Jay and two bits of luggage #5 – From Budapest to Padova. Via Tampere.

Day 1

Hours awake: 20
Mileage: 420km
Location: Krakow, Poland

-Slovakia is the driving equivalent of a pair of underwear that’s been left unwashed since the 1970s.
-What the hell is the speed limit? Should I care?
-Why can’t I find food in Krakow at 7pm on a Monday?
-Breakfast in that otherwise bland hotel was incredible.

Poland, and a jawdropping view.

Day 2

Hours awake: 14
Mileage: 702km
Location: Kaunas, Vilnius

-Polish police dun’ give a shit.
-Drove into a speed camera 90@70kmh.. and so did everyone else. Panicked for about 30 minutes, and figured nothing could be done about it so joined the traffic flow again in slightly dampened spirits.
-Later realized that speeding fines in Poland are less than a one course dinner in Finland. Which means 24€. And considering the car rode on foreign plates with zero traceability, I doubt the Polish police will bother.

Cos the Polish police dun’ give a shit.

-Kaunas is fucking gorgeous. Seriously. Who planted this little country called Lithuania here, and why have I never been there? Architecture is incredible and women are stunningly hot! Need to come back with better time.
-Kaunas is also cheap. And unlike Krakow, it’s got a nice pizzeria right next to the hotel which was open late at night. With wifi as well! And the waiter had a sunshiny smile. And ridiculously large boobies. I don’t ask for much, but this place offered it all. =)

I ordered a pizza and a cola for 8€, which seemed fair to me. After all, it was a quality establishment. Then a strange question followed:

“And your second pizza?”
“Sorry? Nono, one will be enough.”
“Oh we serve two pizzas for this price.”
“.. .. Wh.. Oh. Well. In that case..”

So I got a lovely little snack for the next day’s journey.

Day 3

Hours awake: 13
Mileage: 450km
Location: Pärnu, Estonia

-Latvians don’t drive as rough as the Lithuanians.
-Entering Estonia was the second time this trip that my jaw dropped in awe, simply because of the scenery. Pärnu laht, or Pärnu bay seen through some trees off the E67-highway with a setting sun is absolutely picturesque. This sort of scenery is somewhat characteristic to northern countries, and definitely gave me that warm feeling of getting closer to my own kind.

That warm feeling of nostalgia would turn into a rude reminder of reality the following day..

Pärnu always strikes up a lot of memories. And not least because Ultra Bra’s Pärnu is such a classic. Maybe I could buy an apartment here?

Day 4

Hours awake: 15
Mileage: 140km
Location: Tallinn, Estonia

A lovely medieval themed tourist trap.

Wheel chair recharging on the sixth floor. Not accessible by elevator.

-Estonians enforce their speed limits.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit is quite alright from a safety-point of view.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit, slamming the brakes on speeding cameras is slightly questionable from a safety-point of view.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit, overtaking cars in a wild manner, generally being an asshole and hitting a speed trap straight up is just stupid from any point of view.

But hey, at least the car looks wicked cool with its new window tint!

Day 5

Hours awake: 24
Mileage: ~40km driving, 200km as a passenger
Location: Tampere, Finland

-3 hours in Helsinki and I’m fucking through with this city. The atmosphere just sucks. Got verbally pissed on by an overzealous customs dinosaur, who wasn’t happy that I hadn’t understood Finnish import laws to the dot. Although, to be fair, he lightened up a bit when I stayed calm and proved myself to be an honest customer. Also, another employee in another municipal institute caused me 2 hours of extra running around because she couldn’t believe I actually WAS doing things according to the instructions I had been given.
-After surprisingly few hickups, I got the car registered to Finland. After seeing all these awesome countries, I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would register a car into that god forsaken tax hellhole. But it’s not my problem.

Car washed after 2000km of hard driving. Damn it looks cool.

-The captain took the wheel after I opened a long drink. Probably best that way. I’m not too good at driving in Finland without gathering a bunch of tickets.

Met a cute girl at a party. Didn’t pull the trigger. Slightly annoyed.

Finally at its destination!

Got hassled by some junior student official. Unbelievable. I’ve been attending these parties longer than he’s been in the school.

Day 6

Hours awake: 12
Mileage: 2060km as a passenger
Location: Padova, Italy

-Threw up in the bus from Tampere. Whose idea was it to get absolutely varshnigyered without eating anything on the night before a huge trip?
-Met a lovely, stunningly hot, brunette at Marco Polo airport. I’m starting to think Venice might not be a bad location to get to know women. She was Italian, but lives elsewhere. Such a bummer. =) But at least I had the balls to do it!
-My workaway family seems warm and friendly. This’ll be a new sort of challenge for sure..

And there ends the saga with the Audi. Mission accomplished, so to speak! 1912km of adventure. Although, perhaps next time we’ll just drive through Germany and hit the ferry in Travemünde..



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