Down from Scandinavia: stage 11

Tallinn, Estonia -> Riga, Latvia
350 km dep: 12:30 arr: 18:45
Date: 04/08/2012
Weather: Cloudy

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The original plan was to only spend one night in Tallinn but like I was suggesting in the previous post, I did end up spending an extra day there. The city is lively, bustling with activity, beautiful and also interesting (it was under soviet control for a long time) but more importantly it is cheap, a pint of bear is only 2 Euros and a meal is 3. I did not hang around much with the Estonians but those I met were extremely friendly and cultured. The tourists were mostly russians around the streets, but I did not meet any in the two hostels that I stayed in, they mostly keep to themselves, sleep in hotels and eat out at the pricey restaurants.

As is usual after a night out, I woke up with my head up my ass but since the route was short today it was not too much of an issue. Estonia is impressively flat and full of forests. There are only about a million estonians so despite their country being quite small, it is still full of wilderness so I spent the better part of my ride on long, strait roads bordered by trees. On one occasion I decided to take a smaller road both as a shortcut and because the one I was on was not that palpitating. The road was under construction an part of it was paved over but one long section was actually loose dirt and gravel. It felt like cycling on sand, very unstable, dangerous and scary so I had to cut my speed down to 20km/h, which made that part of today’s ride very long. The rest of the road was gravel and dirt but since it had rained in the morning, it was very muddy too; my motorcycle is now very dirty, with mud and dead insects. Many roads including this one bore a sign that said it had been financed by the european union. Estonia has entered the Euro-zone very recently actually, in 2011, and is the first baltic country in so far; not too long ago, until 1991, these countries were behind the iron curtain and under soviet rule.

The road in Latvia looked very much like in Estonia except that it was coastal so it offered glimpses of the sea and had very peculiad vegetation in the form of forests where there were only pines and moss on the ground. It would have made exceptional camping. The traffic on the other end was somewhat scary because people kept passing me between lanes.

I will be spending an extra night Riga because everybody in Tallinn gave me good comments about it and suggested that I only spend a night in Vilnius. Having to be in Berlin on the 9th and spending two nights in Warsaw, my schedule is now fully compressed so I hope nothing will go wrong in between.

2 Replies to “Down from Scandinavia: stage 11”

  1. Tu écris drôlement bien en anglais. Je suis curieux de voir comment tu écrirais en français.

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