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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #181
Pansori
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Llama View Post
That's why I've made a cycling trip through the Baltics twice, and I may go there again this summer
I imagine cycling should be quite easy due to the low amount of traffic and not so frequent residential settlements on the road.



Quote:
If I were you, I'd go from the end of A2 to Warsaw through Rawa Mazowiecka, like this. You'd join the DK8 in Rawa Mazowiecka, which is 2+2 road. Although its constant stop-and-go due to numerous traffic lights and the pavement is not-so-great, it is certainly faster and less stressful than DK14+DK2 variant.
I will definitely try it next time or will suggest to someone who travels on this route. Looking at the map certainly seems a better idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Czas na Żywiec View Post
Again, great job Pansori! Although I do have to admit that not signing Kaunas or Vilnius but just small villages along the road does seem rather odd. What do you do if you don't know the area, have no GPS or map and don't speak the language? Just keep driving and hope for the best? Then again, I'm sure most international transit from Poland goes through the Budzisko/Kalvarija crossing where you join the A5 where they (hopefully ) sign the bigger cities.
Thanks! I was also wondering what's up with the signage... even the main roads are not signed as well as they should be. Although I guess these days it's less relevant because everyone has a satnav anyway. And if you'd drive on any of those roads you would get somewhere after about 20-30km with a clearer signage

But that, of course, is not an excuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hofburg View Post
nice police car btw.
I think they got those cars some years ago (you can see it's the pre-facelift A6 there). Not sure if it's a good idea because most of the police in Lithuania typically have Skoda Octavia or similar cars. If it was up to me I would get them Hyundai or Toyotas at the best. What's the point of spending extra on police cars?

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Originally Posted by GrimFadango View Post
Great job, thumbs up! Pansori, you're my favourite baltic guy now

Thank you.
Road explorations may become very addictive so I guess this is not the last time I post International road reports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katia72 View Post
Good photos .. great job!
This summer I will drive from Oslo via Sweden to Poland, Bielsko-Biala. If someone is interested I can take pictures and post them here on the forum
Why you even ask? Of course everyone is interested. Take as many photos as you can!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delfin_pl View Post
You were asking about those solar panels on Polish roads, they provide energy for those yellow sign poles - they blink at night.
But most of them use regular electricity, we call them "aktywny znak drogowy" (active traffic sign)
That's a good idea but I wonder how cost-effective it is? Anyway signs with LED indicators are a good idea. They really attract more attention from drivers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredis View Post
Nice job Pansori
Strangely I am unable to see trucks in your photos, maybe that’s because you didn't go to Suwalki towards Kaunas and maybe the day time for truck drivers isn't the best time. As I was driving recently from Kaunas to Suwalki, I was furious, because I had too many trucks in front of me. I hope that one day, Poland will make the highway till PL/LT border.
I was also surprised by the low amount of trucks. Maybe because it was weekend? There wasn't too much traffic in general and the whole trip was very smooth without unexpected delays.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #182
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I'm not that surprised you don't see Vilnius signed, I mean, you were on regional roads, none of which lead directly to Vilnius. However, I can see why signing Vilnius on the 134 and 133 would make sense, as these roads continue as A4 to Vilnius.

I was wondering if there are still corrupt police officers, or has that been gone by now? I haven't heard of corrupt Polish police officers in the last years.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #183
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Pansori you haven't seen much of heavy traffic on DK16... because it is DK16. Almost all cars, trucks, lorries etc etc goes through Budzisko (DK8 is a better connection, road is better, road on Lithuanian side are better etc.) But because of this traffic jams on DK8 in Suwalki and near Suwalki happens very often this spring. Yeah, we need bypass for yesterday. So, if anyone wants to go to Lithuania travel by DK16. It will be a little less nervous :P

ChrisZwolle in Poland and in Lithuania as well, there are still a problem with corruption. If you can't hear about this in TV it doesn't mean that corruption doesn't exist. In fact, it is lower than it's used to be.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #184
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Ogrodniki border is prohibited for trucks over 3,5 t to cross, that's why heavy transport doesn't use DK16.

In summary, beautiful photos as always, Pansori! There's a lot of great stuff in this thread.

Last edited by RipleyLV; April 30th, 2010 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Wrong road number. :)
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Old April 30th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I'm not that surprised you don't see Vilnius signed, I mean, you were on regional roads, none of which lead directly to Vilnius. However, I can see why signing Vilnius on the 134 and 133 would make sense, as these roads continue as A4 to Vilnius.

I was wondering if there are still corrupt police officers, or has that been gone by now? I haven't heard of corrupt Polish police officers in the last years.

Considering we were at one of the two border crossings of PL/LT with this one typically used as a primary route to the capital Vilnius (the satnav also showed this route via Ogrodniki/Lazdijai) it would indeed make sense to put some directional signs to Vilnius regardless of the type of the road. I'm not even sure why this is not a "main road" because it is quite important and traffic volumes are comparable to the nearby A4 road. I guess the responsible institutions are confused or they just don't care..

As about the police I have heard that in the recent years they became less corrupt. I was also reading quite a few news articles where drivers got fined or even arrested for offering bribes to the police officers. I'm sure it's still widespread but perhaps not as much as it used to be. Personally I wouldn't risk offering a bribe to a police officer myself (i would have done it 10 years ago without hesitation) but would rather wait for them to ask just to take away any reponsibility from myself. However, I believe the police officers are also more hesitant to ask for bribes because they know they'd risk loosing their jobs. There are confidential hotlines and some public campaigns against corruption and people are aware of that.

Last edited by Pansori; April 30th, 2010 at 12:57 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #186
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Great pics, really

I'm going to Vilnus somewhere around June, but I still don't know which route to take. Have you ever tried driving like this, Pansori?
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by PLH View Post
Great pics, really

I'm going to Vilnus somewhere around June, but I still don't know which route to take. Have you ever tried driving like this, Pansori?
Thanks.
I never drove like this because it was the first time I was in Poland

The route you show seems to be the default route offered by Google maps of Satnavs. The reason we chose S8 was because we decided to go via Warsaw city center which then made perfect sense. Anyway, I guess it won't make much of a difference. Of course it would not be a good idea to go via Warsaw center on a weekday during the rush hours.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #188
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Very nice pictures, I must say!

And I'm surprised how much the Lithauian roads did look like Swedish ones.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:30 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLH View Post
Great pics, really

I'm going to Vilnus somewhere around June, but I still don't know which route to take. Have you ever tried driving like this, Pansori?
It will be better if you go like in your link. Just road between Lazdijai and Alytus will be not so good, bet there will be almost 0 traffic, and then you have to enter Alytus city, but basically you will need to go almost all the time straight and u will cross only two sight lights. Good luck in Vilnius

Pansori was thinking about holidays, probaly thats why they tried to reach Druskininkai You should also think about "pit stop" in Druskininkai as it's very beautiful city.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #190
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Congratulations on a fantastic trip, Pansori and Bleetz!
And thank you for sharing your experience with us.

I have to say that despite being the world’s greatest fan of motorways, given a choice between a motorway and a stress-free and scenic road such as DK16 (PL) or 134/180 (LT) on a sunny day, I would always choose the latter.

I bet that after 2000+ km of driving, no doubt nursing a dull headache and a considerable bum-ache much of the way, you were very relieved to see that ‘Lietuvos Respublika’ sign (photo 330). What were your feelings at the time?

If I were doing such a long trip, on entering Lithuania and being more than a little tired, I would probably have recited this (unless you are a Pole or a literary scholar you may not appreciate the significance and irony of this famous work of literature by A. Mickiewicz in the context of this situation):

Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! Ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie.

Lithuania, my Homeland, Thou art like good health.
How valued Thou art, only he will discover,
who has lost Thee. Today Thy beauty adorned
I behold and describe, for I long for Thee.





--------------------

With this experience behind you, it is time to consider moving up a gear and applying to join the next Gumball3000 rally.
We’d love to see your pictures!

Finally, are you planning to give us a similar report from your return journey?



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Old April 30th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #191
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Thanks for your kind words, MAG.

I won't give a report on a return journey because this time I'll be flying back to London

Bleetz is currently driving back without me but he's no as much of a keen road-photographer as I am so I guess we won't get to see any photos. However, I'm sure he may share his experiences with us later.

However, I will prepare some reports from Lithuanian roads which will include A1, A2, A15 (a somewhat less known A road to Belarus), I'm thinking of making a full photo report on A2 (from Vilnius to Panevezys), part of A9, National Roas 149 and 150, A11 (Siauliai to Palanga), A13 (Palanga to Klaipeda) and A1 (from Klaipeda to Vilnius). So some overall decent coverage of Lithuania.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riiga View Post
Very nice pictures, I must say!

And I'm surprised how much the Lithauian roads did look like Swedish ones.
We have more motorways in Sweden than they have in Lithuania. But I agree about the roads looks similar to the roads in Sweden, if we are talking about the roads in Sweden who are not motorways.

I think all of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) have roads who looks very Swedish. The blue signs at the roads looks similar to the Swedish signs too. And also the nature in those countries looks very similar to the Swedish nature. So I agree with that the roads looks like Sweden, but maybe a little bit more old-fashioned and less motorways.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katia72 View Post
Good photos .. great job!
This summer I will drive from Oslo via Sweden to Poland, Bielsko-Biala. If someone is interested I can take pictures and post them here on the forum
If you're going to take ferry from Karlskrona to Gdynia, then you'll most propably drive #1 road north to south. Be sure to drive all-terrain car on DK1 between Toruń and Włocławek, it'll cost you a lot of nerves. Rest of the trip through 1 is quite pleasant - A1 motorway in the north, then most of road (despite mentioned fragment) is also good quality, when you reach south of Poland and Silesia agglomeration everything is perfect

You may be interested in map of polish roads condition:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superkot634 View Post
Green - good/perfect
Yellow - average (acceptable )
Red - bad
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Old April 30th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Thanks!

True, the only view that I would describe as scenic was that nice bit in Germany... other than that it was rather boring. You can't expect mountains or huge valleys in Northern part of Europe though

Beauty-wise nothing can beat Austria, Northern Italy, Switzerland and similar locations.
Actually, I liked the 20-30km's before LT border (in PL) the most. I drove the other way (EST-LV-LT-PL-DE-NL-BE) 2 weeks ago and after the Baltic countryside, those first km's into Poland were really nice. The road wasn't perfect at all, but the scenery was a bit hilly with lots of cool nature .

Btw, didn't you see any Storks in Poland? I saw about 30 there . But then again, for a Lithuanian it's probably not that rare as for a Belgian.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #195
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True the bit before PL/LT border was cosy (forest). There are rather cosy drives in Lithuania as well. I liked Vilnius-Daugavpils via road 102. It's not a main road but in excellent condition most of the time (better than many A roads in some stretches in Lithuania). The scenery was a little similar to that near PL/LT border. ANyway, one of the nicer-looking drives in LT
Some stretches also go via pine forests which look very cosy and smell nice.

Last edited by Pansori; April 30th, 2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #196
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Great report!!!
A couple of questions:
- What is the difference between motorways and expressways in Poland?
- Why is some of the directional signs in Warsaw blue on white (in stead of regular white on green)?
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Old April 30th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Norsko View Post
Great report!!!
A couple of questions:
- What is the difference between motorways and expressways in Poland?
- Why is some of the directional signs in Warsaw blue on white (in stead of regular white on green)?
I guess our Polish forumers will answer that best.

The only obvious difference between a motorway and expressway in Poland was that expressway had much sharper turns and also quite a few of them while motorway turns were much smoother allowing to go at high-speed. Oh, and expressways are free which is what maters the most
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Old April 30th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #198
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and there are no phone booths on expressways
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Old April 30th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsko View Post
Great report!!!
A couple of questions:
- What is the difference between motorways and expressways in Poland?
- Why is some of the directional signs in Warsaw blue on white (in stead of regular white on green)?
White on green is used to sign the name of the village, town or city you are entering while blue on white is the name of the district within that city. Like on photo 244, Warszawa is the city while Bemowo is a district within Warsaw.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsko View Post
- What is the difference between motorways and expressways in Poland?
There are some differences in design speeds, distances between junctions etc, but for a normal driver there are two main differences:
- Maximum speed is 110km/h on expressways and 130km/h on motorways
- Expressways are (at the moment) free of charge.

Quote:
- Why is some of the directional signs in Warsaw blue on white (in stead of regular white on green)?
Blue on white is for intra-city destinations (mainly city districts).

Last edited by Fuzzy Llama; April 30th, 2010 at 10:16 PM.
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