The currency of Latvia is called the Lat. By this logic the currency of Australia should be the Oz, the currency of Britain the Brit. It is interesting to have all these wacky currencies in the world, for example Yen and Danish Kroner have holes in the middle thus make sexy necklaces, but sometimes I think it would be easier if the world just had one currency. The Worldo.
Why go to Latvia? This was what everyone at work said when I asked for yet more time off. But why not? Jane and Rory once bought a bottle of Merlot from Uruguay that was called ‘Why Try Uruguay?’. Well, because it’s there, I guess. That is why we are trying the Baltic states, that little clutch of countries nestled between Poland, Belarus and Russia. Oh, also to see them before the Easyjet flights begin and they are overrun by drunken Brits on stag nights.
So we flew out from Edinburgh last Tuesday, connected in Prague and picked up dozens of people who were not acquainted with deodorants. The guy beside me was so tired he kept slumping over his dinner tray, unfortunate for me coz his folded arms allowed the stink waves to escape.
We arrived in Riga and it was as mishmash of beautifully crumbly and shiny new buildings. After a wee wander and night in a mosquito infested hostel, we caught a bus to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
We have had a brilliant six days here, thanks mostly to the lovely Kristi, a rockin’ Estonian chick I met on this here internet. She has shown us around the countryside and been so helpful and generous. It is such a contrast to the relentless pace of our Contiki tour of Russia, this time I feel like I am getting to know the place a wee bit better and feel much more relaxed.
I have been pretty rotten with flu, however. My stupid body decides to get crook as soon as I finally stop working all the bloody time. It was fun in the Estonian Chemist trying to buy cough medicine. The bottle offered Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian translations. Arrgh! I ended up choosing ‘Broncho’. It will either help my chesty cough or make me whinny and jump fences. Either outcome sounds equally exciting.