go your heartest

Border Business

Going my heartest – The tour. Wisełka, Poland to the border of Belarus- Aproximately 1790 Km from home

Beautiful Hotel in Wisełka, Poland. That’s what I call appropriate for a biker 🙂

Poland smells and tastes wonderful!

Border business at the end of Europe. Pretty bizarre.

Sunset in Europe. Time to count my blessings…

My angels, Ferial and Marius. Thank you so much of a most wonderful time!

Thanks to a pragmatic captain, the xt was treated like a pushbike.

Fromburg. On the path of Kopernikus.

Next border in sight. Never been to Kaliningrad before.

Free roads in Kaliningrad. Bikers are greeting, feels like home.

Madness in the center. Didn’t know Belgium was up against England that day in town! Fans from Europe and locals who are fans of the fans, taking selfie after selfie.

Beautiful fan-free zone.

First time I see Belarus on the signs!

But first I had to run into these guys from Estonia. Heaven sent Anton and Vladim <3, my travel mates for a little piece of Europe.

About to reach the border to Belarus. Borderland seems like the appropriate headline for the place I’ve been in the last couple of days. 

 

I was kindly asked by the ladies when I wanted to take my breakfast. I said 9 am- and I was on time. I was proud. This is an early start! Today I had a goal. A place to sleep. I would cross the rest of Poland along the coast to the border of Kaliningrad. This was due to fate of running into Janina, an artist from Neuss, a few days before I left for the trip. She would be on a Program that will send her to Pskov and we might have to chance to meet there! I said that I would be able to show her the city from the back of my bike. A day later she wrote me, that she told her mother about my trip, who has a house on a slim strip of land, right there at the border to Kaliningrad. She thought the idea was so cool and offered me to stay there, since her brother and his wife will be there by the time I’m passing there. These coincidences and invitations mean so much! For me it’s the universe, telling me: ‘I got your back.’ The pin on the map made me so curious. A border on the beach. I want to see how that looks like…

I took some photos of the beautiful guest house after breakfast. Then another conversation came up with one of the ladies. I guess travelling the way I do, crossing borders, being German evokes to talk about the past. This lady was full of it, it was still her present. And she was still hurting about what happened to her people, to her country and she was very critic about what’s happening in the world today. She had quite pessimistic thoughts about the situation of the refugees coming to Europe. I could not share her visions. I said that we never know what will happen. But she was totally into ‘being righteous within the negative assumptions’.

I dropped this habit and think more optimistic these days. Too often I have experienced, that my ideas about ‘what will happen’ were simply super wrong and that things turned out completely unexpectedly. But from her point of view, I was too naive for her taste, which is totally fine for me. I worked hard to stay this naive and I’m very proud of it. I wanted to hug her and tell her that there is no use in carrying all the heavy ballast of the past with her. How will we ever break the cycle and let love rule, if we keep holding on to the pain of the past? When she closed one salve of negative visions with ‘but what can I do?’ I asked her to please do one thing: for ten negative thoughts about the future, think one good one and just take two minutes a day to imagine that everything will be ok. This was simply something she didn’t do within all her assumptions and something almost nobody does whom I know.

I know it from myself. I have taken a lot of energy to worry, to imagine horrible outcomes. It is not fun and it’s draining. It has never served me or anything in this world. All I did was just pouring out bad vibes for me and everybody around me. No need for that. I let my instinct tell me if something is a good or a bad idea, when it’s there. I’m trying to use my brain for positive thoughts and best outcomes only. When we’re going shopping we always want to pick the best fruit or best item. Why not do the same when we think? Pick premium quality only! JAnd even if I was wrong about my positive assumption, at least I poured out some good energy. It’s so worth it to think positive or to safe any sort of bad assumptions. In the end, life is always right anyways.

I felt a bit stuck. I felt since I have evoked this conversation in her, I can’t just step out and leave. I was happy when she suggested to go outside to smoke a cigarette. We sat down in a most beautiful garden underneath a cherry tree. Why thinking bad thoughts in this very moment? The beauty of the moment distracted us in a wonderful way and we ended up picking cherries together. This was even more beautiful than how I imagined the outcome of this conversation!

The rest of the day was driving. Unfortunately, there were many construction areas and pedestrians crossing since I was driving along the beach, which I could not see from the road though. So I seemed to have taken forever along the small roads. But I must say, Poland smells wonderful! Danzig was covered in the dress of the night when I got there. I took a route through the city to get an impression. Then I stopped at a gas station to fuel up. It has become so cold with the falling night, that I have again put my black spacesuit on. Also with a windbreaker mask underneath the helmet. I also decided to ordered some coffee. Everybody must have thought I’m a male because when I took off the mask a young man busted out in English: ‘Oh my goodness! It’s a woman!’ He came over, introduced himself and was very thrilled and interested in me and my trip. I enjoy the positive reactions a lot and I also thought- ok, not bad if they think I’m a guy. But at the same time, I don’t understand what is so different about a woman taking such a trip or a guy… Maybe simply the reactions of the people along the way!

It was 1 am when I reached a wonderful and mystic place inside the woods at the end of Poland. Two wonderful people opened their door and fridge for me, feed me and welcomed me in the most beautiful way. These angels were Ferial and Marius. I felt comfortable instantly and couldn’t wait to rest and see everything in the sunlight.

This house blew me away. I couldn’t believe how lucky I’ve gotten again. Janina’s mother is also an artist and has built this house on her own, inside out you can say. It just had a wonderful spirit and I could have taken the whole day to just explore the space within these walls. But Ferial and Marius already told me the night before, that they will take a walk to the border with me today. To the end of Europe… It was only 3 km. I could not imagine how this place will look like and I was so excited to explore! We walked within the woods towards the border which happens to be a fence, a tollgate and a sign which explains that this is the end of Europe. I almost felt disappointed. All this importance about Europe and Russia and here is a rusty chicken fence… I couldn’t help to feel sarcastic about some branches growing illegally across this important border. Towards the beach there was a black car with two men, dressed in black, patrolling this borderline through the front shield of their vehicle. Here, the fence had a pretty big gap towards the ground. Behind a little dune was the beach. Beautiful white sand, people enjoying the European sun. The fence was now even wide-meshed enough for chicken to pass it easily. Of course, this fence marks an area of a buffer zone. But I can describe this place and what it radiates in one word only: absurd.

When I gave a thought about how else you could mark a border in a place like this, I couldn’t come up with any other way. But it’s also not my kind of thoughts. I would love to see humans drop unnatural businesses like borders. After taking a bunch of videos and photos I turned my back on that scene and walked along the beach as I have done so often in my life before. But the thought about what borders do to people was chasing me. Why was I able to move so freely and others not, simply because they happened to be born in another place? I was told that it is a privilege being able to travel like I do. But I don’t like the idea that something that should be natural is considered to be a privilege. This only puts the things that are wrong into a perspective that makes them look normal. Just like the idea of living in a peaceful time. I hear, especially old people, who have experienced war, say that peace is a privilege- and I totally understand and respect their point! Looking at war from a historical point of view, it also really seems that we’re now living within one of the most peaceful times of mankind’s existence, although there is war going on at them moment in some parts of the world. But whenever I hear this, something inside of me doesn’t agree. So that means, that war is normal and natural because peace is a privilege? Although it’s too often too difficult to believe, I still think that humans can do better. For me peace is a verb and comes with a responsibility. You need so much work and effort for an ideology to keep up a situation like war. The same is needed for peace. No war is not automatically peace. No time to kick up our feet. I believe we need to work on peace every day, to live it in order to keep up its existence.

Ferial, who is libanese and immigrated with her family to Australia, where she met her husband Marius, shared this idea. She was also exposed to war and what it does to a country and its people. It’s so easy to look at war in history or within its ideological ideas. Even if a country might have ‘won’ people on both sides have suffered unbelievably terrible. And it is poisoning many generations to come. It’s sickening for me to think about the details that history lesion in school doesn’t tell you about, but I guess it’s necessary to get closer to the nature of what you’re dealing with when you talk about war and to know, that there’s nothing glorious or whatsoever about it.

I loved to listen to Ferial’s stories and I again loved to see and experience that the whole world is home on this planet and found everywhere. For me, I’m encountering the truth in these moments and it makes me feel that the world is actually in order.

It felt so good being with Ferial and Marius that the situation itself seemed to have agreed about me staying another night. After an early and delicious dinner, I went to watch the sun setting into the sea. Time to count my blessings… I’m really here, making this trip. I’m amazed and again, deeply grateful for all the support of so many people!

The next morning, we all got up early and prepared for leaving. Ferial and Marius also started for to travel a few days. How lucky I was meeting them exactly within that time! And the perfection went on. Since there was no chance to cross the border on the beach, I had to either make a roundtrip back around the whole Vistula lagoon which was about 150km, or I would be happy enough to catch the boat across. I was told that I takes passengers along with their pushbikes… This was worth a try! They really agreed to take me for 50 Euros. As the usual rate for a passenger was about 5 Euros I gave the captain a look of: ‘I don’t know if that really pays off for me…’, which gave him time to rethink and he came up with 25 Euros. I agreed and hurried to take off my cases, to fit the bike on that little ramp. It all worked out and I could enjoy a 90-minute cruise in the sun to a small place called Frombork. I took a look at the local church which was famous for Kopernikus’s visit and continued my drive to the border. The crossing was very uncomplicated as a lady helped me a lot by filing all the 3 papers of form for me. There was quite an interest in my bike, how old it is, how much cubic it has and why I was travelling. I collected my little Russian and said ‘it’s a beautiful world and I want to see it’ and the guards smiled and nodded. Although I had no interest in the football championship I was asked if I have tickets to the game. I didn’t understand the question really, until I was in the center of Kaliningrad. It was the day England played against Belgium- in Kaliningrad! ‘This is what happens if you don’t pay any attention to the match’ I thought. You run straight into it! It was crazy. Belgian fans everywhere and locals who were fan of the event, as they were taking selfie after selfie with these party people. Although I didn’t feel like going into this boiling crowd, I did it for the wholesomeness of the documentary. It was a hot day and here am I with my motorcycle Jacket and by heavy backpack. I could bear it for about 1 hour, then I found shelter in the church. Here it was quiet and cool. For me that was it. I’m out of here. I set my navigator and was ready to leave. Unfortunately, there was horrible traffic jam and many blocked roads so I could never make the turn I needed to make. At some point the motor was boiling as well and I took a break in the shadow of a house. My water was empty and I had no Rubles, yet. Would I be able to buy a bottle of water with credit card? All over a sudden a local guy stopped. He welcomed me as a guest and friend and as he could read my mind, he offered me his cold bottle of Sprite. I was never so happy about Sprite in my whole life! After a few more minutes the engine and I was cooled down enough to keep going. It wouldn’t take us long to finally hit the city highway that would take us out. All together I took two hours to leave the city. Now we were flying and hit the border towards Europe in the dawn. Again, everything was easy and without asking, I was told that Belgium won 2:1. On the last tollgate I ran into two bikers, Vladim and Anton from Estonia. We had to wait and managed to talk on Russian a little bit. It was enough for them to invite me to follow them to the next camp spot. I was actually thinking about driving the night to finally make it to my love, who was already close to the border in Belarus, waiting for me to arrive. But in that moment, I thought that it was a heaven-send idea and I should not fight it. They had an app and all the fancy equipment that would guide us to a camp spot and hostel 16 km after the border. We decided to take a room for 10 Euros and these wonderful people even payed the room for me. Then they shared their snacks and a beer with me and I enjoyed their wonderful and funny company until I almost fell asleep sitting on the couch. Time to hit the bed. I was again pretty bold in saying that I will start early, getting up at 8 latest. But I fell asleep before I could set the alarm so it was Anton, coming to my room at around 8:30, waking me up. There was also time for breakfast which I was also invited to by my new biker friends. They even shared most of the upcoming road with me, as they were on their way to Pskov, to the annual motorcycle summit. These wonderful people really slowed their drive down to my peak 90 or 100 km/h speed and accompanied me to Daugavpils, where our path would split, as I was going to explore Belarus for about a week before going to Pskov. There we had a last coffee together, shared contact and hugged each other goodbye. I was in the zone of excitement! What a great fate, again. And now off to an unknown place: Belarus.

 

 

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Border Business