Run to Riga, Stay, Exit to Tallinn

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Would have left Kaunas sooner,  but stood talking with host Kestudis. He was there when Jurgis Kairys flew under the pedestrian bridge! Building on a heritage of crazy things, such as two Lithuanians, in 1933, flying from Chicago to Kaunas. They crashed in Germany, with a rumour that they were shot down. 

Goodbye’s said, I headed north and ran till my first fillup. Bought a chocolate bar to accompany my tea. Place was in the styx. Did not accept credit cards. No tea either. “Always be prepared” 🙂

Ran on till a series of road works made me decide that it was time for lunch. Turned out this was the last Lithuanian restaurant. When I rejoined this traffic jam, turned out the “problem” was some ground work going on at the Latvian border.
Crossed over and ran on.

Both Lithuania and Latvia are fun to ride. Aside from the construction points, the roads are outstanding. Think Salisbury Plain area in England, writ large, and without the traffic.  
Plus drivers pull onto the small hard shoulder to allow overtaking 🙂

Arrived in Riga feeling a little grumpy. Was 31-34degC today. Only 240kms. Still took 4hrs plus lunch. Aside from construction work, backroads are not fast. That’s 4hrs in the heat, made much hotter by the tarmac.
Parked at the hotel. Chosen wisely. Has air-conditioning.
Ordered a pot of tea.
Unpacked just my day-bag. 
Bike did not require much in the way of TLC.

Walked downtown, with a stop at this awesome building, that for some reason reminded me of the Liver birds……

Then walked through the HUGE market, that was closing up.

A short ways along, I found St. Peter’s church, and a nearby tea-house.
Had another pot of tea, with an oatmeal cookie. Met a young family from Brussels. He’s Dutch, married to a Latvian, and they have a 2yr old. Which is how we met. The 2yr old gave me his helicopter 🙂 

Strolled further, to see
 – house of the Blackheads
 – Freedom monument
 – Powder Tower
Lots of bars and restaurants, along the way.
And the Buddy Bears.

Final target was the “wooden village“, where there were crowds of people. Music. And lots of drink. Nice party. They have one every Thursday.
I had this tasty supper……

Was a short stroll to catch the tram. Which dropped me off by the market. Funny the juxtaposition of technologies. Ancient tram, with the latest routing display 🙂

Bedtime ended up being later than planned. But got to see lots. And it was a good night.

Friday up at 9am, which is really late. 
Checked the bike.

Headed out to the Riga Car Museum.
Nice display. Especially the old Soviet era vehicles. And the Roller that Berzhnev crashed into a Soviet truck. There are also motorcycles, old radios, and phones 🙂
EXCELLENT lunch for 4.60euros. Borscht, then a choice between a main or dessert. Took the main, which was correctly lunch-sized pork rissotto, a fresh gherkin, with a dip of sour-cream and dill. Food and presentation were excellent.
Seriously. Go for the vehicles, and stay for the lunch.

Once outside the museum, h‎eaded north to Tallinn
Filled-up once.
And rode.
Passed a beach on the Baltic coast with golden sands.
Passed lots of tall pine forests.
Rode on.
And arrived in Tallinn outskirts.
Filled-up, just to have a full tank. Protects the fuel pump from corrosion.

Called my new host to say I would be early. Skies had been dark and cloudy, threatening rain. Aside from a brief 31degC, temperatures had been 28degC. Doesn’t get much better that this. So no need to stop and re-hydrate, nor rest.
Found the building, and called for entry instructions.
Parked next to my front door.
Unloaded the bike.
TLC for the bike. Threatened rain had arrived, but very unsure as to whether it should start or not. Would drizzle, then stop. Drizzle then stop, etc.

Then out to a corner cafe. Trying to decide what to do. Time was after 7pm.
Decided upon an ‘Old Tallin‘ with a potato salad……

Followed by a red wine and cheese plate……

Leicester’s first game of the season. At Old Trafford. Not sure I can stay awake! Four days of riding, in four countries, and playing the tourist.
Ah well. Stayed up. Richard sending me the updates 🙂
ManU 2 – Leicester 1 🙁 Well. At least Vardy scored. Classic poacher’s goal. In the right place, at the right time, did the right thing. Goalie just stood flat-footied, through it all.

G’nite All.