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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 1 - 10 of 2064 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Sep 22, 2018 12:00 AM Russian footprints on Aland Islands

Russian footprints on Aland Islands They have public buses here, but the operate only to the main settlements an the number of departures is very limited, especially on the weekend days. But I found public bus going to Bomarsund, where Russians built in 1830-31 big fortress to control entrance to the Bay of Bothnia and the water route to St Petersburg. In 1843 it was destroyed by French-British forces but imposing ruins still remains.
The bus from the capital of the Alands cost me 4,40 euro. Then I followed the well - marked trail through the ruins and onward to the Devil's Hill offering nice panoramic view of the area.
On the next island connected by the bridge - Prasto there are old graveyards of the people who lost their lives during construction works.
Then I was hitchhiking to Kastelholm castle built even earlier by Sweden. The castle was oppen for visitors onlu till Sept 15th, but even for the outside view it is worth to come here. Just nearby there is a skansen of the traditional countryside buildings brought from the whole Alands. On Saturdays the only return bus is in the evening so I was hitchhiking and walking mord than 5 kms to come back to Mariehama.
It was nice, but very windy day...

Sep 21, 2018 12:00 AM Silja ferry ride

Silja ferry ride It was along walk yesterday to my host. Nana lives 4 kms from the centre of Turku. But I found her and we have enjoyable evening talking about travels and watching pictures.
Today I wake up early just to have a cup of coffee and jump on the city bus. Paying 3 euro you can make the connection on the min square for the bus 1 going to the port. At 7.30 I was already at the ferry terminal where a huge GALAXY ferry ship was already waiting. One was ticket tothe Aland cost me 12 euro - bought in advance on internet. Let's go!
It is not an open-sea journey. We were crawling all the way between thousands of the little and bigger rocky island. Some of them are forested. On some of them I saw little houses - probably the summer cottages of the Finns. After 5 hours Mariehama -the capital of Aland Archipelago appeared on the horizon with a big, new and modern ferry terminal. We went ashore through covered skyways. No info office in the terminal. Here I am - on the main island of the Alands. Cloudy. Strong wind is blowing through the empty streets. I hope that tomorrow the weather will be better...

Sep 20, 2018 12:00 AM Turku - the oldest city in Finland?

Turku - the oldest city in Finland? The plane from Gdansk to Turku was not full. Is was only 5 quarters in the air and we landed in the little Turku airport... No control... In the little hall there is an information stand - on the rack you will find free booklets with the city map in few different languages. The city bus goes every 15 min and you pay 3 euro to the driver. Now you know that you are in the different zone - in Gdansk you pay less than one euro... It is only 8 kms.
Bus no 1 goes through the city centre to the port - so I went directly there for one fare.
Old Turku Castle stands at the mouth of the river, near the ferry docks. Nice building! After visiting two courtyards I took the walk along the river. Just at the beginning I passed Maritime Museum. There are different ships and boats docking along the riverfront promenade. Excursion on the old steamer costs 48 euro... Then few picturesque bridges and you can see the old cathedral - after the castle it is second place of interest in Turku. Opposite the cathedral there is nice library offering free internet access. Nice city! I believe my host will wait for me :)

Sep 19, 2018 12:00 AM To the new islands...

To the new islands... It is not far from Poland to find interesting islands: The Alands - belonging to Finland, although the majority of the population speak Swedish there. I have wanted to go there a long time ago, but I always postponed this journey "for later" - because it is so close and you can always go there without long preparations... The gateway to Alands is a Finnish city of Turku, from where ferries depart several times a day to the capital of the archipelago - Mariehama. When on my account in the wizzair airline there was a enough bonus money to be used, I thought that it is worth using the opportunity: to fly directly from Gdansk to Turku, and then to the sail to Alands. After visit to Alands I want to add to the route a small bus loop through unknown to me Western Finland. Thanks to the internet, I managed to buy three bus tickets by paying 1 euro for each and also an affordable ferry ticket. The problem of accommodation, which in the Scandinavian countries is very expensive, remained. I decided to try couchsurfing. Finding hosts was not easy... The hosts from Finland read my my requests, but very few is responding. Shame... I am leaving tomorrow...

Sep 13, 2018 12:00 AM Do you know Wagga - Wagga?

I have been to Langa - Langa, to Lapu - Lapu, to Bora - Bora.
Now Wagga - Wagga excites me. Why not to go to Wagga - Wagga? Do you know how to get there?

Aug 29, 2018 12:00 AM Going home via Kaliningrad

Slava was so kind to deliver me in the morning to Nizhny Novgorod little but nice airport. Then I was flying via Moscow to Kaliningrad.
The bus from Kaliningrad airport to the city is more expensive now: it costs 100 roubles.
Once in avtovokzal (bus station) I bought the bus ticket to Gdansk - departure at 3 pm and safely landed in my hometown at 7.30 pm

Aug 28, 2018 12:00 AM Nizhny Novgorod or Gorky

Nizhny Novgorod or Gorky It is the big city (in the past called Gorky), with more then million inhabitants, located on wide Volga river. I said goodbye to the ship at 7.30 am. My new friend -Slava from Couchsurfing were waiting firm me just on the prier.
Slava is a perfect guide - we spent full day visiting city tourit attractions. First of all - the Kremlin or the castle overlooking Volga and the city.
Wechad great, sunny weather so I took a lot of pictures. The main pedestrian street 2-kms long is Bolshaya Pokrovskaya. Elegant theathre is located there and a lot of small cafes, shops... People are strolling around, smiling and enjoying the atmosphere. At the Gorky square you will find McDonald's with free, clean toilets (still rare in Russia) and free wi-fi - but to log in you have to have Russian mobile number. I asked the staff to help me and they offered me their phone :) - so nice!
We spend the evening in Slava 's home watching the pictures from all over the world. Thank you dear Slava for such a good time we had together!

Aug 27, 2018 12:00 AM Republic Mary - El :)

Republic Mary - El  :) Did you ever hear about Republic Mary - Ek? It is located on the both sides of Volga River. Our ship docked for the short time in Kozmodemlyansk - one ofthe biggest town in this Republic. Local people were waiting at the pier offerring their product: dried and smoked fish, vegetables, honey.... 200 m away in the impressive old merchant's hojuse they have picture gallery with quite impressive collection of Russian and Western Europe paintings. What a surprise! In the Republic Mary-El! Wonderful sunset on Volga and then full moon over the river... This is my last night on the ship. Tomorrow it will be the time to say goodbye to captain Ivan and other friendly people....

Aug 26, 2018 12:00 AM Cheboksary in the mist...

Cheboksary in the mist... At 6 am, when I wake up I saw through the window onlly the thick mist. According to the schedule we should be in Cheboksary - the capital of the Chuvash Republic. :)
Eventually after 2 hours the mist dissappeared, we went into the 15 m lock to be lifted 15 m up and reached Cheboksary at 10 am.
Wow! What a welcome in the Chuwash Republic! A group of young ladies and men in the national costumes was waiting on the jetty playing the local instruments and singing! The only and unforgettable such a event during this journey!
Chuwashia and Cheboksary are both small, so we had a walking excursion around the capital pleasantly located on the little hill overlooking wide Volga. There are orthodox churches, monastery, souvenir bazaar and high fountain. I was surprised to see tourist info office near the theatre. In Russia it is still rare!

Aug 25, 2018 12:00 AM Kazan -Tatar Republic

Kazan -Tatar Republic After a all day sailing upstream Volga (our junk boat has a maximum speed only 23 km/h) we arrived to Kazan -the capital of Tatar Republic just before the spactacular sunset. Then we had an evening tour around 1,2 million city. This republic is rich in oil and you can see it in the streets. Nice lighting around, a lot of new, ornate, buildings. Huge arena, water stadium, theatres.... Warm evening, so a lot of local people in the streets... Illuminated Kremlin with the big mosque. Great place!

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