunch was everything we dedicated Latvia’s capital and went off to Tuja, a very little town with a campground and a supermarket – nothing else. So far it was the most scenic and loveliest designed campground. A selfmade playground, fireplaces all over the property and direct access to the beach. We made a bonefire and for having the perfect camping feeling it even convinced us to take a short dip into the calm but freezing Baltic sea in the morning. This gave us enough freshness for the most tiring 200km through Latvia. Sorry for not spending an appropriate amount of time in your country, dear Latvians . We make that up some time in the future…

It didn’t get really dark all night long. This picture was taken after midnight:

Pärnu, the weekend exile of many Estonians lead us to a very touristy little town in Estonia.

We found a cool little spot to set up camp in a backyard in the city.

We had a stroll in Pärnu, met Cocran a Canadian guy who is driving around in Europe and also owned a F650GS. It took him around South America and further. More than 115.000km in total – this made Jendrik feel pretty confident. Some advises and little anecdotes later we were sure that you not necessarily need the best and newest equipment for such a trip. Not even your own bike. Safe travels amigo, it was a pleasure.

After these 3 nights in the tent we booked an Airbnb very close to Tallin Old town.

It was a perfect stay. Close to everything and finally a nice bed again! Thanks Nataly for helping us finding a laundry place – it was about time and surely we would have passed it…

A walk through the beautiful old town and the harbour area confirmed what we already expected. Estonia is not only geographically closer to Scandinavia, as the other Baltic countries: The language, the architecture and also the appearance of the people show many similarities to their Scandinavian neighbors. We recharged all electronic devices, proved to be good chefs – again 🙂 – and went for an early sleep to stand a quite tight schedule the next day.

Have you ever heard of ice-sailing, Konstantin Vassiljev, three times Estonian footballer of the year or a restaurant where glasses, plates and forks are just not existent? The fantastic maritime museum, the friendly match between Estonia vs Morocco in the LeCoq Arena and dinner in Ill Draakon restaurant taught us.

Especially the restaurant impressed, while the game didn’t so much, Morocco won 3:1… It just needs a huge piece of meat from the bone and big tasty beer out of a huge clay pot to be happy.

A great day found its end around 3 o’clock – measured by daylight 8 o’clock in the morning, see here:

Our plan was to take the ferry to Helsinki but only god knows why, prices had risen for about 400% this day so we booked another cheap stay in the countryside, to take the ferry the next morning. It was a beautiful stay actually, next to a lake and perfect sunshine. Great to rest and relax.

Ready for new adventures we took off to find some brekkie and cartridges for our camping stove the next morning. Very difficult as there are different standards all over Europe – mission not completed yet… We made it to the ferry terminal in Tallin just in time. Premiere on a ship with our bikes – the name says it all: M/S Finlandia.

After 2,5 hours we arrived in Helsinki/Finland, the 7th visited country during our trip! Sunshine welcomed us, lunchtime and a nice 2 hours walk around the capital, we took some pictures and drove further East to stay a night on a campground in Porvoo, actually on a hill for skiing. 28€ for a standard campground – not surprising but 5 times the price of the average fee in Poland. Frustrated we bought two beers for 10 Euros. It’s vacation 😉

Follow our route as we are getting closer to Russia, the next milestone on our trip!

Lithuania

June 1st – 5th

From Danzig we drove through the beautiful landscape of Mazury. Little valleys, lakes everywhere and the sun shining all day long. After a quick stop for another face off with the cruelty of Nazi Deutschland at the Wolfsschanze we stayed for one night at the Wydminy lake in our tent.

The day after the streets took us along the Russian border to Kaliningrad into Lithuania, the 4th country during the trip. We followed our plan to visit Trakai, a picturesque town and capital of the medieval Lithuania. The most visited Lithuanian landmark is the well preserved and impressive watercastle at the Galve lake 20km southwest of Vilnius.

Heading for Vilnius, we took the direct route via the highway, the first time on our trip we chose this fast but boring way of driving. We covered approx 350km in 5 hours. Inbetween we spontaneously detoured to Kaunas central, the 2nd biggest city in Lithuania and had lunch at the surprisingly charming riverside, close to the castle.

After drifting through the awesome bends around the lakes in Trakai for a while, we stayed at a residence. Pretty fancy for a campground. Wi-Fi covering the entire area allowed us to watch the friendly Germany vs Austria via live stream.

The German invasion of camper vans here for sure had satellite TV, but this is not the company we prefer on our tour distancing Germany a little bit more every day.

Sunday was another „holiday“! History session at Trakai castle and cuisine lesson in one of the traditional small townhouses with late breakfast. Kibanai, little baked dumplings with diverse sweet and hearty fillings really blown us away. Our belly worked on these Kibanai while we rested at the beach of one of the numerous lakes around. We met Saulius, who listened to us speaking German and initiated the conversation. He’s a former professionell basketball coach, who was happy to practice some German again! Super friendly and inspiring. It was very cool to meeting you Saulius!

Later that day we literally flew the remaining kilometers to Vilnius where we stayed in a nice apartment. We went for a stroll downtown and straight into a typical Lithuania restaurant serving traditional food – again 😉

Typical beer plate!

What a feast it was!

After two mains each and a few more beers we walked back to our apartment and had a fantastic sleep – not very surprising, huh?!

The haircut, scheduled for a long time was finally accomplished and let us look a little less like travellers before meeting up with Povilas, who Jendrik knows for a long time, in Vilnius‘ old town. We had dinner and a very nice evening with many laughs! He was so kind to receive some mail for us from Hamburg, amongst were all our tickets for the World Cup in Russia as the FIFA wasn’t able to send these out in time… thanks again Povilas!

The next day we took off heading East, after getting done some work on the motorbike (with some parts also received with the mail) and set up our excellent MSR tent in no time in Northern Lithuania, even though we faced heavy wind. Our routines seem to be almost perfect by now.

Barzai is supposed to be our last stop in Lithuania as we’re heading to Latvia tomorrow. That day was the first time we actually had some rain while driving…

I like to move it!

Driving with two different navigation systems never guides us to our destination on the same roads. Choose an exciting route or switch on the adventure mode don’t neccessarily mean the same thing. Though we’re generally seeking for thrilling challenges and for improving our driving skills the unpaved gravel- or kilometerlong cobblestone paths are not always what we’re looking for when we need to cover distance. Enjoy this short summary of Polands streets and environment.

Holidays

28. May – 1st June

After we arrived at Campground Rafa 52 in Osrodek we set up our tent and used the new bought camping stow for the first time. We had some Polish Borsz instant noodles. Poland seems to be a instant soup and biscuit nation – the supermarkets are full of all kinds of flavors. Looking for standard Tempo tissues on the other hand- hopeless.

We called it an early night and got up the next day woken up by the sun – that would have never happened at home 😉 We managed to get a surprisingly delicious coffee in the Taverna and relaxed at the lake, went for a swim and just chilled out. Not having a daily routine on the trip, doesn’t mean every day it’s like holiday. This day was, for sure.

By the way: how lucky we are! We haven’t seen a single raindrop since we started two weeks ago. We definitely expect it to be continued like that the next 24 weeks 😉

The next morning we went for another 200km ride to Bydgoszcz where we headed to a hidden camp at a river Brda deep in the forest. Very natural location, almost nobody there. Our camp-set-up-routine is quite good already, so we did and had again another pasta. Salt should be on our shopping list…

Daniel went to get some beer while in the meantime Willi from Bavaria arrived who is riding a bicycle from Berlin to Vilnius. We had a beer all together. He really appreciated the drink and the company. Being on the road alone for almost 10 days he seems to be happy for the chat. So were we. Have a safe ride Willi!

We booked an apartment in Gdańsk (Danzig) where we stayed for two nights. Very adventurous driving through woods and fields, on cobblestones and sand roads. I don’t have to mention that we prefer empty and more remote routes to enjoy riding on our way to our destinations. That worked out very well that day until we reached the city. Stop and Go everywhere and the heat on the bike without the chilly breeze is hard to stand and made us sweat immediately. The happier we were once we arrived.

We recharged all electronic devices, recharged our bodies, recharged our nutrients with some good food again after all these pastas. An early run to the beautiful beach of the Baltic Sea also quietened our conscience and sightseeing in the old town put some more miles to our account. Gdańsk is beautiful and worth a weekend trip from Hamburg.

Check out our route, we are constantly updating.

Dresden to Špindlerův Mlýn

May 22nd – 24th

We had a fun filled 3 days stay in Dresden – thanks again to Intigam – and left in the early morning to go to Špindlerův Mlýn in Czech Republic.

However as the Teneré respective Daniel wasn’t 100% satisfied with the set-up of the air box and the current air filters he decided to pass by a dealership for motorbike parts in Dresden first. Unfortunately the needed filter wasn’t on stock. About 10 calls later we learnt that all over Sachsen there is no filter available.

We parked our bikes next to the car workshop Autoservice Petters in Dresden when the owner passed by to have a chat…

He offered, knowing about the issue of the missing air filters that we can use his workshop. Another two hours later Daniel made customised lids for the two existing filters made from metal from a BMW M3 – yeah!

Another hour later these were fitted in the Teneré, tested and approved. The bike is running smooth again and we finally left Dresden at around 2 in the afternoon.

Nice roads in the Elbsandsteingebirge, from Bad Schandau to the Czech border and in the Riesengebirge we arrived in Špindlerův Mlýn around 8 at night. No campground, no hotel, no hostel where open anymore but luckily we met Mathy who offered us his room while he moved to a friends place. Lucky us.

The next day we planned to go to the river head of the Elbe river. The weather forecast wasn’t the best – and it was true. Thunder and rain showed up, right when we arrived the base of the mountain Medvedin to hike to the Pramen Labe, the spring of the Elbe.

Stubborn, as we wanted to see the river head we bought a lift card to go further up and to hike the last 6,5km… but the rain got stronger and should stay until 1pm. After having a short stop on top of the mountain we decided to hike anyways. After around 1,5hrs we arrived almost without any rain at the spring! Lucky again.

Nice to see the first milestone of our trip, we had a small lunch and were back on the motorbikes another 3 hours later. Tired but happy we booked another night over here in a small hotel and will start a 336km journey tomorrow to Katowice/Poland where we will stay for a few days!

Check out our route, we are constantly updating.