Baltic Sea Rally Report - Part 1
In the days leading up to the rally we’re pretty busy with other things: Oliver is working on a road show for a German car-maker and Heiko is making arrangements to relocate to the Ruhr valley for work. No matter—the car just gets packed the night before the rally, we share out the provisions inside the van following some kind of chaos theory and, for the time being, the new battery travels with the luggage. At 6 am on Saturday we’re on our way from Braunschweig to Hamburg. We make a quick stop-off to pick up our sponsored tablets with all-purpose covers in person from the friendly boss of Reboon, collect our Russian visas from the local bureaucracy shop and head to Hamburg’s Fish Market, where we are greeted by hubbub, excitement, and other teams.
At first we ignore requests to register while we give the final touches to our vehicle: Working stopping to take breath we cover her in stickers from all our sponsors. The result really is quite something. Now we have a real rally soapbox. The organizers welcome us and hand out road books. We chat with the friendly people on some other teams and it’s already time to get going. All the teams leave the Fish Market in convoy and set off on the long journey around the Baltic. As we’re near the back of the line, we get the chance to have a better look at all the vehicles: There are old ambulances, fire trucks, military vehicles, a Trabant, a hearse, and some beautiful old RVs.
When we’re asked to line up we face our first technical challenge: our MB100 refuses to start. In a panic, seven years of studying engineering goes out the window. Jumping around to the trunk, we bypass the old power connector with the new high performance battery from Moll, and can start the vehicle to join the rest of the group. On Day 1 we’re allowed to use the highway, so we speed along at 100 km/h through Denmark towards Sweden.
We visit Copenhagen on the way and make friends with the local police who apparently view us as an immediate threat to the public at first. But here in the North, nothing is a problem. Everyone is friendly and relaxed. And all the men sport impressive full beards. Exhausted, we spend the first night wild camping at the peaceful southern tip of Sweden. This is where we complete the first task in the road book: With Danish sand, Swedish wood, water from the Baltic, and Baltic wind, we crown our Viking Queen by carrying her once around a strange stone circle (a bit like Stonehenge’s little brother). With photos taken to prove it and video footage in the can, we travel north to Örebro.
We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank once again Barbecook, Klarstein, Auna, Moll, Fritz Berger, KAW Kraftfahrzeugtechnik, Reise-KnowHow, the Car Doctors, LiquiMoly, Reboon, Audiovox, Brennraum Automobillegenden, Suck Milchshake Co, Markus Kietzmann and everyone that sponsored us, and Motorvision TV, who filmed the whole trip with us.