Vilnius – Daugavpils – Riga

Yesterday in the morning I headed to the train station. There is only on Sundays a train connection between Lithuania and Latvia. Typically the train drives from Vilnius up to the border, but on Sundays two trains are extended to Daugavpils. So I got lucky and took one of them. If I would have missed them, I would have to extend my stay in Lithuania by one week. It was also a nice experience, because the train already looked very tough and only 3rd class was available. I guess it was the first time in my life, that I officially travelled in the train by 3rd class. Nevertheless, almost all the time I had a mobile connection with 4G on my mobile phone. That would be unimaginable in Germany, as there is sometimes hardly any connection available.

In Daugavpils I had a common connection time of about 3 hours. This is nothing special in the baltic countries but quite normal. So in the end you need to take your time, when travelling by train. I used this time and made a small walk through the city with my backpack. I took an ice cream and it was necessary that I order that in Russian, as in Daugavpils almost everybody speaks Russian. So it’s a little bit confusing, that you order in Russian but paying Euro.

The train to Riga seemed to be not really more modern than the other one to Daugavpils. Nevertheless, what I have never been imagined even this old train had already free WiFi available. In the train to Riga a young women sit next to me. She was running a half marathon in Daugavpils and was just travelling back to Riga – wow not bad. She thought about coming bouldering with me today, but her legs were just hurting too much.

Driving through Lithuania close to the Belarus border

Approaching Daugavpils
Crossing the river Daugava
Most of the rolling stock in Bialystok was oil which seems to go – or come – to Belarus
Large “Benzin” waggons, which seem to be leased according to the labeling
My 3rd class train from Vilnius
The largest Russian-Orthodox church of Latvia, which can take up to 5,000 people.
Next to it, there is the red Lutherian Church in front and the white Catholic Cathedral directly behind in the background
My two train tickets.

Bouldering in Rock On Vilnius

After we had breakfast together, my host left, as she met another friend. Yesterday it was “open house” day and people could visit houses which were normally closed for the public. The two wanted to head to some of this buildings, and in the evening she went to Kaunas. Nevertheless, she allowed me to stay in her flat, as her roommate was still there.

I was heading with a 30min bus drive to the outskirts of Vilnius. After some searching I found the entrance to the Rock On boulder gym. This is a really nice gym where I did some cute moves. It was really a lot of fun. I had a short conversation with one of the guys, and it ended up that he already knew the Mandala – my boulder gym I went to in the last roughly two years. After three times of bouldering in one week, I guess I never had the time to go so often, I’m now done – at least this week 😉

In the evening, I did a short walk to the old city center with all the old buildings. Unfortunately the fortress at the hill was closed due to construction works, so even this 48m of altitude I wasn’t able to do, but at least I got around the hill and discovered also the tile of miracle.

My host Undine and her lovely dog
Entrance to the Rock On boulder gym
Old Gate of the Dawn
Old brickstone House.

Miracle Tile. We will see, if my miracle comes true 😏.
Narrow streets in Old Town of Vilnius

Bialystok – Kaunas – Vilnius

Yesterday I further continued my journey to Lithuania. I was a little bit late at the train station, because I needed to buy something in the Kaufland supermarket. Well and due to the hurry, I have missed a sign and eventually was controlled by the Polish police. Well two minutes before departure I was on the train. This was the only train which connects Poland and Lithuania and runs only once on Friday and two times on Saturday and Sunday. So I was pretty happy to get it.

Now I wanted to purchase a ticket. Well, that turned out to be very problematic, because I had only credit card and Euro in cash with me. And I thought on an “international” train should this be enough. Well that’s not correct, as you can pay in this train only with Polish Zloty in cash. OK after several discussions he accepted also my Euro and I eventually got my ticket. When we were at the border, the staff changed and I was able to my second ticket from Kaunas to Vilnius also in the train. That time in Euro… Without any issues.

In Vilnius my host Undine and her dog picked my up at the train station and we went to a small party, which was located in the basement of an old culture house from soviet times. The party was quit nice. We had some beer and talked a little bit, and eventually went to her flat.

What a feeling if you see vehicles from the German Bundeswehr at the border from Poland to Lithuania.
Lovely landscape and small farms in Lithuania

Signpost in Kaunas with some cities I already visited.
My two tickets: The left one in Polish Zloty which I only got after after some discussions and on the right the one without any problem.

Warsaw – Bialystok

Yesterday morning I went to the Crux Boulder Gym directly located in downtown of Warsaw. I was happy to make one mid rated move which was rated X4 (out of X7, which seemed to be the hardest one). Otherwise I felt also comfortable to do only some X3 and X2 moves. Yes, in this gym the boulders are rather hard.

After that I took the train to Bialystok. At the train station my host Emilia took my up. After I put my backpack into her flat, where she is living with her two sisters, we went to a city tour of Bialystok. She told me so much things about the Opera, the Stadium, the Churches and the Palace, which was really amazing. We took a classical Polish dinner and then went back to her flat. We talked for hours about different topics and just enjoyed the evening with some drinks. She is such a great hospitable person and takes really care of her guest.

Crux Boulder Gym in Warsaw
Museum next to the train station in Warsaw
One of the Catholic churches in Bialystok. The white Chapel was the original one. And as it was not allowed to built a new church. Hence, the old white Chapel was just extended a little bit by the red building. I like this approach 😊
Palace and garden of Bialystok
Street art in Bialystok. The girl wears a traditional dress in for this region common colours.
Polish Hospitality
Emilia my host and me.
My ticket

Berlin – Warsaw

Yesterday I probably enjoyed the last time a DB Lounge with free coffee and WiFi after I booked my ticket to Warsaw. In the evening I met again my hosts Kirill and Mascha. At some tea we sat together and talked about climbing and mountaineering opportunities in Poland and Germany as well as suitable. But also about travelling in general. I was a very nice stay at their premises. Thanks you two for making this possible.

In the morning I headed to Frankfurt (Oder) as I had my last official appointment there. Afterwards I took the train to Warsaw and crossed the border of Germany. In the beginning I was alone in the compartment, but in Poznan it was almost full. A conversation was not possible as all were staring at the smartphones. Wonderful new times. Hence, I just enjoyed the landscape and encountered that bad weather is coming up.

In Warsaw Central I queued up for almost one hour to get my ticket for tomorrow. During that time I helped another tourist who complained that he wanted to exchange a ticket from the Deutsche Bahn at the PKP train station in Warsaw, which is just impossible. And as we in the end talked in German an old drunken guy encountered this and talked to me in German afterwards, as he was working a couple of years ago in Germany he was able to speak a little bit of German.

My two hosts, Mascha and Kirill, and me
A leftover from older times in Frankfurt… So maybe no longer as youth as it is supposed to be

A storm comes up and creates a cloud of dust
The treasure is always at the end of the rainbow. But do you know at which one?
My train tickets