I visit this beautiful city quite often -mostly with motorcycle. There are nice cafeterias and restaurants by the river & on the boats that are floating on the river. This time we drove there by car and it was beautiful sunny day!
Porvoo is the third oldest city in Finland (or second oldest depending how to count) and it’s only 30 minutes drive from Helsinki. With motorcycle it takes longer because there are nice roads on the way!
Vyborg is a city that was part of Grand Duchy of Finland from 1812 to 1917 and part of independent Finland from 1917 to 1940 but was finally lost to Russia after World War II. Russia made it now possible to apply e-visa for a short visit in St. Petersburg area so this is what I did. Me and my wife took the border crossing in Svetogorsk and because it was first time for me in Finland-Russia border it took nearly 1,5 hours to get through all the papers and documents. But we knew it will be like this so we were at the border quite early. We took a short stop at Svetogorsk centrum.
From this not-so-beautiful-city we took a one hour drive to Vyborg. There I made a short stop at the train station. There is still parts of the original train station left but that was destroyed in WWII. It was originally quite accurate copy (smaller size) of Helsinki railway station.
But finally I stopped my car in the market square. And we were lucky it wasn’t raining so we could explore the city on foot.
There are many buildings in very bad condition or totally ruined in Vyborg. But luckily some of the buildings they are renovating so there will be something to see in the future also. The city is definitely much more nice to see in the summer but we thought it was beautiful also now in the beginning of december… On a very grey weather. After the city tour we took a walk also in the famous Monrepo Park.
In tourist maps this area is sometimes called as a National Park. But mostly there are some buildings, Art, Statues and other “things” in this area so it’s not a “normal” national park. Half of the area is under construction so we could see only the other side of the park. This would be totally amazing place to visit on a beautiful summer day! I hope I will come cack to this beautiful town again some day. And of course Saint Petersburg… E-Visa makes the visiting Russia so much easier now!
The idea was to ride from the south parts of Lithuania to Riga, Jurmala or Sigulda. But the weather forecast didn’t agree with my idea! There was crazy thuderstorm in that area and it wasn’t moving anywhere!! So I choose the route more east.. and the whole day was about trying to avoid the rain! So almost all day we had dark clouds on our left side…
It seemed that we would finally enter the Daugavpils (again) and I wasn’t too excited about this! -I didn’t wanna spend the afternoon and night in a same town where we were before! Just before we crossed the Latvian border we at least saw something nice! But this windmill was pretty much ruined already -what a pitty.
There was a chance to choose the road straight north… And we were also talking that maybe we could ride in the rain also to get further… And when we arrived to Jēkabpils I had to stop and fill the tank. This was perfect timing!! While I was in the gas-station it started raining (like crazy)!
So me and my wife decided to stay here if there was a hotel or a nice guesthouse. And there was! Unfortunately this place was the worst in our trip!! It was very old house where they had made somekind of renovation but it wasn’t very good quality! The door was hanging about 1cm and it was difficult to close it. The worst part was the bed… It didn’t have any mattress pad… And in the morning when we wake up we both had some pain in the back! Luckily there was at least something to see in this town and the restaurant was very nice!
Again they promised rain! But it didn’t look too bad when we started riding. Short stop to take a picture in Col de Eze:
We were riding around in Monaco and checked few places there. But didn’t take any nice pictures. And after Menton we continued to Italy… but there it was raining!
So we didn’t stay there too long. We came back to La Turbie and decided to go and check the Trophy of Augustus. Just beside the entrance there is a nice viewing point and a perfect view to Monaco!
Then with the fee of 6€ we checked this Trophy that was built 6BC!!! Read more about the trophy here.
Then it was already quite nice weather and we continued riding to the mountains. Right from the La Turbie village starts nice road to Peille village and we chose this one!
After Peille it was time for Col de Braus.
And right after this Col de l’Ablé.
Pitty that it was already afternoon and we had to return the bike to MotorBikeTrip. But we had very nice time riding the roads near to City of Nice! We will be back! In the evening we were walking in the city and we saw this beautiful Church -Notre-Dame de Nice:
Next day it was only about breakfast, packing and flight back to cold Helsinki… And my wife made a nice video of this day:
I made reservation for this trip in August. I was thinking it would be nice to spend some time with my wife when we’ve been married about 1 year… And even in foreign countries! (In the summer we couldn’t go abroad because the residence permit wasn’t ready yet) -So the destination for this trip would be Nice (Nizza).
We took the plane from Helsinki to Nice very early on Sunday morning.
We landed to this mediterranean city about 10.30 am. Then we took the bus to the city center. It was still raining when we arrived (But rain stopped right after we started walking from the bus stop to the hotel).
This day we dedicated for getting to know the city. And there is one place particularly that gives you very good idea about what is this beautiful city all about: The Castle Hill (Colline du Château). There used to be also a castle but King Louis XIV asked it to be destroyed in 1706. In 19th century they started to design the park and fountain on the top of the hill. Also some parts of the olf castle has been renovated.
We walked up to the hill from the east side. This side is not so steep and there are a lot of trees so the park looks kind of wild from this side.
Restored parts of the old castle. This was maybe the inner yard or patio.
But when you finally reach the to of the hill the views are simply amazing!
View to the east. It’s the harbour of Nice.
And here’s the “famous view” to the beach boulevard of Nice. The mediterranean sea and the waves are very beautiful!
Ofcourse we took a walk also there…
We had small but very cozy hotel almost in the heart of the city (Vieille Ville). This area has very narrow alleys with many many restaurants and shops.
And our hotel room was in the 7th floor with the view to the Tête carrée (Cubic head in the modern art museum)
I was restlessly already waiting for the next day!
You can check the video my wife made about this first day: