News from the East

I received an update from Laura this morning – everything seems to be going pretty well.  Hopefully that will still be the case when I fly out to join them in Estonia tomorrow… Anyhow, without any further ado:

“The jag is running well and has purred all the way to the Baltic. Only a few niggling problems so far with the car. Firstly the heater is not putting out a lot of heat and we spent the drive into Berlin with ice on the inside of the car in gloves and hats. Fortunately this has been rectified with some well placed gaffa tape over the front grill and we’re toasty and warm despite the plummeting temperatures outside.  The screen wash has been frozen since Plymouth and refilling it with a more concentrated mixtures hasn’t been able to change that as the pipes must be frozen. Periodic cleans of the windscreen with the ice scraper have sufficed. The temperature sensor disconcertingly is always reading zero (unless a particularly big traffic jam).
The motorways ran out about 100 miles before Warsaw… apparently the Poles do not think their capital worthy of a trunk road going all the way to it. The single lane, lorry laden road full of traffic lights made for a painfully slow drive into Warsaw. This was topped only by the fact that they are digging up most of the city centre to build a new metro line… the diversions fooled both Tom and TomTom navigation for a while.
Since very much leaving western Europe for the decidedly more Soviet feeling baltic, along with motorways, road sweeping and gritting have disappeared. Fortunately the roads are dead straight and flat as otherwise we’d be having an interesting time on the snow packed highways. I’m pretty relieved that deer jumping out infront of me has not been as common as it is back home in dartmoor.
We are now in Vilnius, Lithuania. This beautiful baroque old town is currently a winter wonderland that could be straight out of a disney fairytale. Outside of the city walls, feels decidedly more Soviet in origin and anything but fairytale. Even the snow looks more grey.
After a little sightseeing we will drive onto Riga today. Not much to see in between other than forests and snow. After the art nuveou capital of Latvia its a short day along the Baltic coast to the medieval city of Tallinn in Estonia, and the frozen Baltic Sea. 🙂 ”


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