Month: July 2008 (Page 1 of 2)

Probably the best bar in the world…

Pete, in HD at the Carlsberg brewery, Copenhagen – Denmark.

Also, for those who don’t already know, I’m back home now, earlier than planned in sunny Oxford. I didn’t make it to Belarus and this is a big big disapointment but the rest of the trip was fantastic. The road-trip was so much fun, led us to places I’ve never seen before and taught me all sorts of things about the people and places on route. Russia was an experience I’ll never forget and although it screwed up the rest of my planned trip (back to Moscow and then onto Belarus) it did leave me with two extra weeks in the Baltics which seriously won me over. Lithuania may still be finding it’s feet after so many years of Soviet control but, spend some time there and you can find a small but varied country with beaches, lakes, national parks, picturesque cities and friendly, smart, talkative and basketball-crazy locals. They may have the most tounge-twisting way of saying ‘cheers’ (Δ― sveikatΔ…) but the beer is good and eating out wont cost you the earth either.

OK, it’s not perfect, we did get robbed after all (requiring my second trip to a shady police station) and a tree I was sitting next to (a big park size tree) collapsed of no reason but, I survived and definately hope to go back soon. If nothing else, to see Ieva again and to party once more in a nuclear bunker.

Ieva, Rebeka and Moi

More photos here and here.

Now it’s time to look for a J…O…B. Hmmmm

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The end of that long, blonde road.

“Inside the compartment it is the very picture of conviviality. The professional busybody assigned to our carriage shooed me and Pete and settled down in the last compartment. Why would she want to be anywhere else? Her whole life is laid out in her home on wheels, with coloured cushions, flowers, her own curtains, an icon on the wall and a singing kettle on the stove. Always on the road.

Our first-class compartment is also like a salon, with two velveteen pull-out beds, red draperies, white lace curtains and plastic flowers on the table.

The train pulls away, outside there is nothing but Russian countryside, here and there a chimney, from the speakers the soft sound of Russian songs, and quite soon the day begins to fade…”

So that’s how (to paraphrase Supergrass) we set sail from St Peeeetersburg. making use of our tiiime…
In three days we were out of there …and it wasn’t a day too soon!

Albeit for all the wrong reasons, Russia probably was the highlight of our journey and definitely an experience that’ll stay with both of us for a long time and (although we lost the car) we made it across land from Oxford to Riga in two weeks as planned. We travelled 2500 miles(ish) through 10 countries, stayed in 13 different beds (including the car once and a Russian prison) and were hosted by 7 of the nicest people we could have met. We saw parts of Europe I’ll never forget, we had no crashes, didn’t break down and didn’t squash any moose, moomins or fellow Europeans. So, all-in-all I’d consider that an overwhelming success.

It’s been said before but once again, a massive ‘Thanks’ to everyone that helped us, thanks to everyone who has been following us here (and for your messages of support) and a special big thanks to Sarah (Pete’s wife) who, from the base back home, helped us on many many occasions.

Proost, Prost, Skaal, Kippis, Na zdorovje, Prieka and Cheers
Your friend

The Riga express. The quickest route to freedom πŸ˜‰

Nukes and crosses

OK, I’m officially back here. I’m actually in Vilnius but you know what I mean. We spent the week at Palanga on the Lithuanian coast and it was great fun. There’s a real fun vibe in Palanga and our 3 new Lithuanian friends Gaga, GooGoo and GiGi made Palanga a trip to remember – so we owe them a big ‘Achew’ (probably spelt incorrectly) which sounds like a sneeze and means thank-you. Yesterday (Friday) we hired a car to get to Vilnius and stopped an an abandoned soviet nuclear missile site which, hiddeb from the Lithuanian people) was home to an arsenal of nukes that could’ve wiped most of Europe off the face of the planet. It’s interesting, unnerving and mildly disturbing standing down there. We stopped at the equally strange ‘Hill of crosses’ on the way (my second visit) and made it to Vilnius late last night. If all goes well I’ll be in Minsk early next week.

Jens, Gaga, me and GooGoo

Oh, we also had some stuff stolen in Palanga (from our room whilst we were in there asleep) which required another trip to a dodgy soviet-style police station. Thankfully, this time I wasnt incacerated. We did hire a red, peadle-powered go-cart to get there though which was quite amusing. We parked up right-outside forcing all the cop cars to park around us.

Ever wondered what nuclear missle homes look like?

More pictures over here

OK, time for laundry or I’m gonna get a reputation for being stinky…


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Home Blog: RIP Our Trusty Steed

It’s great to be home but I can’t help thinking I’ve left an important part of my soul in Russia.

RIP Rover (aka The Dog, aka Ralph) you served us so well.

Riga, I gotta leave ya…

I came to write my fairwell but it’s just taken sooo long to get all my pictures fixed – I’m outta time πŸ™

However, it’s enough just to say that I’m still in Riga (although I did go out of town exploring today) and still without a real plan. However, I’m gonna head to the coast tomorrow with a Dane and a Yankie and then we’ll take it from their. But anyway, this is another journey and has no place here on the Road to Riga πŸ™‚ so, to get the usual Eddy updates from now on, please return to my original hiding place –

For the photos. Please click your mouse on this link

You’ll find a few like this…

Finally, can I just echo Pete’s sentiments and thank eveyone who helped, look after and hosted us over the past two weeks – you’ve all been fantastic. Also, many of you have emailed over the last few days (pete included) and I promise I’ll get back to ya’ll asap

Airport blog – Riga – Day 15

Well, as you already know from Ian’s update we made it to Riga. Pity about the car, but it was always a one way trip for it.
I have just waved goodbye to Ian and left him in a sweaty hostel dorm room with a rather odd bunch, he will fit in nicely!!

I’m about to fly back to the london where Sarah will be waiting (assuming she has forgiven me for the Russian stress earlier in the week).

We have had a fantastic trip , met loads of great people and seen some stunning sights. Contrary to the pictures in the blog we only had 3 big nights out and took our driving seriously, yes, its a shame that we ended up on a train, but hey that in itself was an experience.

Loads of stuff to follow so stay tuned:)

Once again thanks to all our wonderful hosts. A big hug to Irena in St Petersburg. You were so kind we could never thank you enough.
Pete x

The T-Shirts say Road to Riga in Cyrillic (hopefully)

I’ve lost track of the day number…

…but this isn’t a road blog anymore πŸ™

It’s a foot blog πŸ™‚

However, all is well, we made it to our final destination and we’re currently enjoying sunny days in the Latvian capital – Riga.

What happened in Russia? Well, it’s a long story (and best explained using lots of expletives) but, the basics are – the car got impounded, we got a Russian style wrist-slapping and the language barrier made fixing things near impossible.

So, with the legal formalities complete (we hope) we took our stuff and came to Latvia minus the car. It’s a little disappointing as we did indeed loose the furry dice however, as far as we know everything else was resolved and looking back it was quite an experience. We also had a huge amount of help from the Russian people we met and, without exception they were friendly, helpful and generally great.

If your planning a trip just make sure you know which forms you require and leave the car at home.

We spent the day exploring Riga yesterday and since the sun is shining today – we’re off to the beach for some much needed R and R.

Pete leaves for the UK tomorrow and (as usual) I haven’t got anything planned beyond that. I’m sure we’ll both find time for a concluding blog rant in the near future.

Ian and Pete

PS, our you’ll be pleased to hear our faces have almost returned to normal now.
PPS, the odd-shaped toilet thing is for being sick in. I kid you not….

Train blog – day 13 st petersburg to latvia

Sorry for the radio silence. We have had one or two problems in russia. We are currently on a sleeper train to riga. Much more to follow. However please dont worry as all is well. Need to get some shut eye and will update later on. Love to all pete and ian.

Road blog supplemental – St Petersburg

We arrived in the city this evening. It is fantastic, so beautiful. Ian and I are having a few (about 50) beers to celebrate. We meet our kind host Irena tomorrow. This is just a wonderful trip, hope we are insiping people as we go.
You must come here soon.
All our love Pete and Ian x

Road blog – day 10 – Russia

It took us 2 hours to cross the border from Finland into Russia. Lots of paperwork but no real problems. Insurance for Rover cost 1100 rubles. Currently in transit to st Petersburg where we will stay for the next 3 days. First impressions are very positive. What a fantastic trip.
pete and ian

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