This from deepest Latvia, with 320km further on the clock in last three days, from Klaipeda (Lithuania) to Kandava just short of Riga. (Route here. )
Photos below (with captions) speak of Europe’s longest (definitely not highest) waterfall, in Kuldiga; of truly beautiful Baltic coastline; of old stately homes; local pride at being member of EU (easy border, and huge upward impact on aspirations and standards – don’t get me going on Brexit, or on the miserable Soviet legacy here); use of English (no longer Russian) as the new Baltic lingua franca; and crappy stretches of corrugated gravel leading to, yes, four punctures in one day.
Just 700 more km, and we’re in Tallinn. Autumn has arrived, so now getting wet, on occasion.
Daisy and crew locked and loaded…. A formidable road train.
The beautiful Baltic coast, here north of Klaipeda at Bernati in Latvia.
Magical campsite at Bernati, Latvia.
Orthodox church looms over Soviet-era apartment blocks (still peopled mainly by Russians) in Karosta just north of Liepaya., once home to the Russian and then Soviet navy. Latter left here in 1994, our guidebook tells us, 20,000 sailors, 30 atom-powered submarines, and 140 warships. And a right mess.
Very slowly, the Baltic states are restoring what they can of their grim Soviet architectural legacy. The old flats can look quite nice when done up.
Corrugated gravel – horrible stuff, slowing us to a crawl. An experiment quickly abandoned in favour of the main road, however heavy the lorries.
One very unimpressed stoker.
The jolting gave us four front wheel punctures in one day.
Overnight stop in Jurkalne – with typical Baltic cliffs for the region.
Bucolic Latvian landscape.
The restored castle in Alsunga
Sky, and road.
The Russians left behind the worst architectural mess. Shameful and cheap.
Europe’s longest waterfall – though certainly not its highest, at Kuldiga.
And its longest brick road bridge, also Kuldiga
Small bicycle in large singing stadium, here Klaipeda – dreadful Soviet construction standards, but recalling the late 80s when singing throughout the Baltic nurtured a peaceful revolution leading to independence from the loathed Soviet Union.
Down with Brexit, and up with open borders, and the complex, flawed but hugely important pull towards better exerted by the European Union. Anyone in the UK who thinks the EU is an evil superstate should come to the Baltics and learn the difference between things Soviet and things EU.
English now the Baltic lingua franca, replacing Russian. These signs are for the neighbours, not for native English-speaking tourists, of whom there are VERY few hereabouts.