Yes, there are more countries in the world, but I have to take advantage of my location, so, what are the closest countries to visit (and luckily for me, that I hadn’t been on yet)? And, needless to say, that I can take my car to 🙂
I started in Finland, since I wanted to revisit some places from 15 years ago, and visit new places too. Then, I took the ferry to Estonia, drove to Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, where I finally took the ferry to Sweden again, and drove the long way home (around 1500 km). Apart from Sweden and Finland, Poland was the only country I knew. However, 3 good reasons drew me to Poland: visiting the only remaining old forest in Europe (Bialowieza), visiting Gdansk (it had already been on my plans for 2 times), and taking the ferry from Sweden (shortcutting my trip in 1000 km).
I was very impressed with the 3 Baltic States. It’s difficult to say which one I loved the most. The weather was great all the time (25-28 ºC), which also helped a lot. The diversity of landscapes and cultural sites, in such small countries, is huge. National parks, medieval castles and fortresses, beautiful but small capitals, coastal resorts from the turn of the century… And, possibly, one of the best collections of Soviet Relics (I was already in the Balkans).
For those who wonder about the driving conditions in less organized/developed countries (in comparison with Sweden), me and my car survived 5000 km of:
- being overtaken on both sides of the lane (sometimes even at the same time);
- people not stopping on the red light (if cars were not coming);
- lack of traffic lights on peak hours;
- too many gravel roads (and asphalt with potholes);
And many more challenges! So, I absolutely recommend this trip!