We had an overall route sketched out in our heads, which went something like this:
Head out of London to an unknown port on the east coast in spring, take a ferry to Norway, peddle around the bottom of Norway into Sweden and then head to mainland Europe either through Denmark and Germany or take a ferry from Stockholm to Poland. Once there we’d make it up as we go along heading generally south and east as the heat of the summer cools off and get to Turkey by October/November time.
As with all plans this one didn’t survive first contact and it’s soon apparent that there is no longer a ferry from the UK to Norway! We still wanted to go into Scandinavia and the furthest north we can get into Europe is from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. There is a ferry to Stockholm, but if we took that it would mean we’d have to backtrack somewhere along the line. Plan B took shape and we have now decided that we will take the ferry to the Hook of Holland then take the North Sea Cycle route north and east to the sea wall. Our friend in Amsterdam, Bairbre, has said that there is the potential for us to stay with people she knows in Wassenaar, Haarlem and Alkmaar. She’s also hoping to ride with us for a few days which will be great as long as she’s not expecting to go too fast! We’ll then travel across the wall (with trepidation as we already have a not so nice cycling experience of the sea wall when there was a hard head wind and thunderstorm a few years back!) keeping to the coast and into Germany. We have plans to stay with friends near Bremen and also potentially in Hamburg. From there we’re going north along the west coast of Denmark, right to the top where we can catch a ferry from Hirshals to Stavanger.
By the time we get there we reckon that we’ll need a bit of a break, so we’re planning a few days off to recuperate, wash clothes and hike up to Pulpit Rock (weather permitting). Our plan is then to cycle the crinkly southern coast of Norway through Kristiansand and then on to Oslo. Again we may take a bit of a rest here and make the decision on whether we go from here to Copenhagen or Stockholm. Currently we prefer the second option though this does go through some fairly remote country and is 530km, which for us is about a week or so and not to be taken lightly. Never been to Stockholm and it looks nice so perhaps there’s scope to stay for a few days to look around and get over the long stretch we will have just done. There’s a ferry option for us there as well to Gdansk and then into Eastern Europe.
The plan (if you want to call it that) after this is very fluid and can and will be dictated by a bit of research and what locals say we should see and do. However, some countries we’d like to visit include Poland, Czech Rep, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. We will try to look about 2- 3 months ahead at any time during our travels and blog it so that people know roughly where we are going to go. It will, necessarily, be fluid and we are up for any suggestions that anyone has, so email us!
Fly from Istanbul, Turkey to Karachi, Pakistan. Cycle to Lahore and cross into India for a few (3-4) months. Cross into Bangladesh for about a month before crossing into Myanmar for about another month. Cross into Thailand then Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, for about a month in each, but not necessarily in that order. Head south to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. Finally head to the southern part of Australia to cycle from Perth to Melbourne, take a ferry to Tasmania for a few weeks and then fly to south island New Zealand. Cycle from south to north and end up in Auckland.