Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Riga to Tallinn

The scent of snow on a Latvian beach

There were signs in the air for the past two days, but today it actually started snowing in Riga. I had gone back to the Upe music store, with advice to try some CDs of Latvia's favourite living composer, Imants Kalniņš, and upon exit snow flurries were beginning in earnest.

Riga may be at approximately the same latitude as Moscow, but I don't think anyone was expecting snow at sea-level in May. As I drove up the coast, the flurries escalated and the wipers were on full to dispel the snowflakes. I was listening to the Goran Gora 'Jetlag' CD I'd bought in Riga and was very pleased with it - it's a real young man's album, and he's in love with being in love and testing out all the music inside him. Good production values and a variety of non-angsty music.

About 50km along, we passed close to a beach and I thought it would be cool to get a photo of Bondi there in these conditions, as he loves snow and sand in almost equal measure. Unfortunately, the snow turned to rain just as we stopped the car.

Today's journey to Tallinn is only 3 hours, and we'll be able to sit here for 4 days. We're into our third month of this road-trip, and Estonia is Bondi's 25th country.

Tallinn has been in the news for the last week, owing to demonstrations and rioting over the removal of a Soviet war memorial. It had quietened down by the time arrived, the visible legacy being lots of smashed windows in the old town, and a round-the-clock police presence. There are some fears of a resurgence on May 9 (when Russian veterans celebrate the end of WWII) but at least Bondi and I will have moved on to Finland by then.

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