Helsinki Finland to Minsk Belarus

Heading South the Scenic Route

Our route took us from Helsinki Finland to Tallinn Estonia on a ferry – just two hours to cross the Gulf of Finland. Weather was fantastic and we opted for a less travelled route and eventually crossed near Estonian village of Lilli (road 54) to Latvia (road P17). A fantastic winding road with very little traffic, no speed traps or police like on the standard Via Baltica route.

Overnight near Riga and a morning departure towards Vilnius Lithuania, meeting our friend Vyga for lunch on the road.

Vilnius Old Town

Settling into our accommodation just outside the city followed by dinner in the old town with Zilvinas in a Georgian restaurant and a visit to see his bike shop, Speed Crank. Little adjustment to my KessTech exhaust by a butt-crack man and we were on out way to Minsk.

Nothing gets done without a Butt-Crack Man
Vilnius Song and Dance Festival Goers in Lithuanian National Costumes

Now the weather was changing slowly for the worst.

The Plan

Clouds Cathering

Sometimes in biking you may need to change your plans. Sometimes it is the weather…

As some of our group had already been to Minsk several times attending the end of season rally, we thought it would be a good idea to see Minsk in the summer and to explore the surroundings a bit.

That was the plan. The weather however, did not agree. It was colder, windier and rainier than any of the end of season rallies we had visited in September!

One night in Minsk (or two)

Once we arrived in Minsk in the rain, we settled into our Hotel. There are at least three of the Victoria hotels near each other and they are all good and friendly. This time we stayed at Victoria Spa.

Druzya dance floor

Dinner at a very popular food and dance spot Druzya Minsk, a good night out.

Great Patriotic War Museum

The morning weather was miserable. Temperature 9c, strong wind and heavy rain. So we opted for some indoor activity.

It is amazing how history is mainly written through wars. Great Patriotic War Museum was no exception but it was one of the finest museums I have seen. Having visited the Stalin Line earlier, this was a fitting next place to visit.

Nanking massacre exhibition

Minsk is a very modern city and a short stroll in the centre was due. A visit to a department store and yet another borsch-soup.

Minsk Department Store
Presidential Palace

The weather being atrocious we stayed at the hotel for dinner, examining at the weather forecast. No change for the next three to four days! Perhaps it would be nice somewhere else?

Bus Stop in Belarus

Change of plans – Ride to Jurmala

At the breakfast table the plan was agreed. We would cut our Minsk visit short and ride to Vilnius for the night and continue to Jurmala just south of Riga for some better weather and beach front activity!

Our Hotel Pegasa Pils

Although we had some adverse weather, the trip was again a good one. Nice time with nice people, always worth it!