Perpetual travelers still on the road and catching up
It isn’t easy to get back on the blog after such a long time – I sincerely apologize for my total documentary fail. But in my mind I am writing it all down and share.
As we are continuing our (endless maybe) travels, there are so many nice things we come across that I would like all armchair-travelers to inspire. Somehow I never actually get around to get it posted which really frustrates me.
But I feel a fresh blog breeze coming with spring. Here we go! Let’s catch up.
The blog break started right after we got back from Japan to Poland, where we spent a typical Polish Christmas (except that this year Tomek was dressed as Santa and not dad), and we got sucked in by daily family and friends visits.
After January had passed in the blink of an eye, we started our Baltic tour mid February.
Our days were filled with sights and activities in Vilnius (walked a frozen river and found the best pancake factory in town), Riga (courageously stepped on melting ice blocks in the sea and had an amazing 5 star couchsurfing experience), Tallinn (feasted in medieval taverns, learned how to use a sauna and light a chimney in our 18th century apartment), Helsinki (€4,50 for a beer is a bargain – sadly only in really shabby alcoholics bars – which is why people get their duty free booze on a ferry trip from Tallinn) and Tampere (entered Moomin land and the Lenin Museum on my birthday).
Catching-up Baltics in pictures.
VILNIUS / LITHUANIA
Gusto blyninė. This crepe and pancake factory was our indisputable breakfast/ lunch (maybe dinner) choice. You can order them thin and American style, they come with an enormous choice of hearty and sweet fillings. We always ordered a delicious hallumi cheese salad and fresh juice. Very good value. Location: Aušros vartu g. 6, Vilnius.
Sliding down Vilnius’ Neris river under the big Green Bridge.
RIGA / LATVIA
Who said couchsurfing is limited to a couch and sleeping bags? Our bedroom with private bathroom and big jacuzzi style bathtub (no joke) in a huge house with its generous American host.
Jumping over floes on the frozen Baltic sea. Maybe Tomek landed safely, maybe the ice broke and he soaked his shoes. I am not telling.
TALLINN / ESTONIA
Our own sauna in the bathroom. How cool is that.
Feasting medieval style at Olde Hansa. Candlelight, live flute music, 500 year old recipes and saucy prices but wench waitresses guaranteed. Location: Vana Turg 1, Tallinn.
Home bliss morning routine. We rented in an historic house and it was fun to see tourists take pics and gaze at the houses in the old cobbled street (but what no one knew – there really is no other heating than this).
HELSINKI / FINLAND
Surprised we were how much booze was served and bought on board the Finlandia ferry going from Tallinn to Helsinki. We arrived in Helsinki without supplies and had to dish out 5 to 6 Euros for a serving of beer at bars and restaurants.
Buying finish snow.
Eventually solved the big brush puzzle.
TAMPERE / FINLAND
Retired mad scientist aka friend of my parents running deep massage tests on my head and back.
Typical finish outdoor carpet laundry. The question is: where do you wash your carpets?
Entering Moomin Valley – on my birthday! I have met Moominpapa, Moominmama, Moomintroll and gorgeous Snork Maiden and peeked into their miniature home and travel adventures. After all, I found out that they are not that different from us perpetual travelers.
Location: Puutarhakatu 34, 33230 Tampere, Finland. Moomintroll stickers are your ticket to the Valley (museum).
Many, maaaany people we met asked us why on earth we chose to travel the Baltics in winter, with just the same reaction, when we were asking for a sight recommendation, people added that the place they know is nice… but not so much in winter.
Looking through my blog drafts I found a report of our first day in Vilnius – about renting, food, first impressions. So you can judge the wintery flaws for yourself. And you can get a good idea about our winter proof outfits. Wrapped up in a white feather down jacket and with my new (bargain reduced Sorel) boots, topped with a (fake) furry hat, I looked like a sausage with bunny ears.
So obviously, mainly for aesthetic reasons, we were convinced to disembark for warmer countries and to take in the advantages of perpetual travel along the way.
Follow the sun, yes, follow the sun!
Starting with an elongated stop over in Cologne to see my parents and friends in March (where we did more Japanese than German things), we left for Portugal (with my mum!) in the beginning of April.
Currently, we enjoy the Portuguese lifestyle of pastelarias and sunny river promenade days (but in all fairness, take a thick sweater for the evening and a flannel for the night).
Now, to warm up, let’s go to Lisbon, shall we! The moomins are already there.