Uh, we’re not in Kansas anymore
Trip Start Mar 28, 2010
140Trip End May 31, 2011
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No town can truly be appreciated or examined with a couple of 15kg+ bags on one’s back so our first task, as per usual, was to find our accommodation. On the map, our stop wasn’t far from the train station, perhaps only about a kilometre or two. Once we were out of the main town centre however, things were looking less ‘usual’
We spent our first full day in Cesis doing what we do best – roaming and exploring. The town was easy to navigate and not very big (pop. 16,900), making walking its streets and parks easy. It seemed everywhere we turned there was another interesting building, setting or church, all captivating in their own right. One of the town’s crown jewels is the remains of Cesis Castle, a thirteenth century bastion which turned out to be the most well-preserved castle we’ve encountered yet. We approached the castle via the city’s main park, a beautiful medieval green space complete with a small lake and amphitheatre in the shadow of the castle that no doubt added to the atmosphere. Even after close to an hour on the grounds we had a hard time pulling ourselves away however, there were more wooden buildings calling our names
We had hoped to spend our second full day in Cesis exploring the vast surrounding countryside by mountain bike (if Shane’s back would allow it) however we woke to heavy rains that proved very persistent and kept us indoors for the majority of the day. Luckily, our hotel was very comfortable and equipped with a restaurant/cafe! As we have learned over the course of this trip, things very often happen for a reason so we took the torrential rains as a cue to get our flights to China sorted out – again. After another solid few hours online we managed to secure new flights, this time taking us from Helsinki to Beijing via Istanbul (one night lay-over) and Abu Dhabi. Though it would have been nice flying through Russia and at least getting to set foot on Russian soil, we can take a hint that perhaps we really aren’t supposed to be there this trip. All’s well though – we’re more than happy to see Istanbul again. Lyndsey fully plans on keeping Shane away from the Blue Mosque and its stairs this time.
From Cesis we say goodbye to Latvia and make our way to Estonia. From what we’ve seen so far, the Baltic countries, though often grouped together as brothers in many ways, are each extremely different in many others. We’re excited to see what Estonia has to offer.