Expedition “Baltoscandia 2016” members part ways

Expedition “Baltoscandia 2016” members part ways
Atlantic road
Atlantic Road, Norway

As expedition “Baltoscandia 2016” is nearing its first half, its participants are parting ways. The different companies will be finishing the first stage of the trek across the world “Mission Lithuania 100” at different times.

Conferences in universities of visited countries continue

Lithuanian Geographic Society, Academy of Baltoscandia and the Travel and Recreation Club of the Lithuanian Journalists’ Union will continue the journey at a faster pace. “We still have three conferences in Turku, Tartu and Latvia universities. We will be giving presentations about prof. Kazys Pakštas, his idea of Baltoscandia, as well as the trek across the world. We will also be joined by local speakers.” – told the conferences’ organiser, Genovaitė Kynė, president of the Lithuanian Geographic Society.

Schedule dictated by planned video shoots

“This split was pre-planned. For various reasons this is practiced in almost every expedition. Since we have more than one goal this time – hold conferences, meet Lithuanian communities, test the gear before the trek across the world, and to make a documentary – it’s only natural that we simply could not do all of this in one month. While the faster moving company holds presentations at universities, we will be tackling other assignments.” – said expedition leader Gintautas Babravičius.

Michael Mattig-Gerlach - Copy
Michael Mattig-Gerlach

Cooperating with a German producer

The filming group with the expedition leader travelled to the Svartisen Glacier. Joining them was an expedition participant, who travelled most of the way via a different route – Michael Mattig-Gerlach. “We have been traveling with Gintautas Babravičius for years. During the expeditions I make documentaries for “Deutsche Welle” and other television. Currently we’re making one about climate change and dangers to the natural environment. As one of the trek across the world “Mission Lithuania 100” goals is to invite interest in these problems, we’ve joined forces.” – said Michael Mattig-Gerlach. He and his crew have already visited the northernmost point of Europe, which Gintautas Babravičius’ team will be reaching on the 21st of August.

Witnessing effects of global warming

Another expedition company was moving along Norway’s western coast. “We were moving towards the same glacier visited by the filming group, only at a slower pace. Our goal is to capture the beautiful landscapes of Western Norway. There is a lot of talk the dangers to the wild, therefore in our films we seek to show its beauty, which we must protect. The trek across the world “Mission Lithuania 100” will take us to places, which are usually out of bounds for filming crews because of difficult access. The things we capture will go into our films. This footage is unique, as during the several years between someone else filming those places, the landscape will have changed almost unrecognisably.” – said expedition operator Fiodor Cherednik.

Svartisen ledynas - Copy
Svartisen Glacier

About the project

“Baltoscandia 2016” is the first expedition of a 3 year extreme trek across the world in off-road vehicles – “Mission Lithuania 100”. The trek will be divided into stages, which will be captured in documentaries: “Grand Duchy of Lithuania”, “Silk Road”, “Beringia” and others.

The trek crew will be crossing the Bering Strait by attaching pontoons to the vehicles. So far 4 expeditions have successfully made it to the strait in winter, one has crossed the Bering Strait, but none have succeeded in crossing Alaska and reaching civilization in summer time. “This stage involves 4500 km of complete off-road. This is the most complicated and also the most interesting part of the coming trek. If we succeed in reaching this goal, we will be the first ones” said trek leader Gintautas Babravičius.

Photos by Vidmantas Balkūnas and Ignas Veršinskas