Long Time, No Blog

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Northern Exposure, Day 17:  Lappeenranta, Finland.  Yes, we are alive and well.  Our deepest apologies are humbly proffered for leaving you all hanging after the Baltic History lesson, which seemed necessary before telling you about our visits to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.  All three were so fascinating that we have been consumed with exploring and enjoying all their amazing historic and cultural places and interacting with people we've been meeting.
A BOAT-SHAPED CHANDELIER IN A VILNIUS CHURCH?
At the end of each day, after making copious journal notes, reviewing and editing the day's photos, and planning the next day's activities, we can't seem to squeeze in time for blogging on this trip—unless we give up on sleep, of course.  Actually, we tried that, but it didn't work.
A MEMORIAL WITH ITS OWN HEARTBEAT
We have been on the go quite a bit, and that seems to be contributing significantly to our failure to blog.  In the first 17 days, we have visited Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, back to Latvia, Belarus, back to Latvia, Estonia, and are now in Finland.  All that has involved five flights, nine driving days, one train ride, a ferry crossing, and almost 100 miles on foot.  
A LITHUANIAN HILL WITH MORE THAN 300,000 CROSSES
Oh, and there's also the time we spend trying to learn a few basic words in the language of each country we visit—hello, goodbye, please, thank you, excuse me, yes and no.  We have found these languages much more difficult than the familiar French, Spanish and Italian.  The fact that there's sometimes a completely different alphabet just adds to the confusion.
WHAT YOU CAN FIND ALONG THE BALTIC STATES' ROADSIDES
Tomorrow we'll go to Russia for three days before returning to Finland on Saturday.  And things don't slow down after that, not until we return home on September 5.

After many failed attempts to finish a blog post and still get sleep, we've finally decided that this trip is meant to be post-blogged.  So we'll continue to take lots of photos and fill many pages with journal entries so we can write and post about these beautiful countries when the trip is finished.  Meanwhile, thanks for reading and for your patience.  We offer a few photos of some of the incredible places we've been seeing.
MINSK MONUMENT TO ITS SOVIET SAVIORS
ISLAND OF TEARS IN MINSK
NEW MADE OLD IN RIGA TOWN HALL SQUARE
THERE'S A REASON RIGA HAS SO MUCH ART NOUVEAU.
A TRIBUTE TO MOTHER RUSSIA THAT LATVIANS HAVE TRIED TO BOMB 
GROWING ALONG AN ESTONIAN ROADSIDE, A DEADLY WILDFLOWER
TALLINN HAS AN AVA LAVA FESTIVAL EVERY YEAR! 
NEW FRIENDS FROM ISRAEL WHO HAD QUITE A STORY TO TELL
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN OLD ZEPPELIN HANGAR?  RIGA KNOWS (and it wasn't a Soviet idea).
OH, WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM A FINNISH COLLEGE STUDENT!
A SELF-BOOTED VEHICLE?
The answers to these mysteries and so many more will be revealed in a few weeks when we return home and have time to tell the story adequately.  Thanks for reading!