Jūrmala and a long drive back home… 5. July 2016

 Coffee, raspberry yoghurt with flax seeds, sandwich with sausage and tomato

 Some raspberries. I ate half of them and left the rest for my bf.

 Half a quark pastry

 Potato pancakes with salted salmon and sour cream

 Coffee and Bounty chocolate

 Ekselence peanut butter ice cream. This was so good! I really liked how there were two different chocolate layers and some peanut butter inbetween those.

 Hamburger, fries, salad and milk @ Aleksandri Pubi

*

The weather was still crappy and the camping place still unbearably uncomfortable, so mom decided to cancel her plans to stay there for two weeks and go back home. I would have stayed for another two days with her, but now I was going back home with her as well.

It was a hassle to get our money refunded that we had paid in advance for the lodging, because apparently the owner’s computer had mysteriously stopped working the previous evening, so he couldn’t access his bank… and other excuses. But my mom is amazing at getting what she wants so eventually she got her refund. She wanted to outright cause a scandal over false advertising and crappy sleeping conditions, but I had the feeling that they wouldn’t have returned a penny if she had done that. Instead I suggested she lie that her son had fallen ill in the ice skating camp and she unexpectedly had to return to Estonia with him. They were more helpful and forthcoming with that explanation.

The odd lady, that had showed up the previous night, was pretty upset too and said she would go and look for a different place to sleep nearby. She however really tried to push her way to come with us to wherever we were going and mom had a hard time turning her down politely (she only spoke Russian and I can’t speak any). She also was a pushy religious person and I freaked out over how she drank water with two huge soup spoonfuls of soda crystals in the morning. I mean I’ve heard that some soda crystals in water can have health benefits, but only if you use a little. Two huge spoonfuls for a glass of water is way too much and apparently she did that every morning :/ She also wasn’t too happy that we refused to drink any.

Anyway, after we got away from the camp site, we stopped in a town called Jūrmala. We walked around for a bit in the centre, had lunch and took a quick peek at their beach. It’s supposedly a health resort town and even though there were so many people around, the town itself felt half-empty as there were so many empty and boarded up houses. Even brand new buildings seemed to be mostly empty and it felt a bit eerie. The architecture was super nice however and it was sad seeing all these amazing looking houses empty and rotting 😦

After that we drove back to Estonia. We made a stop in Pärnu and had dinner at a local pub, because my dad was there and then continued to Tallinn.

Kuldiga, Latvia – 04.07.2016

The second day wasn’t as rainy as the day before, so we decided to drive to a nearby town called Kuldiga. It was a lovely place with nice architecture and quiet atmosphere. We walked around there for a while and also visited the nearby Venta Rapid waterfall. It’s apparently the widest waterfall in Europe (around 250 meters), but it’s not very high (only about 2 meters). Still, waterfalls are so cool 😀

 Mom on a bridge

 Venta river with the waterfall in the distance

 It’s an odd tradition for couples to leave padlocks around bridges and on the bridge lighting for good luck. It’s not a custom in Estonia, so I don’t know the history behind it.

 Kissers

 A better look on the waterfall

 Mom posing :p

 The flowery house

 Mom made a new friend

 I want to live there

In the evening, when we returned to the campsite, it turned rainy and cold again, but we decided to get out our bikes anyway and go look at a nearby lake. It was nice, but wow am I out of shape xD When we returned, it was getting dark and I noticed the lights on in another cottage. It turned out that another lady had arrived while we were gone and she was greatly upset. The owner had shown her to the cottage and just left her there without even showing her where the toilet is. She found the place not according to the advertisement at all, so she got upset and spent a while crying, because she was all the sudden alone in the middle of the nowhere in a place that felt like a horror movie stage.

She was really glad that we were there, because it made her feel so much safer. To her biggest dismay the advertisement had lied to her too about the kitchen. She had brought ingredients along to cook dinner and have some tea, but well… there was no kitchen. We let her use our gas stove to cook some eggs and make some tea. Poor strange lady (and wow was she actually a strange one as it turned out the next morning). But I would have been terrified in a place like that too had I been there alone.

That pastry must have been terrible… 4. July 2016

 Coffee, sandwich with beef tongue, tomato and cucumber

 A boiled egg with salt

 Ice cream. It had two types of ice cream inside, plus raspberry jam. It was pretty tasty.

 Fish with creamy onion sauce, fried potatoes and salad

 Lemon quark

 Rassolnik soup and bacon pastry

 Half a quark pastry and some chamomile tea

 Cinzano Bianco with lemon

*

A local dog, named Eero, usually hung around the camping site. Mom gave him a piece of sausage, because he made these “I have not eaten for three weeks, please feed me” eyes that dogs usually use when they want something. Later she offered him one of the bacon pastries we were having and Eero was so disappointed to say the least xD Not sure why, but he decided to go and bury the pastry xD I made a crappy phone video of the ordeal and the shamed dog.

In Tukums, Latvia… 3. July 2016

 Banana-mango-pineapple-passion fruit yoghurt smoothie that tasted way too much like mango for me to like it.

 Some potato salad at my grandparent’s place

And some pancakes with strawberry jam

 More potato salad

 A “risotto” that I only ate a couple bites of. It tasted awful.

 Some cherries

 Yummy solyanka soup

 Chamomile tea and a sandwich with avocado and roast beef

 Mežpils unfiltered beer. Didn’t enjoy it very much.

*

I drove with my mom and my little brother to Tukums city in Latvia. My brother had an ice skating camp there and we decided to tag along with my mom, to camp out in a local camping place and see some sights while there. The camping place was… well let’s say there was a lot of false advertisement. The place was pretty dirty and almost none of the things, that we were promised, weren’t actually existing. For instance, there was supposed to be a kitchen area where one could cook breakfast, but that turned out to be a table with an electric kettle and three coffee mugs. Good thing I had brought along my tiny gas stove and some pots so we could cook if we wanted to. There was also no wifi, which was kind of important to us, because mobile data costs a lot abroad and we needed internet for GPS and for looking up things to do and places to go etc.

The camping huts themselves were pretty regular, but the mattresses were super old and felt as if they were made of straw… it felt like sleeping on very lumpy stone ground. My mom has back problems, so that wasn’t too good for her health really. Also we were promised that there would be clean bed sheets etc… but well there were none of those, so I ended up buying a pillow cover and a big blanket cover to sleep under. I wanted to buy a bed sheet actually, because I needs some new ones at home anyway, but turns out Latvians don’t really use the kinds of bed sheets we do in Estonia. Their bed sheets are made of terry cloth and have rubber bands sown in to the sides to pull them over the mattress. Our bed sheets are usually a sheet of linen or other comfly cloth.

The toilet was an outdoor one, which would have been okay, but boy was it filthy and old. It was perched on the side of hill and was kind of leaning backwards. The floorboards had rotted through, so the owners had covered them with a thin plywood plate. Every time I had to use the toilet, I truly hoped I wouldn’t fall through the floor :s I mean we knew the camping place would be pretty basic and nothing luxurious, and we were fine with that, but at least we expected it to be clean and livable, not falling apart and super uncomfortable for a good nights sleep.

The entire campsite had the eerie feeling of a horror movie setting really xD It didn’t help much that we were completely alone there with just the owners dog, Eero, to keep us company. It also didn’t help matters that it was almost constantly raining 😦 I had planned to stay there for 4 days and my mom had hoped to stay for two weeks, but it became clear quickly enough that none of that was going to happen. Mostly because my mom’s back wouldn’t have survived the bed and she really didn’t want to be all alone in a place like that. We however decided to stay for a couple of nights and see if the weather and things would improve, so it wouldn’t have been a completely wasted drive.

Some photo evidence of the place we stayed at:

The “reliably clean” looking bed sheets and the awful mattress.

The amazing outhouse

It was scary stepping on this

I mean, yikes!