Returning to Poland from my short “holiday” in Sifnos, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me: the Russian Visa.
Russia – perhaps unexpectedly – was no longer a mirage, but became reality: I had 9 days to reach its borders (the entrance had to happen on September 4th).
From Warsaw I decided to cut a part of the road – by bus – to Vilnius (Lithuania) and Riga (Latvia), then to continue cycling along the coasts of the Baltic Sea, where I would languidly discover the beauties of the Baltic Republics and where I would got enchanted by two places called Salacgrīva (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia).
POLAND and LITHUANIA
25 August, Warsaw (Poland) | Day 85 🇵🇱
Back to Poland.
Back to Warsaw, from where I left – abandoning here my bicycle – 11 days ago.
Tomorrow I’ll go to the Russian Visa Center to figure out if I can enter the country or not.
I’m asking myself why still I don’t have any news from them.
But tomorrow I should know.
26 August, Warsaw (Poland) | Day 86 🇵🇱
Many international newspaper were anxious to know it … and, well, Mother Russia said “DA”.
I got the Visa!
Now the going will get tough .. but funny too 😎.
28 August, Warsaw (Poland) | Day 88 🇵🇱
Where can you find a huge stadium with a beach just in front of it?
Italy? Spain? Greece? Portugal? Brasil?
So I’m on a bus heading Lithuania 🇱🇹
Seems that this country and this place called Vilnius does really exist!
STATISTICS POLAND / LITHUANIA
KM on BICYCLE: 45
KM on AUTOBUS: 580
NIGHTS in HOSTELS: 0
NIGHTS in HOSPITALITY: 3
NIGHTS on BUS: 1
EXPENSES: 66 €
“GOOD DAY”: “Labas Rytas”
“THANK YOU”: “Dekoju”
29 August, Riga (Latvia) | Day 89 🇱🇻
Should have stayed in Vilnius.
Ended up in Riga, instead.
I’ve always been so bad with Baltic Counties and their Capitals anyway.
30 August, Riga (Latvia) | Day 90 🇱🇻
Today, after almost a month of cycling inactivity, I wanted to ride my bike again.
When I woke up, however, a howling autumn storm made me think that perhaps it was
better to stop in Riga one more day.
I could not do much, apart sheltering myself from wind and rain
in one of those many coffee shops in the city and visiting a couple of museums.
In one in particular – from which I came out quite shocked – I thought on the fact that I struggled so much in order to try to reach Siberia in some way, when up to not so long ago many Latvians saw that land as real hell, a place where many of their beloved ones were deported and have never returned from.
Always assuming that they did not get up from that chair,
after being certainly tortured in many different ways, with an immediate execution sentence.
Spies, friends and relatives betraying each other, captures, interrogations, tortures, imprisonments, captivity in inhuman conditions, convictions, sentences, deportation or death.
Riga’s history is also this one.
Even Riga, at the end, managed to surprise me.
Not only because of this lights, bursting out after a cold, windy and rainy day.
But some stories cannot be told.
I’m leaving the city with some more everlasting memories, and a colourful scarf as a gift.
And today … today it’s time to move on.
31 August, Salacgrīva (Latvia) | Day 91 🇱🇻
After more than a month since I cycled the last “big stage”, finally today I’m back pedaling.
At least for a few hours, and for a hundred kilometers.
I do not know if tonight I will camp somewhere on the shores of the Baltic Sea,
or if I will look fore a warmer accommodation in some village on the Latvian coast.
I do not much care about it.
Hence, for the occasion, I dusted off my superhero suit already.
Greek sunsets, and mostly those ones in Sifnos, are totally unbeatable.
Nevertheless today I could witness that also here in Latvia, on the Baltic Sea, in Salacgrīva, are stunning as well.
The only problem is that, after sunset, the funnies thing you can do
when you travel with your bicycle is puncturing yourself one of your tyres.
To keep you busy, at least.
KM on BICYCLE: 140
KM on AUTOBUS: 85
NIGHTS in CAMPING / HOSTELS: 2
NIGHTS in HOSPITALITY: 1
EXPENSES: 100 €
“GOOD DAY”: “Labrit”
“THANK YOU”: “Paldies”
1 September, Salacgrīva (Latvia) – Tallinn (Estonia)| Day 92 🇱🇻 – 🇪🇪
It could be Worse.
It could be Raining.
(Thinking about somebody who passed away a few days ago, Gene Wilder)
Woods, blueberry, mushrooms and wilderness all around, a lukewarm sun and a gentle wind, glimpses on the Baltic Sea and houses coming out from fairy tales, no cars, music and singing.
This is cycletravelling in Estonia.
2 September, Tallinn (Estonia)| Day 93 🇪🇪
I had already cycled 90 km that day. The last 30, on a straight and endless asphalt tongue, had been boring and I was starting to feel tired. Walls of ancient pines surrounded me on both sides, obscuring the road and the view of the spaces nearby.
Suddenly, as coming out from a seamen rhyme, I saw a Seagull.
He flew out of the forest, silently spreading his wings,
the whole world not caring about him and his languid heartbeat.
He was going in my direction and, for a while, we kept the same speed.
I could swear I caught him as he threw at me a curious look, but maybe I only dreamed it.
I stared at him as he rose up into the sky and disappeared behind
the last leaves of the trees, towards the North.
Released from the spell, I immediately felt a sound. A long, deaf and continuous shout. A glimmer, from a distance, invited me to approach and so I started to push harder on the bike, as if I was driven by some unnatural forces.
When, towards the West, a solitary beach took the place the trees were occupying before,
the shout opened up and released itself all around, winning my ears first and then the entire me.
It was the Baltic Sea, for the first time.
I left the bike at the roadside and ran barefoot on the sand, losing my breath for a few moments.
Annihilated by the senses, I looked for a place to sit down, there on the edge with the waves.
It took me minutes before I started to breathe again with a regular rhythm.
As I returned to me, I started to observe what was all around.
The Seagull was there, and this time he was really looking at me,
with a funny and amazed smile at the same time.
Instead of flying away, he sat at my side.
You can imagine what a surprise it was for me when, perfectly moving his beak, the old Seagull greeted me and said: “Well done, boy. I was not sure you’d been able to intercept the signals and to get the call. You only arrived a little late. Five minutes before and you’d have seen him, the Lord, drawing and singing. He comes here often to do that, when he doesn’t want to think about anything.
But, the same, you can enjoy what he did here, today.”
In Tallinn, in Estonia, close to the harbour there is an abandoned prison.
There is a little bar serving local beers and tasty food.
There are benches, sand and old rusty beds.
People come here to talk, to relax, to drink together, to listen to live music,
to look at the ships and to wait for the sunset on the Baltic Sea.
And this is beautiful.
End of the story.
3 September , Tallinn (Estonia)| Day 94 🇪🇪 – VIDEO
🏊 in the Baltic Sea: done ✔
KM on BICYCLE: 110
KM on AUTOBUS: 340
NIGHTS in HOSTELS: 3
NIGHTS in HOSPITALITY: 0
EXPENSES: 150 € + Coat 200 €
“GOOD DAY”: “Tere Hommikust”
“THANK YOU”: “Aitäh”