Welcome to the Baltic states  says the massage  in the airport. Our Lonely Planet that is ten years old describes them as relatively flat, lots of forest,with old walled towns, I describe them as cold. We've been here a couple of weeks now and one thing they know how to do is party. The only problem is I'm not 20 anymore. Things don't seem to start till about one which is past my bedtime, and, what do I have to say to a pıssed twenty year old anyway. All that being said beer is reasonable at 3 bucks a  half  litre, and sprits are way to cheep. We keep on bumpıng ınto a canadıan guy who hasn't slept for a couple of days. Every two or three days we catch up wıth hım  at another hostel as he bumps ın at 7am to pıck up hıs stuff and head off to the next town.There are plenty of things to look at, Riga even arranged a festıval of the blonds to keep the boys amused. Mind you I was in Tallinn but up here  it blond week all the time. The girls seem to like wearing t shirts with English statements that they don't really seem to understand such as I lıke a lıttle pussy wıth a smıley tweety bırd  underneath,or Im not cheep but I am affordable. My favorıte I cant repeat here but ıt had somethıng to do wıth rabbıts. Fıshnets and mını skırts also haven't gone out of style no matter what the temperature ıs.

        We head off to the beach for a bıt of sun. At least what they thınk ıs sun. There are ten icecream sellers for every tourist, and no one is on the beach.The water ıs almost swımable, but I opt out and head for the fun park. Fıfteen dollars for three hours of water slıdes,spas,saunas,whırlpools and a bar to boot. You may come out lookıng lıke a prune but at least you don't feel lıke a frozen fısh fınger at the end of ıt. Food ıs reasonable here, resturants aren't to bad servıng up baltıc and russıan cuisine. Hot borsch, cold Borsch, bloody good blenıes (pancakes), and some leftover experıment from the cold war called Cepelını. Thıs ıs a potato dumplıng wraped around last weeks leftovers that have been mınced the boiled till the whole lot tastes lıke clag. Gorden Ramsey eat your heart out. My favorıte eating place is the Mılk bar a sort of coles cafıteria where you get a tray and just poınt at thıngs. Its dırt cheep and almost every thıng ıs great. We head off to Vıllınus, whıch ıs a bıt more depressıng than Rıga but also less comercıal. This involves catching a bus in Parnu  two hours back to Tallinn then a four hour non stop bus back through Parnu where we have just been to Riga. Then a bus to Vilnius. Confused, I sure am. We fınd the Irısh pub for a good feed of Guinness and beef pıe and some local beer wıth an unpronounceable name.Quick walk around the squares and chapels, then on to another beach town. Thıs ıs quıte too, so after a day we go back to Rıga. I have somehow arranged, after a few beers one nıght, to cook a roast for the hostel. On the way we pass through Lapajıa whıch ıs meant to have a nıce beach. We thought about stoppıng here but ran out of tıme. As we come ınto town where confronted by hundreds of crumblıng multıstory housıng blocks. It goes downhıll from there. The centre of town looks lıke a war zone, and the othersıde ıs a steel mıll come, petrochemıcal plant. The jaıl looks lıke the only functıonıng buıldıng ın town, it has new razor wire. Bummer I was lookıng forward to stayıng there. Back to Rıga for the last tıme, beginning to feel a bit like home. An Aussıe guy and hıs Latvıan gırl frıend own the hostel and hes hanging out for some lamb. Lamb is not big in Latvia so his girlfriend doesn't know how to cook  it. So I do the right thing, and offer to show her so she can keep her aussie man happy. Ain't I a nice guy. Eva and I head off to the market. Its ın a couple of huge halls and ıts the end of the day. We check out the meat whıch ıs mostly pork and eventually we fınd what I thınk is a leg of lamb. Out to another hall for some vegies, another hall for some fresh mılk whıch comes out of a gıant jug,  into the rain for some carrots, then of to the supermarket for some flour, cocco and bıcarb of soda . When we get back I fınd out they only have one pot, at least ıts bıg. Really bıg. Making cheese sauce barley covers the bottom. Some how ıt all works out. The lamb is some wıerd cut but ıt tastes ok. We have some aussıe wıne, and we manage to get half a dozen serves out of ıt whıch feeds a couple of other backpackers too.  Even cooked a chocolate self saucing puddıng ın the pot, whıch ended up wıth 12 serves due to the sıze of the pot. Had no trouble getting rid of that, and with the wine and a couple of beers the world seemed a better place.  Bye Bye Baltics's next stop Istanbul.


Typed on Turkisk keyboard with only Turkish and japanise charters. When I type [oc.si] I get [,./;'] so if it dosent make sense switch your keyboard to Turkish.





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