Category Archives: More Europe

Rides across Europe, many more in separate Menu categories

Dracula, Bears and Angels – Faaker See, Transfagarasan

Note! A short compilation video at the end of post! Click here for shortcut.

Way down to Faaker See

Approaching Austria and Faaker See (Lake Faak) in Corinthia

Rode down to Faaker See / Klagenfurt am Wörtensee in Austria perhaps too eagerly. Well, it was 1200+ km but I wanted to cross the distance quickly. After all it was only a transfer ride to get to where the action was.

After the 1200+ km ferry sailing, I was ready to get on the bike! I left Travemunde around 10PM in the evening and having spent the day doing nothing but sauna and jacuzzi between meals, I did not want to go straight into a hotel but decided to do a little run towards Austria. This little run turned into Leipzig 450 km later for a few hours sleep. Eating the miles is easy on a motorway but less fun, particularly at night.

Note to oneself and a top tip for the others: Do not take shortcuts at night, no matter how tempting it may seem!


I have done the run to the alps several times before and did not really expect much from the transit through central Europe. But when traveling overland, I can feel the anticipation growing to see the scenery change rather suddenly from the flatlands of Europe to the majestic mountains and alps. Always a tingling sensation in my body.


My plan was to visit the European Bike Week in Faaker See and to continue my ride south-east towards Transfagarasan in Romania.

The bike week, like many other events, had suffered from Covid-19 but now there were apparently again some 100.000 bikers congregating at Faaker see in the Austrian region of Carinthia. Strick covid measures were in place, but it was all done in very relaxed atmosphere as much as the pandemic could allow. Access to main areas and attractions were controlled and after proof of covid vaccinations using the EU covid passport, one got a wristband to avoid constant re-checks and was free to move about. With the EU covid passport life was simple when visiting restaurants etc outside the rally area.

At the main rally

A chance reunion and a dinner with a good friend on the first day made up for the tiring ride and meant that I had good company for at least a few days ahead.

Kari and me
By the See

Bears at Transfagarasan, Romania

Austria is always a great country to visit but eventually it was time to continue on. We actually found a third friend to join our team and while my two friends had plans to ride north, I managed to convince then that while we were so close by, we should all go and ride the Transfagarasan mountain pass. Since it was only two days away!

Steak tartare being professionally prepared

We eventually decided to stay overnight in Belgrad and as luck would have it, our hotel was right next to the bohemian quarter and some great restaurants. Catchy music by local bands and the best steak tartare I have ever had, prepared by the no 2 tartare chef in the country. Yes, they do run competitions! And preparing the steak tartare is a show in itself!

On the top of Transfagarasan pass

We were really lucky and the weather was clear and sunny and Transfaragasan was really beautiful that day! To top the experience, in the afternoon, on the southern descent, unbelievably we saw bears no less than nine times on the road. One even with a cub!

Bear at Transfagarasan

When on a motorbike, stopping next to the bears to take picture is a bit unnerving compared with those who were sitting in their cars. Some cars even threw snacks for the bears, apples and such. What a great and rare experience, truly memorable!

Continue reading Dracula, Bears and Angels – Faaker See, Transfagarasan

Through Finland to Lapland and North Cape, Norway

A few years ago we left home for a short overnight ride (hence the open face helmet and sunglasses in the picture) with my wife and a few friends. Only to end up leaving our friends behind and touring Lapland and visiting Nordkapp in Norway by the Barents see, altogether some 4500km. The picture has a glue of where it was taken😀.

Now that covid-19 has seriously fu**ed up everyone’s riding plans for the summer, it is time to visit Lapland and the north again.

Well, Lapland is no second prize, it is a great destination on its own and well worth visiting even several times.

Continue reading Through Finland to Lapland and North Cape, Norway

Kaunas – Gdansk and Ferry Poland – Sweden – Finland

Shortcut over the Sea

Some of the roads leading to the nordic countries from central Europe may not be a rider’s dream but they are efficient in taking you from A to B. As always with a new destination, you enjoy the new scenery, but after once or twice, these arteries are rather dull. This goes with Via Baltica and riding through Denmark and southern Sweden. All nice destinations on their own, though.

Kaunas Old Town

To add interest to my ride, I took a slight detour and stayed in Kaunas in Lithuania – a very nice town with a beautiful old town and some fantastic food and trendy people. Recommended stop en route.

Gdansk region

I also set my camp in Gdansk in Poland for a few days to explore the surroundings a bit more. Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia, Hel. This corner is really not on any route unless you go there specifically or go for a ferry from Gdansk to Sweden – Which is exactly what I did.

A few words about Gdansk and its close neighbours. Gdansk really is a nice town and worth visiting. A large Prague-like old town. I like Prague but I liked Gdansk even more, nice small restaurants – Berlin-meet-Praque – and really excellent food and drink. It is very touristy but has a local feel as well. And very good street performers!


If you want some more space for yourself and like it quieter, close by is the town of Sopot. Made famous by its music festival during the Soviet era. A lovely town with fantastic beaches. And it is really close to Gdansk to enjoy both towns

Going to Hel
The bus 666 to Hel!!

Next west is the port town of Gdynia and north-west the peninsula in the sea with Hel at the end. Although the road to Hel looks like a scenic one, the road really just runs between bushes. Traffic may also be hellish and you are better off on a motorbike. Not much to see. Unless you count the local public transport bus.

Not often do you see a bus to Hel numbered 666!

But this was suppose to be about the ferries…

Polferries at Westerplatte harbour

Polferries sail from Gdansk to Nynäshamn just some 100 km south of Stockholm. This is a roro ferry for trucks but also takes passengers with their vehicles. Check the timetable but my ferry sailed from Gdansk at 6PM and arrived in Nynäshamn 12 noon the following day. I assume it does about the same to the opposite direction.

Walking on the deck

The ferry is clean and comfortable to travel. It has options from airline seats to shared and private cabins for your night sleep. Several restaurants and also outside seating to enjoy the sea.

Food onboard is not quite what you could expect after the fantastic food in Gdansk. I even opted for some prepaid meals in the a la carte restaurant for dinner but assume the canteen would have been better. For breakfast, a la carte was decent.

Nice clean restaurant

A small detail is that my pre-purchased dinner included a drink. Turned out it was coffee or soft drink. On the other hand, if you pre-purchase just a drink coupon, it is for beer and wine as well. But they are all drinks, I guess. With the coupons, service was quick and efficient.

Make sure you check which terminal the ferry departs from. You may see some conflicting information from different sources, so be careful. The terminal seems to change at times. This time (Summer 2019) we sailed from Westerplatte port.

Kapellskär – Naantali

Another roro route, this time with Finnlines. Note that all meals are included in your ferry ticket as standard. Plenty to eat and good quality, much better than Polferries anyway. The restaurant is large and there is enough seating for all.

The ferry is clean and has the usual seat and cabin choices and it even has a sauna with a jacuzzi bath. Also a nice bar area with a view and outside seating also from the sauna.

Nice cabin on Finnlines

My ferry sailed around 8PM and arrived to Naantali 7AM.

Most ferries from the Stockholm region also make a stop in Åland and you may want to take the option to explore the island as well.

Well, now you are in Naantali, ready to explore the south-wester corner of Finland or to head north or east. Both good choices with very different things to offer. Enjoy your trip!

PS. The Costs

Both ferries about the same – under €150 each. Thats one person, motorbike and a bed. Shared cabin on Polferries, private cabin on Finnlines.  On Finnlines also all meals. Check offers available.