This is part of the fifth section of our around
the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Estonia
16/6/99 Out of one small Baltic country and into the next, Latvia, with polite customs but motorcycle insurance required, $US 7.00 for one day transit, or $US 23.00 for a week. We opted to take the risk with one day insurance. Straight to the capital Riga for a Belarus transit visa at $US 44.00 processed next day. This will only allow us forty eight hours in the country. A shame for a country requiring hard currency that they won't let us stay longer easily.
17/6/99 A visit to the small occupation museum sums up the plight of the baltic countries turmoil of the 20th century. To have gained independence early in the century only to be taken over by communist Soviets with all land and businesses nationalized and farms collectivized and finding the German WW11 forces liberators from communistic oppression, only to have their country destroyed by the Red Army bombing to drive out the Germans with conscript Red Army Latvians fighting the "volunteer" Nazi Army Latvians. Stalin after the war again took control sending hundreds of thousands to immediate death by execution and torture while the others spent a slower death in Gulag Camps in Siberia while the western nations sick of fighting turned a blind eye to the Baltic peoples problems. Not till the early 1990's did the people have the right to self determination.
18/6/99 Gauja Valley, Latvia's main tourist
attraction outside Riga, an undulation in an otherwise flat country
where the Knights of the Sword built castles overlooking the river
valley to protect their lands.
The new Latvia seizing on history within its boundaries has and is
these castles and other historic buildings in Riga. The T-shirt riding
of the last week continuing along with the uncluttered roads.
Move with us to Lithuania
or go to our next visit to Latvia
Story and photos copyright ©
Peter and Kay Forwood,