July 20, 2006

Back home

Yawn. Yaaawn. I am so so tired, but very happy with our long trip to Latvia and Estonia (it was boiling hot so we had to leave Lithuania to another time) which we returned from this morning. Everything went fine, absolutely no problems with anything*. The sun was shining all the time, we swam in the warm sea and lay on long white beaches. We ate really really good food and met wonderful people, and we found nice places to live almost all nights (although I recommend booking in advance if you are going to Ventspils, we arrived 18.30 and had to live at a dreadful hostel). The best with this trip was to see the countryside in both countries, so beautiful and untouched. I love the stork birds so much, we don´t have any in Sweden because we have dried out too much swamps where the storks´ favourite food the frogs lives.

What strikes you the most as a Swede, especially in Latvia, is the price level which is very low. You can get a lunch in Latvia for 20 SEK and you really have to make an effort to get a dinner, with drinks, for over 50 SEK. That is very very cheap which of course is good for tourists but I have mixed feelings anyway because I know that meals in restaurants and nights at good hotels are completely out of reach for the average Latvian. We met a woman in Riga whose pension was about 790 SEK a month! I hope they get their economy going better soon and will do my best to support it by more visits, something I also heartily recommend. Well, more on my trip in later posts!

The sandwich in the picture was my extra lunch today, the ordinary lunch was new potatoes with herring and sour cream. After an hour or so I discovered it wasn´t enough and made a favourite summer sandwich, very Swedish. Hard bread with sliced cold potato and caviar on top! Sometimes I put on some chives too but I was too hungry. And the chives, by the way, is growing on our balcony now!

*Well, we had a little incident with a piece of a pipe laying in the middle of the road somewhere just outside Aizpute. KABONK it said and then the gears was crazy, it sounded funny and oh my god. We could at least drive it to Liepaja! But our problem solved when we found a very helpful hotel receptionist who called a car mechanic for us and wrote little notes in Latvian about our problems and so on. Car mechanics in Latvia doesn´t generally know English but we simply gave them the notes and with those and some sign language we were back on the road, gears almost fixed, after two hours.

5 comments:

Steve said...

Welcome home!

Pene said...

Glad to hear that you had a good time. And if you come again, please come & visit Tartu, which is much smaller than Tallinn & Riga but still has a lot of interesting things to see & do. Unpack & relax a bit now.

Tanna said...

Sounds like a terrific and almost uneventful trip. Are solved problems really problems?T
So good to have you back.

Rachael said...

Sounds like a nice vacation...

Welcome back!

Now, what do you mean caviar on top? Where is the caviar? Is it that piped pink part? Looks delicious, but is there cheese there too?

Clivia said...

Pene, next time I will try to visit both Pärnu and Tartu!
Tanna, You are absolutely right! It is not a problem any more and I am glad...
Rachael, you have yet to discover Swedish caviar I think. Yes, it is the piped pink thing! *giggles*. Maybe maybe you can find some at IKEA if you are curious. Kaviar is one of those things that brings tears in the eyes of Swedes living abroad... And they have to get their fix somewhere, I guess. And no cheese on this sandwich. Maybe a little butter, sliced cold potato and caviar. And chives.