A day trip to the Stalin Line museum from Minsk

Edge of the Soviet Union

The Stalin Line is the former border between the Soviet Union and the rest of Europe. Europe gave it this name, because Stalin heavily fortified the border during his reign. An enormous amount of bunkers and other military equipment can still be found scatttered along this line.

This line ran straight through Belarus. A large amount of equpment was left behind after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Belarus has built an open-air museum close to Minsk where a large amount of equipment is on display. You can visit there website here.

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A day trip to Chernobyl and Pripyat

Why go to Chernobyl?

In 1989 one of the 4 nuclear reactors at Chernobyl had a meltdown. The Soviets evacuated an area with a radius of 30km. To this day the area remains contaminated and largely uninhabitable. I will not discuss all the details of the disaster, those you can read here.

My interest in this place started when I was in high school. Our class watched a documentary during geography class and after a subsequent Google search I found out that I could visit this place. Unfortunately I did not find the opportunity to visit it back then:(

However, this changed last year when my dad proposed we take a trip together. My dad is quite jealous of my trip to North Korea. Therefore, we decided to head to Europe’s last dictatorship; Belarus. However we would visit Kiev and Chernobyl before. Continue reading

Visa application for Iran in The Hague

On-arrival or at an embassy?

Applying for a visa is a costly and somewhat annoying part of travelling. It involves a lot of paperwork and a one might have to visit the embassy. In order to attract more visitors some countries allow visitors to apply for their visa upon arrival at the airport.

Supposedly Iran had introduced a visa-on-arrival programme several months before my trip. However, the information was very unclear. Some people said they could not get the visa on arrival and were send home. Consequently I decided to get my visa at the embassy. Continue reading

Cycling to Bergen – Norway

Cycling to Norway with second hand racing bicycle

If you just got here you might want to start reading here.

Day 8

In the morning of the 29th we arrived at the port of Stavanger. We had booked an Airbnb in Tananger, which is a city located about 3km from the port, but my friend still had a flat tire. Every car before us had to clear customs first, but the custom’s officers did not pay any attention to us so we could walk right through.

Once we arrived at the Airbnb we went straight to bed and slept for the remainder of the morning. The rest of the day we spend resting and exploring the town of Tananger.

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Cycling to Bergen – Denmark

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Day 4

Shed in Kolding

We just entered Denmark and the weather started to clear a little. The difference in cycling becomes apparent immediately. There are cycling roads almost everywhere and they are of high quality. However, cycling takes more effort, because the steepness of all the hills is higher.

This was the first time during the trip that exhaustion struck. We sometimes had to stop just to catch our breath. Next to this it became clear that my average speed was somewhat higher than that of my friend. This sometimes created large distances between us and thus confusion and a little friction.

When we arrived in Kolding it had already gotten dark. We had a rest on a parking lot next to a gas station. It was Christmas eve and there was no one around. We were basically preparing ourselves to get out of the city and find a forest again. However, my friend spotted a wooden shed in the corner of the parking lot. We checked it out and it was empty except for some bottles. There was nobody around and we figured that the owner would not mind us sleeping a night there. We cooked some food, which was our Christmas dinner and went to sleep. It rained all night so we were happy to stay inside. Continue reading

Cycling to Bergen – Germany

If you just got here you might want to start reading here.

Day 2

After a good night’s rest we woke up and packed our things. We were adamant to leave the place the way we found it and therefore checked several times to ensure that we took everything with us. Due to our great progress the day before we only had 110km of cycling to go to our destination, Oldenburg. In this city we had booked an Airbnb.

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Cycling to Bergen – Netherlands

If you just got here you might want to start reading here.

Day 1

After weeks of preparation and doubt the day had finally come. In the morning of the 21st of December we packed our bags, prepared our bicycles and left home. We left home in Eindhoven around 7am. The goal was to reach Hengelo and set up camp somewhere outside the city, but stay in The Netherlands.  This is about 160km and we expected to reach the city around 6pm.

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Cycling from Netherlands to Norway

Introduction

During Christmas holidays of 2016 me and a friend went on a cycling trip from Eindhoven (Netherlands) to Bergen (Norway). During summer this is quite an achievement, but we did it in winter. Next to this, we would do it on second-hand racing bicycles from the 80s. In order to make it an even greater adventure, we decided that we would sleep outside most nights. Not using a tent, but using a tarpaulin.

At first, many people did not believe we were actually going to try this.

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Day trip to Pristina from Skopje

Arriving in Skopje

On my birthday, the 8th of December 2016, me and friend were flying to Skopje, Macedonia. However, we had already decided to take a bus to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, the same day.

At the passport control on Skopje Airport we were taking out for a random luggage control. After a good chat with the security guards we were quickly on our way again.

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