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Batic Bound and Around Route

Batic Bound and Around Route

Appendix 4 - Bob's Photo Selection

Below are a selection of photos that Bob has taken during the drive. I've tried to keep them in date order. My thanks go to him for taking the time to select them from all the photos he has taken.



Appendix 3 - Fishing Trip Honningsvag

Several days ago I said I would post photos from Eric's, Kenny's, Bob's and Ahmad's fishing trip off the North Cape. Well here goes with a selection of their photos.

All kitted out and raring to go!

The obvious comes to mind here: Three Men in a Boat.

Bob and Kenny with their catches of cod or pollock, I don't know which.


Back on dry land.

Ahmad and his cod.

Not sure the wheelbarrow was necessary but at long last we have found a use for Bob!!!

Back in John the fisherman's house, where he showed the guys how to fillet the fish. It was then cooked by Kenny, with French fries and onions.


Appendix 2 - Eric & Lynn's photos

Over the past few days, I have mentioned one or two things that Eric and Lynn have done. Here are three photos they have taken.

First, the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. The hill is covered by thousands of crosses put up by Lithuanians.

Next, one of the animals in the wildlife sanctuary they came across in the wilds of Latvia. I'm not sure what the creature is. Any ideas?

Finally, a photo Lynn took of Eric driving his Discovery on one of the many gravel roads we have encountered, throwing up plenty of dust.

Appendix 1 - Bob's & Kenny's Photos

Bob's photos first.

On the drive from Wesel to Berlin, Bob & Thelma went into the countryside and drove along some great narrow cobbled roads and came across this wonderful small ferry.


A good group photo of us all, minus Bob, in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

As we were walking around Berlin, I saw this Trabant centre but didn't take any photos. Luckily Bob did.

Finally from Bob, a beautiful photo of nesting storks at the top of a telegraph pole. Not sure if it is a chick's head just above the nest, or the mother sitting on eggs.

Now to Kenny's contribution! Couldn't resist posting these two.

The car being worked on to drain out all the petrol in the diesel tank. How about this photo? Are these Kenny's feet we can see??


No sooner have we finished one drive, than I am setting up the blog for our next! In September of this year we are driving from St. John's Newfoundland to Savannah Georgia. The blog is now set up and has the uninspiring title, Newfoundland to Savannah, Georgia - Sept 2011.

The website is: and can be accessed by clicking on the link at the right of the home page, in Adventure Drives.

Day 36 - Harwich to London - It's Over!!

Now that we have reached our home here in London, the title words from the Roy Orbison song, 'It's Over', spring to mind.

We arrived at Harwich very early in the morning and at 5.30am we had the ship's alarm call to wake us up for disembarkation at 6.30am. Our first sight of England for five weeks through the large round porthole window of our cabin.

We left the cabin and took the lift down to the car deck.

We drove off the ferry back into England. A last look at our ferry, the Britannica.

With the UK not party to the Schengen Agreement, we had to line up and clear UK customs. Behind Kenny and Bob in the queue.

It was such a contrast to how easy and quick it has been to move from one European country to another on our Baltic drive.

Bob had arranged breakfast for us all at the Pier Hotel in Harwich. He had been to the restaurant there before with Jim and Helen, two friends of ours from our various adventure drives with HERO.

The eight of us sat down, overlooking the harbour, and talked about our tour. Many stories were recalled and laughed over.

So this really was the final parting, as we said goodbye to Kenny and DeeAnne, who will be staying with Bob & Thelma for the next few days, before they fly back to the States next Monday. Farewells also to Eric and Lynn who were driving back to near Bristol. The great thing is we will be meeting up with them all, plus also Ahmad and Reza, at DeeAnne's birthday party, which is being held in a West London pub on Friday evening. There will also be many of DeeAnne and Kenny's friends from their drives with HERO at the party. It will be a great opportunity to say hello again to friends we have not seen for a long time.

The drive back to London was easy, apart from missing the turn-off for London from the M25 to the A2, because the road layout has totally changed since I last drove along the M25.  Then, in frustration at being held up by a broken-down truck on the slip road off the M25 for the A20, I took the wrong exit and turned off for Swanley!! I should have been using my navigator, Wendy, but I knew better!

We reached home at around 10am. We really have come to the end of a fantastic tour of thirteen European countries, including the UK. For those interested in some facts and statistics, here are the countries, in the order we drove through them from the beginning to the very end:

The Netherlands
(Sweden) for 100 metres!
The Netherlands

We have travelled a total distance of 5,933 miles. We have bought 1,140 litres of diesel, which has cost us 1,799 Euros, giving the Landcruiser an average fuel consumption of just under 24 mpg.

The five cars, and passengers, all made it. We had four major problems with the cars. First, there was the damage to Ahmad's Mercedes in the container from the US and then the fitting of a new intercooler in Berlin. Second, was Kenny filling his diesel car with petrol! Third, was Eric's Discovery's smashed window in Tallinn. Finally, Ahmad's Mercedes' fuel problem in Finland. Apart from these, we have had trouble-free motoring, which is pretty good when you realise the cars have travelled a total of just under 30,000 miles, which is 6,000 miles greater than the circumference of the Earth!!.

So, as usual to finish the blog -  the thank you's.

First, to Bob & Thelma who have now been on all of our 'private' drives. What wonderful friends they are. They really do make the drives very special for Wendy and me.

Second, to Kenny and DeeAnne. This is their second drive with us and their never-ending laughter is a tonic to us all. We will both miss them when they head back to their home in El Paso, Texas.

Third, to Ahmad and Reza, who overcame such awful problems with their car, but never let it bother them one bit. I wish I could be as relaxed as they are! We will miss their after-dinner jokes which always rounded off an evening so well.

Next to Eric and Lynn - we want to say how pleased we are that they decided, more or less at the last minute, to join us. To have ten like-minded people together for five weeks, has been a real pleasure for Wendy and me. As I have said before, how lucky we are.

Finally, I must not forget those who joined us as passengers. First, there was our passenger, Peter, who was with Wendy and me from Helsinki to Tromso. His encyclopaedic knowledge of geographic and scientific facts added another dimension to the drive. Thank you, Peter. Next to Gos, Ali and Darvish, who travelled with Ahmad and Reza. First, they picked up Ali in Paris, then Gos in Eindhoven and finally Darvish in Helsinki. He had flown over from England for the side trip to St. Petersburg. Thanks guys, for making the drive go even better than I thought possible. It was such a shame none of our passengers could stay longer.

Now, we are in the final planning phase of our next drive, which starts in September of this year and goes from St. John's, Newfoundland to Savannah, Georgia. Bob & Thelma are joining us and hopefully, Kenny and DeeAnne might do so too. I haven't yet thought of an appropriate name for my next blog, but rest assured I'll come up with something. We leave the UK on September 7th and the drive starts on September 12th.

Day 35 - Hamburg to Hook of Holland

Our last day of the drive and now we are down to four cars, as Ahmad and Reza left early this morning for their stop in Eindhoven tonight, while we take the ferry from the Hook of Holland to Harwich.

We left the hotel at about 11am for the drive of nearly 600 kms across northern Germany and into Holland. We had decided to take a slightly circuitous route so that we could drive along some of Holland's wonderful dykes. Wendy took this last look at the fountain in the lake opposite the hotel.

We left Hamburg on the autobahn heading for Bremen. What a disastrous choice that was! They are widening the road to six lanes and we had 75 kms of roadworks. Each section of work had both carriageways on one half of the autobahn, resulting in extremely narrow lanes and, when we watched cars overtaking trucks, we thought they would either hit each other or the edge of the central reservation. It was quite hair-raising!

We finally reached Bremen where the roadworks ended and then we turned north-west for the Dutch/German border. It was a good fast drive and we reached the border around 2pm. We left the autobahn and took to some minor roads that went through several Dutch towns. We saw this strange sculpture in the middle of a dual carriageway. It reminded me of the Atomium from the World Fair held in Brussels in the 1950s. We later discovered from a reader of this blog, that it is the CH4 (methane) molecule. The sculpture is within 100 metres of the site where natural gas was found in the Netherlands in 1959.

We saw more extraordinary modern architecture. How about living in this block of apartments?

Another example of original design.

The land in northern Holland is very flat with many canals and bridges. We came up to one bridge that was raised to let a boat through and as we waited, we saw this lovely group of horses in the fields near to us.


Driving past one of the canals, we saw this miniature windmill in a nearby field. We have seen several of these and think they may be for pumping water.


Some of the small bridges over the road were very graceful and interesting from a design point of view.

We reached the Afsluitdijk, or Barrier Dyke, at about 3pm. It is the most wonderful example of civil engineering on a gigantic scale. The dyke is over 30 kms long and carries a four-lane autobahn. We stopped and climbed up on to the dyke, from where we took these photos.

The sides of the dyke are paved with rough-cut stones that fit very well together.


After a few minutes, we continued on our drive along the dyke. At either end are two sets of large sluice gates and locks to allow water and ships to pass from the Ijsselmeer (formerly the Zuiderzee) to the North Sea.


In the middle of the dyke is a monument. We didn't stop to see who the statue represented, but I am sure we will find out when we 'Google' it later.

We later learned he was Cornelis Lely, a statesman and engineer who designed the Zuiderzee reclamation project.

The remainder of the drive to our meeting-point with the others, in the town of Delft, was through increasingly industrialised and built-up areas around Amsterdam. We drove along one very pleasant road with trees on either side and a canal close by, when we came across a commercial estate with some very interesting architecture. I don't think you will see many industrial buildings like these in the UK.


It was now about 4.30pm and the beginning of the rush hour. We hit one jam after another on the autobahns around The Hague, mainly caused by roadworks, but also by the sheer weight of traffic. We finally reached Delft at 5.30pm, after driving for over six hours. It had certainly felt like a long drive.

We found a multi-storey car park and, as we were getting ready to walk into the town, who should turn up but Eric and Lynn. We called Bob, who was stuck in the same jam we had been in near the Hague, and told him we would meet him and Thelma in the main square.

Wendy and I had been to Delft many years ago and remembered how beautiful it is. The canals and the buildings, especially in the main square, are quite something to see.


Bob and Thelma eventually arrived and we all had a very acceptable dinner, sitting outside in the main square.

The final 20 kms drive to the ferry was through an area of intensive market gardening. Acres of glass greenhouses were on either side of the road.

We checked in to the ferry at about 9pm. We boarded the boat and saw that Kenny and DeeAnne were already there. We settled into our cabin for the overnight sailing to Harwich.

With about 90 miles from Harwich to London tomorrow morning, we are virtually at the end of our Baltic tour and what a drive it has been! I'll do a final posting after we have unpacked our bags and returned to some sort of normality in London. I am not looking forward to the mountain of mail that is waiting for me, but I suppose that is a small price to pay when we have so much fun doing our Adventure Drives. Long may they continue!