We left on October 5, 2021 The Netherlands that was getting ready for the fall. 8 months later we returned to Etten-Leur. We then have a journey through NorthernEurope made a tour around the Baltic Sea, 10 countries in winter. We then drove and sailed more than 26.000 kilometers. Quite a lot actually…
However, we have also been through a lot. This blog discusses the first part of our winter journey, around the Baltic Sea: Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Poland.
We see autumn scenes in Denmark en Sweden. Early snow and ice in Norway. Deep fjords and high mountains. It northern Lights above the Arctic Circle. Bare cold at the North Cape. Infinite snowy forests in Finland. Alternating spring and winter in the Baltic States and Poland.
A chapter apart is our Iceland-trip. The turbulent crossing to Iceland. The primal forces and rawness of Iceland. And the special climate of the Faroe Islands.
Below we give some highlights of our trip around the Baltic Sea, more extensive reports can be found in our blogs at www.miladylandy.nl.
Table of contents
The weather is still good when we are on the island romø arrive. It is good to stay in the sun, out of the wind. And of course it is nice and exciting to be able to drive on the beach.
The nature of Central Denmark welcomes us with beautiful autumn scenes in which we can walk and cycle well.
We visited the cities, among other things Ebeltoft en Copenhagen.
We take the Øresund bridge from Copenhagen to Malmo. As a civil engineer I always find it special to be able to drive so high and so long over such a special bridge.
In Sweden it is still autumn, the endless forests turn red, yellow and brown.
's junkyard båstnäs near the border with Norway is definitely worth a visit, we wander around in amazement for a while and imagine ourselves in another time.
Just a little more autumn
Step by step we experience winter. One morning when we wake up we suddenly find ourselves in the snow.
When we later de hardangervidda As we drive up, we experience that it can also be quite wintery in mid-November. We spend the night in a parking lot and the next morning we are glad that we are not snowed in.
Fjords and mountains
We drive along fjords and go high into the mountains, the landscapes are spectacular and incredibly varied.
Above the Arctic Circle
The ultimate goal of our journey through Scandinavia is of course the North Cape, but it is still a long way off. We cross the Arctic Circle on November 16, 2021, the visitor center is not accessible due to the snow.
It was getting more and more winter, the roads were alternately slippery from the rain and the snow. On the Lofoten the weather really turned and it really became winter. The island Senja was completely covered with snow.
The days became shorter, the light became more diffuse. It seemed to be dark almost all day. We approached true north and near Tromso we see the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, for the first time.
The dance of the Arctic light is difficult to describe, but we thoroughly enjoy the spectacle, outside in the cold.
The North Cape
And then, on December 8, 2021, we reached the North Cape. The snowy roads didn't stop us, the temperatures down to -28ºC couldn't stop us, we were at the northernmost tip of Europe.
In this video we give an overview of our journey through Norway:
The drive south took us through Finland. We drove hundreds of miles on snowy roads, through white forests and past frozen lakes.
This is Lapland, or Sapmi as the locals call it.
We are going to visit the "real Santa" in Rovaniemi, on the Arctic Circle in Finland. Funny for a visit, but a bit too touristy for us.
In Helsinki we visit Tuula, Sonja's Finnish friend who invited us for a belated Christmas party.
The Baltic States
It was still winter in Estonia, we even experienced the New Year's Eve in Tallinn with a small snow shower and fireworks.
The landscapes resemble the Netherlands, sometimes very much.
Also in winter, also cold and very hospitable. The Highlight is our visit to Riga, the capital.
We camped on the Curonian Spit. Here it seemed as if winter had ended and spring had arrived.
The town of Siauliai has a town link with Etten-Leur, where we lived. We were warmly welcomed by Zofia and Aloyzius Kairiai and later by Odeta and Germantas. They let us fully enjoy the Lithuanian hospitality.
Like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Poland has a rich history of domination and territorial change. Germany, Russia and Lithuania have occupied parts of present-day Poland. The cities of Poland we visit bear the traces of this.
But next to these cities, the former concentration camp Auschwitz, in the place Oswiecim, most impressed us.