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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:03 PM   #261
Triceratops
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^ Wow, that one is also a superb project! Can't wait to see it built!
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:31 AM   #262
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This time it wil be a loooooong journey from Klaipeda to Vilnius via... one hell knows what.

Actually our intention was to get back on the A1 after stopping over at the town of Tytuvenai but our satnav (and why the hell did we have to use it? The route was perfectly clear anyway) told us to go the other way and we ended up driving on all sorts of provincial roads and ended up coming to Vilnius via A2 from a completely different direction than the fastest route A1

How exactly did it look in terms of road numbers:

A13/E272 -> National road 168 -> A11/E272 -> National road 226 -> National road 169 -> A11/E272 -> National road 164 -> A1/E85 -> A12/E77 -> National road 157 -> National road 148 -> A9/E272 -> A10/A2/E272/E67 -> A2/E272.

Map
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94.
A13/E272 driving from Klaipeda towards Palanga and Liepaja
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95.
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96.
Suburban houses near Klaipeda
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97.
Some serious machinery
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98.
Turning to a National road 168 Klaipeda-Kretinga
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:32 AM   #263
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99.
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100.
Road quality is average (as can be seen in the photo... it does shake the car) although marking and signs seem to be fresh
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101.
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102.
Some rather scenic views
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103.
Stopping over in Salantai to drop-off one of our fellow travellers. Salantai is a small town somewhere not too far from Klaipeda
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:34 AM   #264
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104.
Joining A11/E272 Palanga-Siauliai for a few kilometers
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105.
Road quality is reasonable and it is safe to drive 110-120km/h although if it was up to me I would still repave it completely
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106.
A sign informing of a roundabout and directions to major nearby destinations
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107.
A mini-roundabout. Such non-urban roundabouts were unheard of in Lithuania until couple of years ago. They were introduced to tackle safety problems at dangerous level intersections. Seems like a very good and logical idea because everyone is "forced" to slow down when approaching such a junction
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108.
National road 164 near Plunge driving towards Taurage (South)
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:35 AM   #265
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109.
Near the town of Stalgenai. The road seems reasonably nice and smooth
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110.
Maxima is the largest supermarket chain in Lithuania. They usually take good care of informing people where to find it by using such "road signs".
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111.
Some quick sightseeing through a car window
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112.
164 near town of Pelaiciai, still going to the South towards the junction with A1
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113.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:37 AM   #266
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114.
Traffic seemed very low which allows to go at ~120km/h safely (although you have to watch out for cops who may be willing to disrupt the journey )
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115.
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116.
Quite a lovely little road. Reasonable ride quality too
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117.
Finally some oncoming traffic which is of course Audi (A6 Offroad)
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118.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:38 AM   #267
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119.
Reaching the A1
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120.
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121.
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122.
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123.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:38 AM   #268
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124.
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125.
Road works. Not sure but I think they were building an underground crossing for wild animals
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126.
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127.
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128.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:39 AM   #269
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129.
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130.
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131.
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132.
Leaving the A1 for A12/E77 and driving towards Kelme and Siauliai
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133.
National road 157
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:40 AM   #270
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134.
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135.
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136.
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137.
National road 148 driving from Tytuvenai towards Radviliskis
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138.
Directions to smaller towns via regional (local) roads
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:43 AM   #271
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139.
Reaching the junction with A9/E272 near Radviliskis. We'll be taking a right turn and drive towards Panevezys and eventually towards Vilnius
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140.
Some "off-topic" on the way
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141.
A9 is one of the most important roads in the country linking Panevezys with Siauliai and Klaipeda as well as Siauliai with Vilnius. Despite its "main road" status (i.e. the highest level in road classification in Lithuania) the quality seems very average and seemingly in a need of a complete reconstruction which would include repavement, new safety barriers and other safety measures. Those who are "smarter" usually try to avoid A9 when traveling from Vilnius to Siauliai and instead go via national road 146 -> 150 which is despite being lower in classification but is recently reconstructed and much smoother, safer and generally better to drive on despite being a few kilometers longer (yet is probably faster and less fuel-consuming)
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142.
Joining the South-Western bypass of Panevezys which is numbered as A10/A2E272/E67 and technically is part of "Via Baltica" highway linking Warsaw, Riga and Tallinn
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143.
The bypass was opened in 1998 and along with the completion of the remaining stretch of the A2 (also near Panevezys) was one of the major road projects completed in independent Lithuania after 1990. I can still well remember driving from Vilnius to Siauliai via Panevezys city (same applied to those driving from Vilnius to Riga and Tallinn). It was an extra few km and at least 10-15 minutes of journey time. A few years later a new era of road-building and maintenance came with massive EU financing which allowed to get lots of old and new projects underway
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 05:45 AM   #272
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144.
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145.
Starting point of the A2 motorway Panevezys-Vilnius can be seen
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146.
I have been travelling on this road since as long ago as I can remmber being a child and witnessed full completion and maintenance works each time going from Vilnius to Siauliai where large part of my family is originally from
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147.
We can pick up some speed now
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148.
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149.
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150.
Although the A2 does not comply to some safety standards (it does have some level U-turns and bus stops too close to the road) we have to consider that traffic volumes are also not nearly as high as on German or Dutch Autobahns. It is also very straight pretty much all of the times which ensures good visibility and allows to drive fast without safety risks. 130km/h is the legal speed limit (there are quite a few distances with 110km/h limit) but hitting the accelerator all the way to the end is also an option which can be taken on this road
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160.
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161.
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162.
Near Ukmerge, about 70km from Vilnius
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There is one more report coming. It will be Vilnius-Druskininkai-Polish Border (via forest road! )
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 09:21 AM   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
And do you have any info about those signs? Are they going to make it a new standard and implement everywhere? That would be fantastic.
I believe it's a new accepted standart, these signs are being installed on all new major junctions and crossings or reconstructed ones. For example, A1/A12 junction was reconstructed and finished some months ago and these new signs were installed there, just like on A14, but only on the motorway direction to Klaipėda though, in this picture that you took direction to Kaunas, the old overhead sign is visible

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Old August 2nd, 2009, 06:26 PM   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RipleyLV View Post
I believe it's a new accepted standart, these signs are being installed on all new major junctions and crossings or reconstructed ones. For example, A1/A12 junction was reconstructed and finished some months ago and these new signs were installed there, just like on A14, but only on the motorway direction to Klaipėda though, in this picture that you took direction to Kaunas, the old overhead sign is visible
Thanks for the info. That's good. The new standard looks much easier to understand.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:30 AM   #275
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The last report is of A4 Vilnius-Druskininkai and all the way to border with Poland via Kapciamiestis using some unnumbered local roads which were not intended for traveling towards the border before the Schengen zone expansion to Poland and Lithuania

Map of the whole route
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163.
Leaving Vilnius via A4 Main Road towards Druskininkai
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164.
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165.
The road is more or less excellent and smooth
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166.
Fresh tarmac. Still not painted
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167.
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168.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:31 AM   #276
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169.
That little annoying Toyota Yaris in front of us... it didn't do anything extraordinary but it just started getting on my nerves for some reason (perhaps because it's small and I don't like small cars in front of me). I started fantacising about having an RPG and taking it out
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170.
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171.
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172.
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173.
Hey what we see... a small MB Van got caught by the cops for speeding. It overtook us a while ago driving about 140km/h on a 90km/h road (well, we were driving about 110km/h though). He surely got a substantial fine.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:33 AM   #277
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174.
Polish numberplates.
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175.
A sign showing directions to local towns and Hrodna in Belarus. In Lithuania directions to foreign cities are shown in Lithuanian language and the language the city is called in the respective country. The funny thing is that in Belarus the Cyrillic alphabet is used so "Hrodna" written in Latin alphabet is some semi made-up word which does not exist neither in Lithuanian neither in Belorussian language
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176.
Where is my goddamn RPG!
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177.
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178.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:35 AM   #278
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179.
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180.
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181.
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182.
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183.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:36 AM   #279
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184.
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185.
Hey who's that?! That's the same Polish van... he overtook us again at about 130km/h just before the junction. Lithuanians are mental drivers but it seems Poles are even more so
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186.
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187.
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188.
Some "sightseeing" in Druskininkai which is a very nice and calm SPA town with loads of SPA resorts, hotels and restaurants. It attracts lots of (usually rich) tourists from Russia and Belarus as well as Poland, hence the expensive new BMWs, Lexus and Audis often with BY and RU number plates.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:37 AM   #280
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189.
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190.
Street in Druskininkai
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191.
Driving away from Druskininkai on National road 180
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192.
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193.
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