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Estonia - Latvia - Lithuania

#1
Hello, I am looking for information re following the Via Baltica, (Jakobsweg) from Tallinn to Riga; from Riga via Kryžių kalnas to Vilnius; then Vilnius to Olecko in Poland. I am interested in Pilgrim trails and signed hiking trails

Cheers
Lovingkindness
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#2
Oh Intrepid One, I must admire your stubborn persistence. Do please keep us posted on what you learn.

Here are my small contributions:
1) From the eastern Polish border onward, there is a marked route through to Rostock along the Baltic coast. See (https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/the-pomeranian-way-of-st-james.26121/#post-210994 ) for details. The page links are dead, but there is a contact person (Gabriel Gach, member of this forum in 2014) and a sponsoring organization (University of Greifswald, Institute of Geography). My correspondence with Herr Gach in 2014 indicated that the sponsors were actively promoting this route in Germany by attending hikers conferences etc, so I imagine there is still some ongoing effort. There should be an English-language route guide available if you can contact him.
2) There may be a route in Estonia
3) There does not appear to be a marked route in Lithuania, Latvia, or Konigsburg/Russia (http://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=1254604&type=relation&map=5!55.628!21.9727)
4) If you believe your route goes through Warsaw, then contacting the Catholic Archdiocese there should give some assistance.
5) Forum Member SYates may be your best bet for researching the German-language pilgrim forums, but I believe she's currently walking the Via Regina.
 
#4
Thanks @Kitsambler & @SYates. Last year I met a group of Lithuanian pilgrims chanting as they walked through the forests near Jakubow, Poland. They had set of, I think, from Kryžių kalnas (Hill of Crosses) and were walking to Santiago de Compostela. Kryžių kalnas is somewhere between Vilnius and Riga. Vilnius was known as the Yerushalayim De Lita , Jerusalem in Lithuania.... I'd like to walk there.

The Pomeranian Jakobsweg is a bit far to the left. I've researched this already. Thanks.
 
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#9
Estonia

Eesti Jaakobitee map: Tallinn- Parnu
http://www.xacobeo.fr/ZE4.08.Est_voies.htm

Eesti Jaakobitee web site
http://camino.ee/

Pilgrim trail from Pirita Convent to Vana-Vastseliina Castle
http://www.palverand.ee/home/

Estonian hiking routes etc
http://loodusegakoos.ee/en

RMK hiking route
https://loodusegakoos.ee/hiking-route/oandu-ikla-375-km

Estonia: marked bicycle routes
http://www.bicycle.lt/repository/documents/infopics/EEnatNetCol.jpg

Mosquito Weather report:
https://www.accuweather.com/en/ee/salakula/2259060/mosquito-activity-weather/2259060

Baltic Coast Cycle Route
http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Baltic-C...Tallinn-783km-Bikeline-MapGuide_9783850002028

Latvia

Latvian bicycle info centre, Riga
http://bicycle.lv/?cat=82
 
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C

Castilian

Guest
#10
There's a Camino Friends' association in Lithuania. I don't think they have a web but they have a Facebook group so if you are on Facebook look for "Sv Jokubo Kelio Sviesa" and you should find them even I didn't write their name accurately because I don't know how to type some sings we don't use in Spanish. They are promoting the Camino and should have updated info.

At www.laimaandrikiene.lt/index.php?id=126&L=1 (the web of a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament) you can read a book (both in Lithuanian and English; read the English index after the Lithuanian index to browse through the book) about the Way of St. James in Lithuania. The main focus is on St. James' churches in Lithuania but it has some very general maps with Lithuanian routes (as proposed in 1987) and some other proposed routes. It might be not useful for planning purposes but you might take a look anyway.
 
#11
Lithuania

Jokubokelias: website (Lithuania)
http://www.jokubokelias.eu/

St James Way in Lithuania: Articles (English & Lithuanian); maps
www.laimaandrikiene.lt/index.php?id=126&L=1

St James shrines, Lithuania: Article
http://lzinios.lt/lzinios/Gimtasis-krastas/sventojo-jokubo-kelias-vingiuos-ir-per-lietuva/222722

Pilgrimage Society, Lithuania: Pilgrim routes in Lithuania (map)
http://www.piligrimai.lt/

Online map
http://balticmaps.eu/

Cycling map: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia
http://www.celotajs.lv/cont/publ/Velokarte2010/pdf/Velokarte2010.pdf

Cycling: Vilnius - Riga
https://www.warmshowers.org/content/baltic-cycling-routes
 
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#12
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#16
This is the real deal. If I have the energy and the money...
Time and energy and patience are indeed required on this kind of pilgrimage roads - money far less so, the currency to pay for hospitality is more often than not music, kindness and stories. It is another world ...
Buen Camino, SY
 
#17
Estonia

...and so I set off...

20 Juuli, 2017
...roaming Tallinn on a sunny day
drifting into a renaissance space where children twine unearthly songs
f
or Laulupidu...

elkś soup with pickled ghurkins
black bread, tomatoes & cucumbers
milk that curdles ...

21 -28 Juuli, 2017

For the next seven days or so I celebrate the feast of Jaakob by walking with a group of Estonians from the Viimsi Puha Jaakobi kirik to Pärnu-Jaagupi. We hike from church to church along dusty roads by swamps and near forests. We snatch wild flowers and weave wreathes for our hair singing Taize songs as prayers; then string wild strawberries like beads along a blade of grass all the while telling stories...

See oli rõõm, aitäh...
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#20
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#21
...and so I set off...

Estonia: Tallinn to Pärnu-Jaagupi


20 Juuli, 2017 ... Backpakers eat together from a smorgasboard of black bread, tomatoes & cucumbers, cheese & ham and coffee -lots of it, plus milk which is prone to curdling ...
...võib-olla järgida rohkem...
You are one brave brave soul. My hat goes off to you.

I have not been able to eat a cucumber since 1992 when studying in Moscow. Oh, the food they served for luch in the caf at Moscow State Uni. :eek: The idea of them on black bread woth tomatoes is just too much.

Intwrsting how some things change so much (why are there so many luxury hotels in Zaparozhzhe) and yet so little (cucumbers and black bread ... with sunflower seed oil I assume).

I wish you the best of luck on this expedition. Please take care of your self and take plenty of notes to prepare a guidebook for whomever may have the courage to follow in your footsteps.
 
#22
Thank you Kit and Anemone. I'll definitely try to tell you more of my journey once it is complete. At the moment I am not carrying any gadgets. I am using library computers and occassionally those of a friendly local. Today I have found an oldmap book so I will study that.

From Haardemeste until Riga I walked the beach, followed tracks in the sand dunes beneath the pines trees. Most days I criss-crossed my way between the beach, the pines and the 101 bicycle route eating blueberries all the way. It was a lovely solitary experience. The beaches were mostly empty. Every evening I asked locals for help and was blessed to find somewhere to sleep either in a bed or on a couch.

The joy of my journey from Tallinn to Riga has been the conversations. I am learning history from those who are living it....

cheers LK

ps It will amazing if I get as far as Vilnius....
 
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#25
Wow, 10.400km long...
...Hi there, KO. Greetings from a foot weary piligrimas. Thanks for the suggestions but I think 10400 kilometers are just a bit too far, even for me. I am now in Lithuania. I am heading along dusty unsealed roads and through beautiful regional parks, vaguely in the direction of Kaunas

...Asphalt is a gift from the gods.....
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#26
...Hi there, KO. Greetings from a foot weary piligrimas. Thanks for the suggestions but I think 10400 kilometers are just a bit too far. ...
Hi, LK :)
You don't have to walk all the way to Turkish border, just use the Baltic part for you itinerary. As I saw from the maps it runs along the coast most of the length.
Safe walking!
 
#27
Hi, LK :)
You don't have to walk all the way to Turkish border, just use the Baltic part for you itinerary. As I saw from the maps it runs along the coast most of the length.
Safe walking!
...Hi again, I think our messages have just crossed. I,m prone to editing.... Nice to connect with you, KO...:)
 
#28
...labą dieną...
Greetings from Vilnius. Yes, I have finally arrived. It's taken me much longer than expected, nearly 2 months walking from Tallinn.

How lovely it is to be here. It is now the season for festivals and concerts. I have arrived just in time for Rosh Hashana (Happy New Year 5778); a music festival at the Sv Jokųba bažnyčia celebrating the 30th anniversary of El Camino as the first european cultural route; and also the International Virgilijus Noreika competition of singers -one of the competitors is staying in my dorm. My, how she can sing...

...If the weather remains moderate I will rest here a few more days then continue walking to the Lithuanian/Polish Border....

cheers
 
#29
Dzień dobry,
....happy rhythmic stomping joy...I have just spent an hour or two with student musicians at a Klezmer master class. There is absolutely no other kind of music to make one want to dance and cry and sing all at the same time. Klezmer is primal it's pure shouting Life. I didn't realise how low I was feeling 'till the brass and saxaphones, bass, drums and accordion began to play...

I am now in Poland. Yesterday I walked from near Lazdijai across the Lithuanian/Polish border to the old town of Sejny. On arriving a local priest organised for me to visit Sejny's cultural centre for minority groups, that is, the former Biala Synagogas (White Synagogue). Afterwards a person associated with both the cultural centre and the music school next door invited me to a Klezmer masterclass. What a great way to start a day...

Ultreia e suseia! Halleluia, Life is good.

...and now it is time to head south. Winter is approaching and I have walked far enough. In a few days time I will start hitch hiking and walking until I reach Krakow or some place further south...

Cheers
LK




....
 
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#30
Four months on...
I have just passed a while retracing my steps through The Baltic republics (July - Oct, 2017). I have posted a resource including some of what I discovered along the way: maps + route finding ; a comment on the trail ; stages walked with Google Map links ; accommodation, shelter and assistance. (Log in for access)

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...inn-krasnapole-via-vilnius-july-oct-2017.623/

The journey was intense. It was rich in kindness and loving care. Many thanks to all who sheltered and guided me along the way.

Ultreia e suseia!

-Lovingkindness
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#31
.
Just back from Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania Poland ,Germany , Switzerland , France

It has been a long walk !!
started in Vilnius at the Gate of dawn Chapel , there wasn't much info for Estonia and Latvia and didn't try too much , did the RMK walk in the Estonian forest ( 360 Km ) and it was grand
Latvia was a bit of lazy recovery and the Camino called me in Lithuania
that's a staunchly catholic country burt the camino is not much marked and there was little in the way of auberge
there probably was some but I was not fluent in the local language

Poland was a bit better and caught the Camino in the town of Sulwaki on the eastern border
not too much marking but I got a guide for the first part until Oltzyn
after I winged it , sometimes lucky sometimes not until Frankfurt am Oder
the Jakobweg was very well marked and there was auberge
the road was Berlin , Leipzig ( with it's pharaonic train station ) Nuremberg , Munich to Constanz
Switzerland was pretty good I had taken picture of a guide , but the path was a fair bit of ups and downs and I'm definitely not a climber
from Geneva it was a bee line for Vezelay , since that was my starting point to Compostella two years ago
I had the fancy of closing the loop linking the East and West in a grand walk
the last stage I was walking with a newbie , she was worried a bit but I told her everything would work out well ,
She was starting and I was finishing , a very satisfying moment

conclusion , before Germany the Camino is a work in progress and the paucity of info in English has been a constant problem , often you just have to do it the old way , make your own as you go along , it work just fine
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#32
.
Just back from Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania Poland ,Germany , Switzerland , France

It has been a long walk !!
started in Vilnius at the Gate of dawn Chapel , there wasn't much info for Estonia and Latvia and didn't try too much , did the RMK walk in the Estonian forest ( 360 Km ) and it was grand
Latvia was a bit of lazy recovery and the Camino called me in Lithuania
that's a staunchly catholic country burt the camino is not much marked and there was little in the way of auberge
there probably was some but I was not fluent in the local language

Poland was a bit better and caught the Camino in the town of Sulwaki on the eastern border
not too much marking but I got a guide for the first part until Oltzyn
after I winged it , sometimes lucky sometimes not until Frankfurt am Oder
the Jakobweg was very well marked and there was auberge
the road was Berlin , Leipzig ( with it's pharaonic train station ) Nuremberg , Munich to Constanz
Switzerland was pretty good I had taken picture of a guide , but the path was a fair bit of ups and downs and I'm definitely not a climber
from Geneva it was a bee line for Vezelay , since that was my starting point to Compostella two years ago
I had the fancy of closing the loop linking the East and West in a grand walk
the last stage I was walking with a newbie , she was worried a bit but I told her everything would work out well ,
She was starting and I was finishing , a very satisfying moment

conclusion , before Germany the Camino is a work in progress and the paucity of info in English has been a constant problem , often you just have to do it the old way , make your own as you go along , it work just fine
Wow! would love to know more about these routes! How long did it take from Vilnius to Geneva?

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#34
it took me a bit more than two months , I usually take the urban transport when I get to a big city , the suburbs are such a drag , but leave from the center on foot , it feel good to see the city clearing out

the best was walking out of Nuremberg , there is a long walk along a canal , very peaceful
, in Estonia ,a government run sheep farm in the middle of a natural park forest
the guy in charge told me it was pure stupidity , the local wolves were protected specie and would would eat the sheep in winter , he said you never see the wolves but they always see you ,no problem
people are not on their "food" list just on their "avoid" list

I wish I had been better prepared but in a way , the constant improvisation was an adventure by itself
I slept in convents , a church , a ruined communist community center , forests ,four stars hotels , no star hotels and even a cemetery , the dead are good neighbors they just like the living to think about them a bit
I had a one person tent , and reading the notice ( afterward ...as men would ) it was mentioned that the tent wasn't waterproof
I had worked that by myself by then
 
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Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#35
Sounds an adventure. I was thinking of walking Geneva to Finisterre again, but now you got me thinking! Mmm, only two months more (well probably three for me)! I will have to look into it....

I laughed about the tent!

Davey
 
#36
.
Just back from Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania Poland ,Germany , Switzerland , France... did the RMK walk in the Estonian forest ( 360 Km ) and it was grand...
Fantastic! What a journey. I visited the RMK office in Tallinn and purchased maps for the national trail. It looked to me as though I'd need to carry a tent and extra supplies. So I decided against it and headed south another way. Did you sleep out often?

Cheers
Lovingkindness
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#39
I forgot most of the names but Kaunas stand in the memory , slept in a covent smack on the central place of the old town , used google-maps a lot and yes it's a lovely countryside , there were storks everywhere
while Siberia was still in the grip of late winter , as I progressed West the seasons were advancing
in three months , by the time I reached France the harvests had been done ,
it was like an accelerated movie of the farming cycle
the RMK has massive supply problem and did starve a bit , the Northern black bread is however very nutritious
Estonians told me it's better in winter , no mosquitoes but they are a hardy lot
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#40
while Siberia was still in the grip of late winter , ...
Ahem @jeannick, some geography might help. Even if you would start in the northernmost state of Baltic states, Estonia (Tallin), the roughly most western city of Siberia (Novosibirsk) is 4200km away. How did you notice that Siberia is still "in the grip of winter"??? ;)

But maybe you meant tundra???

Anyway good for you that you had such a nice adventure/walk!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#41
.There were still ice in the rivers and patches of snow on the northern side of the hills , there was no tundra that
I could see , it was birch trees and swampy ground mostly , after the Urals there were flowers and the trees were budding the change was over the six days of Transiberian travel
I flew from Sydney to Vladivostok and landed in the middle of the celebrations for Victory day while looking for my hotel , my backpack was searched at least twenty time for bombs by the police who were quite friendly , one gave me a St George ribbon
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#42
.There were still ice in the rivers and patches of snow on the northern side of the hills , there was no tundra that
I could see , it was birch trees and swampy ground mostly , after the Urals there were flowers and the trees were budding the change was over the six days of Transiberian travel
I flew from Sydney to Vladivostok and landed in the middle of the celebrations for Victory day while looking for my hotel , my backpack was searched at least twenty time for bombs by the police who were quite friendly , one gave me a St George ribbon
Oh, now I understand what you meant :)
 
#43
.There were still ice in the rivers and patches of snow on the northern side of the hills , there was no tundra that
I could see , it was birch trees and swampy ground mostly , after the Urals there were flowers and the trees were budding the change was over the six days of Transiberian travel
I flew from Sydney to Vladivostok and landed in the middle of the celebrations for Victory day while looking for my hotel , my backpack was searched at least twenty time for bombs by the police who were quite friendly , one gave me a St George ribbon
What an experience! It's a wonder you made it to the starting point of your hiking pilgrimage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#44
what was interesting was the change in the trees , Estonia RMK was pines , around Lithuania oaks started to appears , Poland and Germany had elms and others species the more West on goes the more diverse the Forests were , had a 6km stretch along a path planted with Cheries trees every five meters , they were all loaded with fruits , I could just extend my hands while walking and gorge myself on the fruits , a little boy dream !
 
#45
what was interesting was the change in the trees , Estonia RMK was pines , around Lithuania oaks started to appears , Poland and Germany had elms and others species the more West on goes the more diverse the Forests were , had a 6km stretch along a path planted with Cheries trees every five meters , they were all loaded with fruits , I could just extend my hands while walking and gorge myself on the fruits , a little boy dream !
:)

Hi there, @jeannick, I like what you wrote above. I loved the changes in nature, too. My mind is full of images. Here are a few:

Baltic images:

… swamp flowers
... stippled bark
... catnip weed and lilac blossoms
…butterflies

…boughs laden with apples a delicate luminous shade of green; cherry-red apples suspended in dark foliage;

…The beauty of old wooden houses buckling, lurching on sunken foundations; the softness of houses painted ochre, green, orange, blue –with flat oil-based paints the colour of a child’s crayon drawing; insulation material sometimes used as protective exterior cladding;

…the extensive use of chalk white bricks as construction material during the soviet era; derelict agricultural buildings in the middle of know-where; crumbling empty apartment blocks; weeds in cracks;

…the enthusiasm of Post 1990 architecture;

…an abundance of wooden carvings –folk figures, animals, totem poles and crosses;

… the slow rhythm of horse and cart on an unsealed dusty road; the carding of hemp to make linen; needlework designs; Pansies stitched on a cushion when thread was scarce;

… memorials…

…museums…

…storks in flight...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#46
Yes does ring a bell , didn't see too much beside Narva and a few place , the Ilka-Oandu RMK is pretty much all in the forest , Hikkers told me the Baltic coast is great and would make a great Santiago path.
 
#47
... Hikkers told me the Baltic coast is great and would make a great Santiago path.
Yes, it sure would!
In Saulkrasti near Riga, I met a lady involved in creating a national coastal trail between Ainaži and Riga. She said the hiking trail had already been mapped out and a route guide was in preparation for 2018 (?).

We had quite a chat about long distance trails and the possibility of El Camino being signed in Latvia, too. It was good to be able to tell her about places where I had had difficulty hiking -mostly spots where fences were too close to the sea and one couldn't pass. Apparently, private fencing appeared along the coastline during the early 1990s when everything was in flux. Today there are fencing regulations so perhaps the probem spots will dissappear...

here's a couple of links:
Baltic Coast Hiking Project
Estonia-Latvia Programme: facebook

Cheers!

PS along the RMK did you hear or see any natterjack frogs? Apparently in Estonia during springtime there is a mass migration of frogs. Volunteers assist them with crossing roads.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...gv/Natterjack_Toads_calling.ogv.480p.vp9.webm
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay to Santiago 2014
#48
There was a constant chorus of birds from 3 in the morning to 11 evening , frogs , insects ....
the forest was in full growth , the shades and shapes were shifting in the dappled light
a beast would change into a branch , a bird transform into a shadow
pretty easy to feel the Shaman shape-shifter legend .
.......Maybe the lack of beer made me delirious , but the forest was magic
 


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