FJR Owners Forum banner
  • Hey Everyone! Enter your bike HERE to be a part of this months Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Premium Member
FJR1300 A, TMax 530 DX, Tracer GT900, XS850
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I have the Audiovox CC working, final planning is taking place for the trip. With great help from Morgan (the Viking) we have come up with the following overnight stays:-

Frederikshavn area - Denmark, Stromstad area - Sweden, Lappeenranta area - Finland, St Petersburg (using alternative transport to get there), Oulu area - Finland, Jokkmokk area, & Ostersund area - Sweden, Lora area and Bergen area - Norway.

I would really appreciate suggestions of any known 'bike friendly' places to stay near the above places. Other tips or information or links to articles would be great too. Thanks.

Regards
Linden Lee
Dublin, Ireland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Be v interested in the details of your planned trip. Am just at the northern end of the island from you, and have your surname as my middle name !
Spooky eh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Lappeenranta is a nice summer city. There is a camping site called Huhtiniemen leirintäalue (http://www.huhtiniemi.com/englanti/englpaa.htm) but it is in a pretty bad shape + the service mentality isn´t quite there:(

There are some hotels available in the centre. I would opt for those. You can find the hotels here (http://www.lappeenranta.fi/?deptid=13166).

The east finnish cousine isn´t for the vegetarians and weight watchers. Very good though. The east parts of Finland is well known for its high rates of heart diseases...

Just send me a PM before you are coming and I could give you some tips, routes for the road to Lappeenranta.

Finnfjr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
One nice way to go to Finland is to take a boat to Åland from Grisslehamn, Sweden.

Just two hours from Sweden and you are in Finland, in Eckerö, in the Swedish-speaking isle of Åland (Ahvenenmaa in Finnish).
http://www.goaland.net/en/
http://www.eckerolinjen.fi/fi/timetables.asp?docID=5558

Then you ride through Åland to the East coast, where you can take the South line or the North line to the continent http://www.alandstrafiken.aland.fi/bilder/ruttkarta.gif

I would recommend the North line (red line in the map in the link above). If you take the North line you have to ride through Brändö (which is nice) and then take one more boat to Osnäs. Also the South line is nice, just check the timetibles and decide. http://www.alandstrafiken.aland.fi/pdf/skargardsguiden2006.pdf

Finnish archipelago is one of the most beautiful nature places in the world and in the summertime it's typically also beautiful weather there. Taking this route isn't as quick as a direct ferry trip from Stockholm to Turku or Helsinki but it's certainly worth of the extra time. And it doesn't cost a lot, the ferries are quite cheap. The main web page of the ferries from Åland to Finland mainland is here http://www.alandstrafiken.aland.fi/eng/index.htm

After you come to Finland you should ride on the south coast all the way to Lappeenranta. Nice places to visit on the way are Turku (former capital of Finland), then Hanko or Tammisaari, take either one to stay overnight. Hanko is a port town and quite popular port for sailing boats due to it's good location for sailors. Tammisaari is more picturesque small town, absolutely tourist friendly and worth of visiting. After Tammisaari the route goes through the capital, Helsinki, which is not so big that you couldn't visit it by bike easily. Again, stay on the South coast of the city, have a cup of coffee or tea in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, where you will most likely meet some Finnish bikers.

After Helsinki continue Eastbound on the South coast and visit Porvoo, which is also a very beatiful, picturesque town, something like Tammisaari. Then next town could be Kotka or Lappeenranta.

After your visit to Russia you should ride from Lappeenranta to Savonlinna. For a motorcyclist I'd recommend route Lappeenranta-Imatra-Ruokolahti, then the smaller roads, Ruokolahti-Puumala-Sulkava-Savonlinna. Nice ride, I promise. After Savonlinna the next stop is Kuopio, a beautiful town in the middle of the lakes. You will surely find a place to sleep in any of these towns: Hanko, Tammisaari, Kotka, Lappeenranta, Savonlinna, Kuopio. It's not a bad choice to stay one night in each one of them, if it's OK for your schedule.

After Kuopio you can ride straight to Oulu, there's not so much to see on that way. Iisalmi is maybe worth of visit. Remember to keep your eyes open for the moose, quite many moose accidents happen on the roads every year in a region between Lappeenranta and Oulu. Speeding is quite expensive and there are both fixed speed cameras and hidden mobile radar units.

Welcome to Finland! If there is something special you would like to know about our country I'll be glad to answer.

Rgds,
Juha
Helsinki, Finland
 

·
Premium Member
FJR1300 A, TMax 530 DX, Tracer GT900, XS850
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi

First of all many thanks to The Viking, Finnfjr, Pedrofinlandia and Juha for taking the time to give their input and knowledge for this trip.

We have six guys, on 2 FJRs, Honda Pacific Coast, VFR, Africa Twin and Transalp.

Leaving Dublin on Friday 16th June, we have booked all the ferries for the entire trip. Also booked all accomodation to (including 2 nights at the Petro Palace Hotel) St Petersburg. We have decided to leave the bikes in Lappeenranta and travel by bus to St Petersburg.

When we return to Lappeenranta on the evening of Friday 23rd, we need to make a decision as to the route we take on the second part of the trip.

Our only constraint at this stage, is we must be back in Bergen to catch the (booked) ferry to Newcastle on Thursday morning 29th June. For reasons of flexibility, we have not booked any accomodation between these dates, but will bring tents and basic camping equipment.

So, between the 24th and the 29th we can:-

1. Try to ride to Jokkmokk and back to Bergen which is about 1500 miles in four days over unknown terrain, (but we would get to the Artic Circle.)

2. Ride north half way up the Baltic and see if we can sqeeze on the ferry from Vassa in Finland to Sweden. This would reduce the riding and give a bit of time to see the places we pass through.

3. Go back the way we came, via Turku and Stockholm which would give more time in southern Sweden and Norway.

At the moment, option 1 is the plan. I dont know whether it is feasible - bad weather, breakdowns, sickness could wreck the tight schedule. However I presume with the longer daylight we could make up lost time by travelling for very long hours if absolutely necessary.

Anyway, we are booked and paid for, so there is no backing out. We are looking forward to a good trip, good photos, and a memorable experience.

What do you Scandanavian 'locals' think of the three options.

Best Regards
Linden Lee
Dublin, Ireland.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
When we return to Lappeenranta on the evening of Friday 23rd...
First thing: That is The Party Evening in Finland. Friday 23rd we celebrate the midsummer evening. It means that most of the people leave cities and towns and go to their summer cottages (we have a lot of them on the shores of thousends of lakes we have in Finland). On the cottages people get together and have big open fires on the lake shore. Traditionally there is live music and dance, music style is plaintive Finnish tango where singer sings about that big love that never came and accordion fills the air with meloncholy sounds. Quite quickly all the people get very drunk, then there comes some love drama and maybe some fights. There will be a swimming competition too, couple of men decide to swim to an island that is too far away, women try to stop them but of course they can´t. Then there is some crying, some more alcohol, and the swimming competition where somebody drowns.

You should absolutely see this and take part in the party (but not in the swimming competition). There are beatiful lake shores in the surroundings of Lappeenranta and you will find all this midsummer evening drama somewhere there but I can't tell you the exact place where to go, I don't know that area so well. Try to find some local guide, you must do that.

Then about the routing. It's a pity you don't have more time to spend in Finland. What comes to riding speeds there is no problem to ride 90 kph average speed on Finnish roads. You can safely count the trip times with that speed everywhere in Finland, we are so thinly populated country with quite good roads. Speed limits are 80 and 100 kilometres per hour and on motorways mostly 120 kph. If there is no speed limit sign, that means 80 kph outside population centres and 50 kph in the centres marked with the centre signs. (50 kph = 31 mph, 80 kph = 55 mph, 100 kph = 62 mph, 120 kph = 75 mph). You can ride 10 kph over speed limit before you get a ticket from speeding. In Sweden most of the speed limits are 10 kph less than in Finland, that is 70, 90 and 110 kph.

So, I would say it is a little bit quicker to ride in Finland than in Sweden. In Norway it can be very much slower becouse of the mountains. I already recommended you some places in Finland. It seems that the archipelago on the South-West coast is out of the question due to your tight schedule. That means you should spend your time in Finland in the Lake district, area between Kuopio, Joensuu, Lappeenranta, Lahti, Tampere and Jyväskylä. There you find a lot of very beautiful places. Ride some smaller roads there and visit some of these towns: Savonlinna, Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Tampere. There is also a possibility to take a boat cruise on the beatiful lakes, there are beautiful old steamboats doing cruises in Lappeenranta, Savonlinna and Kuopio, there may also be some scheduled lines between these towns but you can't get your bikes on the boats.

I hope some of you guys buy me a beer if I get some Finnish fist on the jaw for this advice: there is not so much to see North of Kuopio, unless you go all the way to Lapland. It's quite quick ride from Kuopio to Oulu and Kemi if you decide to do that but spend your time in the lake district. Visit at least Savonlinna or Kuopio or both. All your planned routes are possible although I have never used the ferry line from Vaasa to Sweden. It should be operating anyway, there you find information of that: http://www.rgline.com/en/default.asp

So you have to decide yourself which route you take, none of your choices is out of the question. It seems that quite many FJR-riders from Finland are following this forum, so in best case you find some local to guide you somewhere on your trip. I can't promise I can do that but it would be nice to meet you guys in Finland.

Juha
 

·
Premium Member
FJR1300 A, TMax 530 DX, Tracer GT900, XS850
Joined
·
280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Baltic Trip - Completed

We returned from our Baltic trip on 30th June, after clocking up 3,117 actual riding miles in ten driving days, travelling through England, Denmark, Sweden, and across Finland.

This was really a three week trip condensed into two intensive weeks. We were lucky, none of the six bikes (two FJRs) even got a puncture, we only had rain for 2 hours on one day and 1 hour on another.

We left the bikes in Finland and travelled by coach (€31 per person each way) to St Petersburg. Stayed in a hotel (Petro Palace - excellent hotel) in StP for two nights (equalled three days off riding) - a fantastic city, good food, good beer, good buzz, seemed safe, amazing buildings and relatively inexpensive. No doubt, this will be a prime destination in a few years time. StP is definitely recommended.

Met two UK guys in StP, one on a GS1150 and the other on a brand new GS1200. The second guy had lost his documentation (or it was stolen). They wasted six days trying to get duplicate papers and liaise with the British consulate. In the end they had to leave the GS1200 behind in the hotel car park and travel two up back to the UK. They were told that they may have to 'write off' the GS1200, as it is not covered by comprehensive insurance whilst in Russia . Both their holiday and morale was destroyed, but they intended returning to StP later in July to try to recover the GS1200.

We travelled back to Finland, and then up anti clockwise around the Baltic via the Arctic Circle (Jokkmokk, Sweden) back down through Sweden and finally across Norway to Bergen. (I got a speeding ticket for 94kmph in a 70kmph area - cost €152). I have to admit, though, that in order to cover the distances (and prevent falling asleep) we took a liberal view of the speed limits most of the time. The road surfaces in all countries (except Russia which were terrible) were first class with no loose gravel and there was very little traffic, even though this was their holiday time.

The road from Dombas in Norway to Bergen contains the best scenery I have ever encountered - lakes, mountains, rivers, snow, lots of tunnels and fjord ferries, a bit of everything condensed into one day. If we had more time there were a number of other places in Norway we were recommended - maybe next time. Norway was not as madly expensive as we had been led to believe (petrol €1.65 litre).

If anyone wants specific information I have the detailed daily schedule on an Excel spreadsheet and please feel free to contact me with any questions.

I will post some photos when I get time.

*** Many thanks to all from this site who gave input to the planning of this really memorable trip.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top