Europe Road Trip 2017

Euro Road Trip Diary – Day 36

Saturday 8th July

An ongoing problem we’re having in the Baltic states is not finding any fresh fruit for sale. The shops seem to sell so much alcohol, they simply don’t have room for fruit or vegetables! It’s a bit of a culture shock after the strict government monopoly over alcohol sales in Scandinavia. We usually have fruit with our morning porridge, but today all we could find was a can of chopped pineapple.

“Why not” I thought, piling up the pineapple chunks next to our porridge and raisins. It was a mismatched yet fortifying breakfast.

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We spent the day hiking in Guajas national park, a region of Latvia dotted with castles and manor houses. It’s also home to a thousand wolves, as Morgan excitedly informed me. There were some pretty steep ascents along are hiking trail and at Lex’s old man dog pace it took us a while to make it to the top. So long in fact, that this lycra-clad man actually lapped us. Because he’d come to the national park to run up and down a really steep hill all day.

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The guy in red ran past us many times throughout the day. The poor dude in blue hopes to, one day, be as awesome as Red Guy.

 

But still, when we got to the highest point we found a pretty sweet view, which we surveyed from the “emperors chair.”

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We also came across a so-called “castle” inside the national park.

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“This is the castle” announced Morgan, as we walked up to what looked like a wild west saloon.

“Erm…” I replied, confused. “I think people live here…. I can see their laundry hanging up!”

“It’s definitely a castle,” said Morgan seriously. “Google said so.”

“We circled round the back of the “castle”, to find a pile of children’s bikes.

“I think we may be trespassing” I whispered, as we passed through what seemed to be a back garden, cooking smells wafting out of an open back door. “In fact, I’m pretty sure we’re just circling someone’s house…”

“Google put a castle icon on this exact building, therefore it’s a castle,” Morgan continued, resolutely.

Maybe this is how Google punish you if you piss them off, by putting a tourist attraction logo on your property.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the wonderful nature on offer in the national park, including:

An adorable mouse

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A slithery grass snake:

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And this unusually creepy tree face (possibly one of the old gods)

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Finally, we visited the Gutmanis cave, the largest cave in the Baltics which started forming 10,000 years ago. Visitors have been carving their marks into the sandstone walls for hundreds of years, including plenty of mainly barons and landowners in the 18th century.

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A natural spring surfaces inside the cave, and Lex took the opportunity to cool his hot paws in the freezing water.

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Also, we noticed that for some reason, he looks kind of like a ghost in this photo, or perhaps.. a Patronus…?

EXPECTO PATRONUM!

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Ahem. Too much Harry Potter I fear.

We spent the evening doing one of our favourite activities; accidentally knocking everything we own into Lex’s water bowl. Space is pretty tight when you live in a car, and despite carefully choosing the most secure place to keep Lex’s water bowl so that he can’t knock it over himself, we still manage to regularly throw our pillows, cutlery and water bottles into his dish, as well as occasionally standing in it while clambering through the car. Tonight we topped this list by knocking an entire role of toilet paper in there, totally ruining it.

We spent the evening doing one of our favourite activities; accidentally knocking everything we own into Lex’s water bowl. Space is pretty tight when you live in a car, and despite carefully choosing the most secure place to keep Lex’s water bowl so that he can’t knock it over himself, we still manage to regularly throw our pillows, cutlery and water bottles into his dish, as well as occasionally standing in it while clambering through the car. Tonight we topped this list by knocking an entire roll of toilet paper in there, totally ruining it.

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