1st Oct 2016
The aim of this excercise is to get a feel for the Baltic States by journeying by land down from Tallinn, Estonia via Riga, Latvia to Vilnius, Lithuania and then on through Poland back home. Due to time constraints I forced myself to accept the indignity of flying from Stansted to Tallinn with Ryanair. I have pre-booked a hotel in Tallinn for the first couple of nights but after that it is all planning on the hoof and take it as it comes. On the plus side, the tourist season is over which should make finding accommodation cheaper and easier. On the minus side I suspect some 'facilities' will be closed, the nights are rapidly drawing in and the weather could be dodgy. We shall see.
I write this introduction sitting in the Stansted Airport terminal building at some godforesaken hour. When I bought the very cheap Ryanair ticket for £29 I hadn't appeciated that they then charge an extra £40 for the privilege of putting a bag in the hold and, due to the reporting time being 0445hrs, it would either involve staying a short night at one of the exorbitantly expensive airport hotels or, as I am doing, sitting it out in some discomfort in the terminal. Such are the disadvantages of being a miserly old git and why nobody in their right mind would ever want to travel with me.
We should arrive in Tallinn at 11.35am (local time....they are 2 hours ahead of UK). All will be revealed......
PS. Leafing through my admittedly rather old guide book I learn that Tallinn is, or was, noted for 'cheap booze and rampant prostitution'. Sounds interesting.