cover image for Northbound

There is something special about taking a ferry trip to Italy. All the Croatian ship staff insisted on speaking Italian to me, even though I would've understood Croatian much better. On the deck the ones afraid of traveling were praying with their rosaries.

Since I didn't have a cabin I decided to sleep under the stars. It was very pleasant to see the sky and hear the waves of the Adriatic sea below. (2004-08-06 22:00 - Bergie)

The ferry arrived at 7am to Ancona, and the Italian customs waved me through, letting my bike be the first vehicle to depart. By 9am I was already eating breakfast in Riccione. (2004-08-07 09:10 - Bergie)

The trip went very quickly on the Autostrada, the black horse of Hinckley eating road like nothing. Urbino, Rimini, Bologna, Milano, ...

The road tolls in Italy totaled to about 20 EUR. It was funny to notice that most Italian bikers were showing me the thumbs up sign for having come from such a far away land as Finland. If only they would know. :-) (2004-08-07 12:35 - Bergie)

There were no border formalities when entering Switzerland, but I had to buy their road tax, or Autobahn Vignette for 30 EUR. When the Alps started the road was running mostly either on a bridge or in a tunnel. Snowcapped mountains and picturesque villages passed on left and right.

The traffic stopped completely when nearing the St. Gotthard's tunnel. I had to lane split a dozen kilometers. At the full gas station I heard cars had spent hours getting there. (2004-08-07 14:45 - Bergie)

The rest of the trip to Zürich was uneventful. I'm now sitting in Michi's place and discussing the upcoming OSCOM conference. (2004-08-07 18:45 - Bergie)

We had a picnic in Michi's family garden on the hill and discussed Open Source business. Now it is time to ride to Germany. I'm trying to get home on tomorrow's Superfast from Rostock but their ticket sales line doesn't work on weekends. (2004-08-08 16:33 - Bergie)

I left Zürich finally around 6pm. The road to German border in Schaffhausen was a bit blocked, but after that the highway flowed quite freely.

Actually, the autobahn was so fast that around Würzburg I made the decision to ride to Stockholm instead, and catch a Silja ferry to Helsinki from there.

I rode through Germany and Denmark by night, mostly powered by energy drinks. I passed Hamburg at 1:30am. In Denmark the road was getting to me and I stopped to take one hour's nap on the roadside.

After the long, boring ride through southern Sweden I arrived to Stockholm ferry terminal at 2pm. Odometer at the end of the trip was 67248km, making the trip 11164km long.

On the ferry we had a steak dinner and some whiskey with a Harley rider coming from the HoG meeting in Lillehammer.