The area of the world that allowed me to fire an AK-47, and hence, become a man
30.05.2006 14 °C
Me and my trusty sidekick Long Strides Hengel are now nearing the end of our journey through the Baltics. So to close this chapter of our trip, a few highlights from Helsinki to Vilnius, followed by some photos:
1. Arriving in Helsinki to the quiet sounds of people going about their business and choosing not to make inappropriate amounts of noise. I walked around Helsinki with my arms stretched out to my side the first few days - a luxury after a month in China.
2. Watching Finish monster band 'Lordi' win Eurovision while in Tallinn, Estonia. 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' echoed throughout old town Tallinn after this history making night.
3. Tallinn itself was a highlight. The old town surrounded by walls was pretty special. I can be seen in Tallinn's main square below.
4. I fired a gun! Yeaaahhhhhh! It wasn't just any gun either. Me, Hengel and our English travelling buddy, Pete, all fired three bullets out of an AK-47 in an old soviet bunker in Riga. The noise the thing made was unbelievable. We weren't supposed to take photos but I did get one in. See below.
5. Orange Bar, Riga, Estonia. I was given this tip by brother Ed, and it turned out to be a real winner. Me, Long Strides and Pete ended up here every night because it was just better than everywhere else. We even had a lock-in one night. The photo below is mainly for Ed.
6. Riga. I put Tallinn in here so I better put in Riga. Great place. Best city of the Baltics. Below: Riga from above.
7. Bobsled track. Not anywhere near as great as it could have been. In winter you can go down this track in a bobsled with the Latvian bobsled team. In May you have to walk down it in the rain throwing water bottles down the track. Still fun.
8. Hill of Crosses, Lithuania. An unbelievable number of crosses layed out over two Hills to commemorate Lithuanians killed or deported to Siberia over the last century. These Baltic states have been screwed over the past one hundred years.
And another one from the hill of crosses. Culture points must be maxed out by now...
9. Vilnius. Maybe not as good as the other two cities but still has its own charm. Haven't found great nightlife here yet but there is always tonight.
And some more photos......
Every Finn needs a pair of these
Dreaming of the Greek Isles
Biking in Helsinki is the way to go. Free bikes that you can drop off and pick up wherever you go. Shame that they're a little fruity.
Our Baltic travelling partner, Geordie Pete, sharing a beer with Long Strides in a German beer hall, Estonian Style. Beers served by wenches taste better.
Me in Riga.
We visited the former KGB prison yesterday. Pretty scary stuff. The soviets were a bunch of #$@&%!!!!
Celebrating the annual day of the Kankle in Vilnius
There is a small area of Vilnius which has declared itself a seperate republic to Lithuania and has it's own constitution. My favourite is 'everyone has the right to look after the dog until one of them dies'.
In Ye Olde times, all prisoners were this excited at getting the chance to have cabbages thown at them.
A nice castle we visited today. Extremely Ye Olde.
In Ye Olde times, all photo galleries would finish with a photo of a chump.
Sorry it's long. Thought I'd do the lot in one go. Love to all. We shall be in touch again during the next and most exciting part of our journey. Thanks to the guys who sent photos of the Greece game too. Looked bloody great. Shame to miss it. We will endevour to repeat the performance when we see the 25er in action in a few days time.