Being that my post on Lithuania was so well-received last week, I thought it would be appropriate to go back in time a few weeks to my first Baltic States excursion. My husband lives in the United States and came to Russia for one month in June to visit me – during that time we traveled through the Baltic states for one week and stayed in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. All three cities have beautiful Old Towns and are all worth visiting if you have the opportunity. You will notice that I show you the more gritty side of Tallinn in some of my photos – that is perhaps because we had a strong desire to escape the Old Town of Tallinn during the day while the tourists were passing through and in doing so, we happened upon a really cool old abandoned youth center from Soviet times that looks out over the Baltic Sea. It is now a seemingly popular hangout for locals. If you happen to visit Tallinn, I strongly recommend renting bikes one day and biking to the beach there – it is a stellar ride along the Baltic Sea.
Unfortunately, we only planned for one day in Riga and both feel that it is worthy of a few days of exploration, but I hope to at least show you how lovely the Old Town area is. My favorite experience from Riga was listening to Latvian Karaoke at a secluded little beer garden we found. It was really entertaining to see what the locals do and experience entire families singing their favorite Latvian songs together during a family dinner party. One piece of advice – bring ear plugs to Riga with you if you like to get a good night’s rest. It seems as though the locals like to stay up all night until the early morning hours (even on weeknights), and can be a bit loud on the streets. But I really enjoyed Riga and hope to go back again in the future!
The final photos are from my first visit to Vilnius – you will notice I have very few photos and they are from the more random things I saw there. We experienced torrential rains for most of our visit to Vilnius, but I loved the city and that is why I decided I had to go back before the end of the summer months. As you can see from my previous post “Exploring Lithuania,” I experienced much nicer weather the second time around. The final images are from the train ride home and will allow you see a bit of Lithuania, Latvia and Russia from the train windows and outside of the city centers. My next stop when I return to Russia from the U.S. in a couple of weeks will be to travel to some villages and get out of the city center. Stay tuned and I hope you enjoyed this small glimpse of the Baltic States!