On the train from Moscow to Warsaw in July 2016 I looked out onto the Polish countryside. It was flat and bathed in the summer evening sunshine. Ideal for cycling. A germ of an idea evolved into investigating the green-velo route along the eastern Polish border. But riding through miles of forests, alone, didn’t appeal. So, with Poland still in mind, and a warm welcome awaiting in Latvia, the original idea morphed into a ride along the Baltic coast.
My original plan, to take the train to Stockholm, was thwarted. Bicycles on intercity Swedish trains are forbidden and both the Eurostar and German ICE trains demand them to be dismantled. ‘Plan A’ was amended to an even better ‘Plan B’; cycling in 7 countries, train travel in 5 and 4 ferry crossings – with my bicycle staying intact on every leg. I would cycle for about 1000kms over 4 weeks, starting and finishing in Cockerham.
Cycle from home to Lancaster station
Train to Newcastle
Cycle from Newcastle to the ferry
Ferry to Ijmuiden (Netherlands)
Cycle to Amersfoort (Netherlands)
Train to Gdansk (Poland)
Ferry to Nynashamn (Sweden)
Cycle Nynashamn to Stockholm
Ferry to Riga (Latvia)
Cycle through Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad.
Train from Kaliningrad centre to Polish border
Cycle back to Gdansk.
From Gdansk I’ll head for home, retracing the route of my outward journey.
There has been lots to prepare. Buying a bicycle, building up fitness, working out the logistics of the journey, learning to change a tyre, a visa for Kaliningrad. Now, I’m ready to go, taking with me the unwavering support of my family.