Baltic Experience 13-27 July, 2012
So which city did we like best? Opinions in our group varied – some supporting beautiful Tallinn with its delightful atmosphere and medieval feel, some going for Vilnius with its wonderful churches and quirky humour (trees with knitted jackets!) and others, myself included, picking Riga as top scorer.
But the choice was truly difficult. We had lovely walks in the surrounding countryside from every location and each city offered art, an exciting glimpse of a young democracy rooted in a rich – if troubled – past, and a welcome that was consistently warm.
For me, though, Riga was the great surprise – I approached this ‘party’ city with some doubts but loved its fantastic art deco architecture, beautiful parks, and super walks. One of the dinners our leader arranged was in a cellar where they conjured up a ‘Middle Ages’ ambience and a very jolly evening was had by all.
In contrast I cherish the memory of listening to an organ recital where the audience in the nave of a beautiful church was completely still and silent, immersed in a magnificent performance which showed us just what the superb instrument could produce. And this was in a city with a reputation for rowdy stag parties!
The time went by so quickly and, as we discussed our own favourites on the way home, there came a series of memories and impressions as varied as the cultures we had learned about and locations we had enjoyed.
Of course we shall bore our friends and families with photos of the lovely Baltic Cities where we had a truly memorable holiday, but frankly I don’t care – it was terrific.