Saturday-Sunday  Dateicon  12-13.9.2015  Tigericon  3+305km Totalt:8996km

It feels really stange that the trip is finally coming to an end and that I'll be home tomorrow after being on the road for over a month.

The ferry isn't due to depart until 6PM so I'm in no hurry to leave the comfort of my hotel room.
I get a late breakfast, load the gear on the bike and then walk towards old town.

I was just one of the sights I missed yesterday and that is Kiek in de Kök, another old gun tower from the old town wall.
The name which directly translated means "Peep in the kitchen" is due to that the soldiers stationed in the 38m high tower could see in the kitchens of all the surrounding buildings.
This tower and Fat Margaret are the only ones preserved but it would have been fun to know the names of the other ones and I they were equally peculiar.

The basement under the tower is now a military history museum where it wasn't hard to pass the time before getting some coffee at Caffeine.
I mean with that name, how could I possibly resist? It's like a sign saying "free drugs" for a fiend.

I pass the time wandering around old town before the time comes to head back and get the bike to ride down to the docks and the check-in for the ferry.
I can hardly belive my luck when I get waved passed the entire que and up to the front by one of the loaders, since I always take forever to strap down the bike I would be great to get a head start.
But no, little did I know that it was obviously just so I could get a great view of every. single. vehicle. going passed me onto the ferry.

Ok so €121 for the passage was prety much a bargain but then again, they obviously put the bikes on the space left over after all other loading is completed.
Luckily it was the loaders who strapped down the bike because after waiting on the docks for 45 minutes I would pity the loader who would have tried to hurry me securing it.

After installing myself in the cabin I do my taxfree shopping and get some supper.
It was pretty obvious that all forms of recreation on this god forsaken boat was alcohol related so I turn in pretty early.
Boats are definately not "my cup of tea" but this passage was so smooth I hardly noticed I was on a ferry so for once I actually got a pretty good nights sleep.

Sunday - Stockholm, Sweden

I'm glad I resited the urge to go for a night cap since I would have been pretty nervous leaving the docks since it was a mandatory breathalyzer test to get out.
Judging by the state of most passengers I must say it is a welcome initiative, I'm just surprised I didn't see anyone fail the test.

The ride home is completely uneventful and even though it's turned into the fall season since I left at least it's not raining.
Since I went past that way I could hardly not visit my dad and brother in Fjugesta so I spent all of the afternoon there before riding the last leg home.

I really love to travel, if I could I would probably just keep riding forever so coming home always leads to some mixed emotions for me but to the sound of Flogging Mollys Within a mile of home I ride down the drive to my humble abode and can only conclude that until next time, my adventure is over.

 

Kiek in de kök
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These people get it.
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Every. Single. God. Damn. Vehicle.
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Finally strapped down and ready for the high seas.
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So in retrospect, what can be said about this trip?

An adventure and a great experience where we saw a lot of new countries and cultures which even though we never left Europe where very different compared to home.
Some prejudices turned out to be false and some to be true. Pretty much as you would expect.

We probably should have known that 21 countries in about a month would be overly ambitious but that's easy to say now, after the fact.
With our previous perspectives it was hard to say that the distances per day we set out to do while planning would take considerably longer to do or be all out impossible.

I should perhaps also mention that we had originally planned to go to Great Britain but about a month before our indented departure date we get told that there is no room for us on the ferry so this was plan B.
I'm pretty happy that we managed to put together such a long trip with so little planning even though we suffered some setbacks and had to make a few changes along the way.

This was the second time we went on the DB Autozug (Motorail) and it really is a great way to save both time and money.
Entire days riding the Autobahn quickly looses its charm and even though I hardly get any sleep on the train I still think it's a great way to transit through Germany.
Unfortunately with the low cost carriers not many people travel with their own vehicle these days so Deutche Bahn have already discontinued all international destinations and will discontinue the Motorail altogether when the wagons are worn out.
The last year they plan to run the Motorail is 2017.

It was a very welcome surprise that we weren't submitted to any major checks at the border crossings, I had read on forums about riders who had been forced to spread out their entire belongings before overzealous customs officials.
The "worst" thing that happened was that we were asked to open the panniers and inner bags at the border between Ukraine and Poland but not even then did they really check anything but settled for looking at the top layer.
A Greek border cop was a bit curious about the content of my top box (which is always a disaster area) but he didn't even tough anything.
Crossing between the other 19 countries we weren't even asked to open the panniers and bearing in mind how the did the passport checks (one person could show up at the booth with a whole stack of passports belonging to people not even in sight) it often felt like bureaucracy for bureaucracy's own sake.
Throughout the trip we were usually across most borders within half an hour with the borders Macedonia>Albanina and Bulgaria>Serbia as notable exceptions.

Since most of the trip was outside the comforts of the EU it was if not required at least a strong recommendation to have an international driving permit.
IDP:s are administered in Sweden by Motormännen (an organisation similar to the German ADAC), members get a discount but the also issue IDP:s for members of the Swedish Motorcyclists organisation SMC  for the same price if you apply through them.

We both had our motorcycles insured by Svedea and the only countries not covered by the insurance green card where Kosovo and Ukraine.
The cost for 3rd party liability insurance was €10 for Kosovo and 82UAH (~€3) and where valid for 14 days.
These are usually bought at the border (and was required by Kosovan border police to let us through) if you go through any of the major checkpoints.

Apart from that we were also asked on a few occasions to show a health insurance card to prove that out medical costs are covered, this is part of Swedish home insurance. Just make sure you get one in English.
Passport and green card was required at all checkpoints, apart from that never show any papers apart from what you are specifically told because they will try to read and understand everything you give them even if it isn't required.

Since we're paranoid about the bikes when we travel we took the easy route and never booked any hotels with fewer than four stars since the point system then require them to offer secure parking.
The cost of parking varied from in about half the time being included in the room cost to at most €15/Bike and day.

Let's finish with a little something for the fact-freaks.

Costs for accommodation and fuel

Total cost of petrol   €608
Cheapest petrol Ukraine €0.74/Litre
Most expensive petrol Greece €2.05/Litre
Average fuel consumption    0.5L/10km
     
Total cost for accommodation  (excluding parking) €1531
Cheapest accommodation Kornilios Palace, Anchialos Greece €32/Night
Most expensive accommodation Radisson, Warsaw Poland €89/Night
Average cost   €49/Night

 

Other costs.

Bridge fee Öresund bridge €32
     
Autozug Hamburg Altona - München Ost, Motorcycle + berth in four bed cabin €223
     
Ferry Rödby - Puttgarden €54
Ferry Tallinn - Stockholm, Motorcycle + single cabin (discounted through Motormännen) €121
     
Vignette Austria

€5

     
Road toll Italy €6.8
Road toll Croatia €4.4
Road toll Macedonia €0.4
Road toll Greece €26.25
Road toll Serbia €6.5
     
Traffic insurance Kosovo €10
Traffic insurance Ukraina €3