AK_paakuvaIt's me in Lisbon. I met owner of motorcycle shop. He owned old russian motorcycles Dnepr and Ural. My kazakh uncle had Ural motorcycle when I was a small child. Since that time I knew that I want a motorcycle.

Mamk’s student drove from Mikkeli to Lisbon and back – read a story: Nomad legend comes to life in Europe

This time REaD’s theme is internationality and multiculture, so I would like to use this opportunity and share my adventurous story of around the Europe motorcycle tour.

Nomad legend comes to life in Europe

Originally I am from Kazakhstan and Kazakh people have amazing legend about Asan Kaigi. Asan Kaigi was famous Kazakh poet and philosopher of XIV century. He traveled to Central Asia searching for Promised Land where Kazakh nation could be happy.

Asan had female camel Gelmaya that according to the legend was as fast as wind. It’s one of my favorite kazakh legends and I was inspired by it.

I had questions and desperately needed answers. After 3 month of road planning I packed 2 small bags and drove my motorcycle to the shores of Atlantic ocean.

The scent of orange trees

It took me 23 days to drive from Mikkeli to Lisbon and back. During this 3 weeks I have driven more than 11000 km and crossed 15 countries.

Every day was intense and full of adventures. After this trip I realized how much the touristic impression differs of country’s real lifestyle.

My favorite city Barcelona had almost nothing in common with the rest of Spain. Crowded streets of megapolis, easily recognizable architecture of Gaudi, fancy wine bars – everyone who’ve been in Barcelona will understand my love to this culture.


Driving from Madrid to Barcelona.


Greatness of Catalans fades away while driving to the north and gives place to scorching sun, small villages located in the mountains and the scent of orange plantations. Can you imagine driving with open helmet and inhaling scent of orange trees?

Pure adrenaline

Nothing compares to driving in Paris. Pure adrenaline. Endless traffic jams. Paris will always stay in my heart. The way you feel this city is something almost magical. Parisians are stylish and beautiful, they are romantic and unexpectedly very sporty!

While I was walking down the Seine I saw the flickering Eiffel tower, magnificent Louvre and groups of parisians jogging in the evening time. And catacombs. Paris catacombs is something less mainstream but definitely not least exciting and interesting. I decided to visit them because of Community planning course that I had during my studies.


On this picture I am with french bikers. I accidentally met group of more than 80 bikers who were making tour from Bordeaux to Marseille. They warmly welcomed me and were impressed by my tour. It’s honorable among bikers to make such a long-distance trips.


Professional planning and surviving

My professional choice had great effect on trip planning. That’s why I included a visit to Sintra-Cascais Natural Park in Portugal to study park management for my thesis work.

Portuguese are very emotional and curious. They were surprised to hear that in Kazakhstan we have snow in winter time. For Portuguese people seeing snow is something extraordinary, for me – seeing ocean. I’ve never seen ocean before.

Nature of Portugal perfectly sums up temperament of Portuguese people – cold water of Atlantic and burning sun. But also Portugal was a challenge for me becauseI faced problems with motorcycle. Stuck somewhere on a gas station close to Portugal-Spanish border I had to fix engine cooling system.


Cooling liquid on motorcycle engine cascade. One of the cooling system pipes was leaking.


Another great part of being engineer student from Mamk – we can find a solution for every situation. It was hard, but no one said my trip would be easy.

Only you define your dreams

I have so much more to tell about – Netherlands, Denmark, Lithuania, Italy and other countries. But I will leave these unwritten pages for you, my friends.

Don’t be afraid to explore the world. You can’t learn this life just reading books or blogs. And don’t listen to people when they say that something is not possible.

So many times I heard that young women can’t make such a long trip alone with 125 cc motorcycle. Only you define your limits. Dream big. Don’t be scared of other languages, cultures or countries. We are all different, but that makes us beautiful.

More picures in  my photography blog: http://akurinova.wix.com/rainbowhasgone

Kirjoittanut Anastassiya Kurinova

Anastassiya is studying Environmental Engineering in Mamk.