Bolting To The Baltics

My attention has recently been focussed on getting our leak fixed, so much so that I haven’t found myself in the right frame of mind to think about a summer holiday. Sarah, on the other hand, has been nagging me to get my head around the idea.

With most of the work to repair the damage caused by the leak now completed, I feel comfortable about the prospect of leaving the house behind for a few weeks and losing myself in the escapism of unfamiliar surroundings.

And so it is that we resurrect last year’s idea of a trip to the Baltic states. The idea was put on ice last year when my biological father suddenly surfaced and a trip to Ireland became the obvious thing to do last summer.

Usually, if a destination isn’t visited within a few months of conceiving the plan to do so, it falls by the wayside and is replaced by some new idea. This time, though, that hasn’t happened; perhaps because we haven’t been discussing holidays recently at all.

The original idea was to take the ferry from Germany to Denmark and drive from there to Stockholm, where we’d board another ferry to Helsinki. However, that’s a lot of driving, just to get to what is actually merely the start location.

Instead, we’re going to board the ferry in Germany and sail to Lithuania. From there, we’ll drive up through Latvia and Estonia, where we’ll make a round-trip ferry crossing to Helsinki. Once back in Estonia, we’ll drive back south through Latvia and Lithuania, then through northern Poland and Germany, back to Amsterdam.

Altogether, the trip will total somewhere between 5000 and 6000 km across six countries, four of which I’ve never been to before. An equal number wll be new for Sarah, too, although she’s been to Poland and I’ve been to Finland a couple of times.

If possible, we’re also going to try to get into the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, but it remains to be seen whether we can wangle the necessary visas in Lithuania. There’s also the issue of car insurance, as we’re not covered in Russia.

We leave a week today, overnighting in Germany the first day in order to catch a ferry the next day that would otherwise require a nocturnal departure from Amsterdam.

We don’t have much booked apart from the night in Germany, the first ferry crossing and a hotel in Rīga, the Latvian capital. As is both our wont and ideal modus operandi, we’ll be making it up as we go along.

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