From Warsaw to Tallinn

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    Eastern Europe
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A ride north. From Warsaw in Poland to Tallinn above the 59th parallel in Estonia.

Poland is best described as “variable” when it comes to cycling conditions. But there are undoubtedly good bits.

The not-yet-opened-expressway continues for 10’s of kilometres.

In Augustow a fellow bike lover shows off to me in the park.

I’m on a long straight highway with lots of lorries and no shoulder. My mirror is saving me. I find I am glancing at it about every 10 seconds. Here you can see the next lorry in the mirror.

In Lithuania there seems to be a more serious effort to prepare for the coming age of bicycles.

This is in Nth Latvia. To escape a nasty headwind I opt for forest tracks but this one is a tad too sandy. Although my rear tyre is 32 and my front is 28, so no good for this sandy pine forest, they are still the best widths overall for this trip.

A rest day in Riga. An impressive old town with a modern vibe. Best not in peak-tourist season. There is a great museum dedicated to 1935-1990.

Constantly north. I am fantasising that this is a reindeer but perhaps not.

In Parnu, Estonia. In the central park on a Saturday afternoon a whole series of ethnic dance performances all in costume.

A preserved relic without a plaque in a wheat field without a town nearby. Like so much of Europe, history here has seen conquerors and religions come and go.

Baltic pine is the most common construction material but there are some superb stone buildings in Estonia.

Arriving in Tallinn. About 1,150km from Warsaw the way I came.

Tallinn is a major tourist destination but that is concentrated in the old city which is very well preserved.

After getting a bike carton at the sports shop near the airport I have been able to check-in weighing 22.2kg. The planes out of here are quite small and they are exercising a 23kg limit. Otherwise about $200+.

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