Making plans sucks! It really does! Plans mean deadlines and deadlines mean you're not as flexible as you should be. Especially on a big trip like that. I wish we could just drive without much of a direction or any set dates. In Europe it could even work. But as soon as you need visa, you need deadlines. And we have one. We should be in Russia on Saturday. And I can tell you it sounds easier then it is.
The last few weeks were really hardcore. Packing, moving, organizing last important things and working till the last day. We have been preparing for weeks now and I'm kind of glad it's over. We could have prepared better, we could have use some more time, but we decided to leave on Sunday and so we did. Half an hour before we took off I was still cleaning our bathroom, carrying the last few boxes out of the flat. Fortunately we managed to pack Karossi earlier. We were afraid we will never manage to pack all the things we want to take, but we actually ended up with some space left.
We decided to make a camping ground near Dresden our first day target. I don't remember when I was camping for the last time, so I was totally excited with the idea. And I have to say the first day went really well. But the whole thing felt nothing like a beginning of a great adventure. More like a small weekend trip. I tried to think about the things we are leaving behind, about the great things ahead, but it just didn't work. It was great to sleep in a car and camp again, but that's it.
On a second day we decided to go to Zabrze to visit the family. I was really glad we could use the only polish highway that is really nicely built. The road is wide and nearly empty, so that I even dared to drive a bit by myself. We were only surprised to find we have to pay for the ride this time. But it was definitely worth it.
We felt so good at home that we really wanted to stay a bit longer and try to make up for it later on. But finally we decided against it. And it was a good choice! Driving through Poland was a nightmare! Our hopes were high when we took the new, really pretty highway A1, but it didn't last long as it was suddenly closed after 30 or 40km without any explanations. The rest felt like driving through one huge construction area. And the 100km through and around Warsaw nearly drove us crazy. But we still thought we would make it on time to our next stop. Until the storm started. It was so sudden and heavy that it made us stop by the next hotel we saw. The rooms were way below the standards but one look outside the window made us take the keys without complaining. We were just a bit afraid if Karossi will survive staying outside the whole night but he fortunately did. I am not really afraid of rain, but this storms were so powerful and strong that it really gave me shivers. We drove further next day and when we saw all the trees along the road which were not only broken, but also pulled out of the ground we decided taking a hotel for that night was a great idea. And though we originally planned to stay in Poland a day longer we decided to change the country and hopefully the climate.
And that is how we ended up in Lithuania, which made a great impression on us so far. Trees and lakes wherever you look! And some very friendly people. We were also surprised to discover how nice and tidy it all is. And we managed to find some really great camping spot near Trakai. Directly at the lake in the middle of the forest. If all goes well we will spend 2 nights here as we decided we need a short brake. After weeks of organizing and the whole journey through Poland we just need some time to take a breath. And to finally get the feeling of a big trip. And I have to say it's already working! The first place we stopped to grab some food was already an adventure, since we spoke no common language. We suddenly felt like real tourists :)
And we finally started meeting some other travelers! That was the thing I was really looking forward to, so I was very glad when Christoph stopped near our car. For a few months now he has been riding his bike all across Europe, which is just the first part of the world trip he planned. If those of you who would like to know how it is like I recommend http://www.andres-worldcycler.de.