Just thought I'd say g'day while i had access to a computer.
Arrived in Riga (capital of Latvia) around 2 this arvo. Got off the train and within 2 minutes i was already making friends with some local skaters out the front of the station. Had a bit of a yarn and bummed a durrie (classic wilbur) and within 5 more minutes was offered a place to stay and a crew to chill with. Not sure how i do it, but i'm glad i do.
So now i'm just hanging out in my own room with a laptop and a comfy bed. I've had a shower and washing some clothes... bloody cheering! There is a storm setting in now too, pretty happy not to be on the street.
Anyways...the past week hasn't been quite so luxurious, but none the less, bucket loads of fun. From Helsinki, Jessie (sister) and i jumped on a cruise ship and cruised across the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn, Estonia.
I've been learning lots of interesting stuff everywhere i go. In Estonia i learnt that the country (plus Latvia and Lithuania) was under Soviet Russian occupation from around 1944 until as late as 1991. It's crazy to see the impact that the Soviet oppression still has on these newly re-independent countries. When the Soviets left in 1991 the locals found these secret hidden KGB rooms that were used for spying and surveillance, and they have been pretty much left intact the way they were found. So yeah we went on a tour of this place and learnt some pretty crazy shit about the KGB.
After learning some recent history Jess took me to the 'Old Town of Tallinn'. This place is fricken sweeeet. It's an old medieval town with buildings as old as the 1300s. I won't try explain it any more, just look at the photos...
Jess cruised back to Finland later that day which marked the start of my solo mission. Spent the next few days running around the Old Town and the greater area of Tallinn, taxing smokes, making friends and getting out of trouble.
Some fun shit includes:
- Jumping the fence into Õllesummer (beer summer) festival with some other backpackers.
- Hiking in the forest in Aegviidu ( 1 hour from Tallin)
- Finding places to swag out in Old Town.
- Laughing at the thing that locals call a beach.
- Buying cheap beer.
- Thinking about buying cheap tobacco then deciding that bludging 'em is half the habit...
After 4 days i decided it was time to venture on. I packed my gear, caught a bus to the edge of town, drew up a sign to Parnu and dived into the cosmos, ready to be taken away by the flow of the universe. (fuck it's fun being a tripper!!!)
And sure enough, 30 minutes later i get my first lift... on a hippy bus, full of hippies, on the way to a festival (thank you Jesus).
Got another interesting history lesson on the bus. Turns out while the hippy movement was going on, with long-haired, dope-smoking, flower-loving chillers peacefully rebelling against the capitalist system in the west, there was a similar movement in Russia protesting the soviet totalitarian system. I was on board with some of the original gangstas. They called themselves the Soviet Hippies and they were bloody awesome value. They were on a mission to a small town festival to be awesome and spread some love and good vibes. fuckin' ay, not bad for the first lift of the journey. They are making a film about their cause, you can find out more at soviethippies.com if ya interested.
ANYWHO... went to this festival with this crew and had heaps of fun. It was just a one day/night thing. Was family friendly and lots of kids running around. Every one was happy and friendly, no one was getting too smashed (yeah i know, "that's not a festival" says typical Aussie party goer). It was just a nice, Estonian music festival out in the bush with mostly local bands playing. Good shit.
The next day i got dropped off on the highway towards Riga and the Hippies went north back to Tallinn. Took most of the day hitching to get just outside Riga where i camped on the coast for the night (took a long time hitching because there are lots of Mercedes' and BMWs over here; Mercedes and BMWs = no lift).
Jumped the city train into Riga the next morning and met some mad skaters out the front of central station. Now i'm kicking it in comfort watching a storm pass over outside, out of the double pane window...nice.
Well i think i've been gas baggin' long enough. Hope you all are well.
Get a dog up ya!