6th July, 2015
Today was my parent's anniversary, so I thought I would allow my dad to write the blog post. He did also kindly request to do so, which was lovely (relieving me of my duties for a day), so here is his post:
Yesterday’s adventurous and somewhat treacherous driving experience – the Latvians are crazy drivers! – was mostly forgotten as we ventured out in the car again to Latvia’s most famous beach region – Jurmala. Once again, Harri navigated us there with iPhone screenshots he had prepared back in the apartment using wifi.
In another episode of surprise while driving, nothing could have prepared us for the tollbooths we think we passed by mistake. We saw a sign ahead of us in Latvian indicating upcoming tollbooths at a cost of 2 euros per car. We were in the far left lane, which was taking us to Jurmala, and the middle and far right lanes had to turn right. We assumed we would all have to stop and pay the toll. But too late! We saw drivers stopping at these booths as we sped by in the fast lane heading to the beaches.
Jurmala reminded me a bit of Noosa in Australia. Expensive homes, well-dressed tourists wandering in and out of shops, and lots of old trees.
But the beach was different. To begin with, the water was shallow and cold. And cafes and bars were scattered up and down the long beaches. Best of all, we spotted a car, driven by an older man who looked like a tourist, driving along the beach scattering sunbathers, walkers and joggers!
Towards the afternoon it rained. So we ducked into one of the beach cafes for a late lunch of pizza, chicken nuggets and ribs (we were starving).
On the drive back to the apartment, we ended up taking a wrong turn in the heart of the city into a lane where a policeman waved us to the side. I told him we were lost. “I know,” he replied. (He must have noticed our Finnish registration plates.) He said the Parliament was in session and that we weren’t meant to be there. We had ended up outside Parliament House! It looked as though he was about to order us out of the car, so I interrupted and said we would be on our way by taking the next left and the next right. He seemed reluctant to let us go, but I insisted it would be better for everyone. I didn’t wait for him to finish his sentence. He stepped back as I pulled away from the curb.
Later that afternoon we headed off on foot into the rain towards the city. After an hour or two our shoes were soggy. We bought some groceries for dinner and arrived back in our apartment wet and exhausted, but we were glad we did it. We had made the most of the day, in spite of the rain.
I'll now hand this blog post back to Laura.
Thanks, Dad. Well, after our lovely trip to Jurmala we all felt ready to fall asleep, and so for the first time in a few days I fell asleep straight away when I rested my head on the pillow :)
Now you are uptodate,