our journey through the Baltic States…..

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!

Narrow alley in Tallinn, Estonia.

Antique shop window, Tallinn, Estonia.

Wall art in Tallinn, Estonia.

Central square in Old Town, Tallinn.

The Art Car, Tallinn, Estonia.

The church in the central square at night, Tallinn, Estonia.

More wall art in Tallinn, Estonia.

Looking out over the Old Town of Tallinn.

Toy shop window in Tallinn.

The old abandoned youth center we found. It has become a local hangout for many.

Bird graffiti at the abandoned youth center in Tallinn.

Walking down the steep hill at night, Tallinn.

The abandoned youth center looking out over the Baltic Sea, Tallinn.

Old Town of Tallinn at night time.

A wide view of the narrow alley way, Tallinn.

Center of Old Town Riga, Latvia.

Old Church in Riga.

Evening shower, Riga.

The excellent little Italian Restaurant we ate at in Riga.

Table decorations at a Latvian Restaurant, Riga.

Old Architecture in Riga.

Experiencing Latvian Karaoke at an outdoor beer garden, Riga.

Old Town, Riga.

Shop window, Riga.

Streets of Old Town, Riga.

Old Architecture in Riga.

Riga, Latvia.

Frank Zappa, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Central Old Town, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Window shopping in Vilnius.

Love locks in Vilnius - on the bridge to Užupio Respublika.

More windown shopping in Vilnius.

More window shopping in Vilnius.

Bridge crossing to Užupio Respublika, Vilnius.

Remnants of a wedding celebration, Vilnius.

Užupio Respublika, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Wall art in Užupio Respublika, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Lithuanian countryside as seen from the train windowns.

Lithuanian countryside as seen from the train.

Train stop in Lithuania.

Passing by old abandoned trains (taking while riding on the train).

A more "Soviet" scene in the Latvian countryside (taken while riding on the train).

Soviet complexes in Latvia.

A small village in Russia (as seen from the train).

Russian countryside as seen from the train.

12 thoughts on “our journey through the Baltic States…..

  1. You’re a great photographer. I take a lot of photos on my travels as well, but they look nothing like these. I love Eastern Europe and I hope to explore more of it. I write a blog about Life in Brussels. I’ll be stopping by often. 🙂

  2. wow…there are so many paintings in these photos I really don’t know what to say. One thing, I have not seen too many photos of Russia before. I really like the rural places just as well or vice versa as the city photos. You should be getting some money from some magazine or something as a photographer, you are VERY good. The good part I think must be ‘a natural eye for things that touch people’. something like that. It’s the same with artists. Few have the ability to ‘grab’ that feeling and present it for people to absorb. Very nice, Same thing applies to the photos from last week, I looked at those to. I felt like I was traveling from my chair here.

  3. Thank you for sharing your Baltic adventures! I have always wanted to go to Riga…several of my friends have traveled in an around Lithuania and fell in love with it. Your photographs are so colorful and lovely- thanks for taking me temporarily out of the United States 🙂

  4. I have recently stumbled across your blog and am absolutely enthralled with your photos & accounts of your travels. For the longest time, I have desperately wanted to visit the Eastern Block – Russia in particular holds such appeal for me. I’m not sure how it is possible for me to be in love with a country I have never visited! Please do keep sharing – your blog is absolutely beautiful!

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