We're currently in Palanga on Lithuania's
Baltic coast. It's a tourist resort kinda town and quite nice.
After three sweltering days in Riga with temperatures above 35
degrees, we were in need of a beach. The water in the Gulf of Riga is
very shallow, as we found in Parnu, and the water temperature was
around 25 degrees, so we decided to hit the Baltic coast in search of
cooler water, and maybe even waves.
So we headed to Jurkalne on Latvia's Baltic coast. Of course the
weather changed on our way and it was quite chilly by the time we
arrived. The place was tiny, with our little campsite serviced only
by pit toilets adn ample firewood. The location was beautiful, just
back from the beach behind steep dunes. The water was indeed cold,
and pretty decent waves, but it was too cold to swim.
At the campsite we met a group of three scouts who were spending
three weeks travelling around the Baltics by foot or hitch hiking.
Couldn't imagine that being sanctioned behaviour for scouts in
Australia! Anyway, we cooked up a big campfire feast of sausages,
baked potatoes and salad and chatted into the night with the scouts.
Lots of fun.
Heading down the coast we arrived quite late in Liepaja, a large
seaside resort town and port. The tourist information office was
closed for the day, so we had to wing it somewhat. We waylaid some
French tourists who let us look at their guidebook, more detailed than
our's, until we found the cheapest accomodation in town, the 38th
Liepaja Technical School's Hostel. Interesting place to stay, to say
the least. I can confirm that Latvian students certainly don't stay
in the lap of luxury, though the town's beach is stunning.
We crossed the border the following morning into Lithuania and
where we're currently based, Palanga. We're staying in a pretty ratty
campsite 3km outside town, but it's a lot cheaper than all the other
places. Nice town too, with lots of seaside activities. In the high
winds yesterday we watched some very skillful kite surfers bouncing
around the waves.
Tomorrow we're heading futher South, to Klaipeda, at the
mouth of the Curonian Lagoon. This lagoon is created by a 52 km spit
of land stretching out from Russia's Kaliningrad enclave into
Lithuanian territory. It's supposed to be amazing. The following day
we're off to Nida further
down the spit towards Kaliningrad. We'll be meeting up with Hannah
and Des down there and spend a couple of days before heading towards
Vilnius. Better yet, Hannah and Des have a car!
So far Lithuania's accomodation has been a lot pricier than Latvia
and Lithuania. Cheapest in Nida seems to be €40 a night!
Fortunately there's a modern campground a couple of kilometres out.
Lucky we've got our tent!
Quite enjoying the Eastern European experience. Lots of new things
to eat. I've been particularly enjoying kvass which is a
refreshing soft drink made from fermented black bread.