The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Circumnavigation of the Baltic 5

And on into Lithuania

The road towards our next destination at Broceni, was single lane traffic, but I was able to set the tempomat to 90, there was nothing on the road, we passed through arable farmland with the odd cow or two, warning signs of deer and I only saw 1 red deer the whole trip. At times the we travelled through forested areas, but this was a serene and pretty part of Latvia. We had picked this site for no other reason than it would leave us just a short run into our next planned sightseeing destination of Riga. I can only say I am overjoyed with having picked it. We left the road at the sign for the campsite, it is a turning off right next to supermarket and filling station. The road passes through the small town (village) of Brocini and after a while it turns into an unpaved road, you may think that this is leading you nowhere, but soon you come to a branch in the road with the sign for the camping site just a little way along you will find it, in all it is about 5km from the main road.

The reception is in a private what I can only describe as a palatial villa, adjacent are traditional red painted Latvian chalets.

The owner is called Christina, she speaks impeccable English (she had been married to an Englishman), her daughter showed us to our pitch, she actually said take your pick as we were the only ones on the site, it is on a meadow right on the lake, it has a sauna, volley ball court, a swimming beach and rowing boats for fishing. This was paradise.

She warned us that this evening it may be a little loud as there was a party coming, it was a group of International Military Archaeologist’s including 4 British ones, they are doing a dig on a WW2 battle site.

We got the camper set up, level and after a few trials the TV Satdish in the correct direction, it was a beautiful afternoon, sunny and a nice cooling breeze. I had a walk around, visited the toilets and shower (only one of each) and the owner insisted on showing me the Sauna, wonderful, it was all stoked up (woodburner) and ready to use.

We BBQ’d that evening  on skewered meats, Nuremburger sausages,  corn on the cob, a salad and Bratkartoffel with speck and onions. We opened one of our last bottles of ALDI pink and really enjoyed this wonderful site.

We slept soundly, the soldiers didn’t keep us awake but they must have enjoyed themselves as the Sauna had been used and the wooden tables full with empty booze bottles. Next morning Linda went first to the shower, saying it is very misty, I got up and went out, you couldn’t see across the lake, but as the sun rose in the sky, you could see the mist dissipating with every passing second. Soon it was gone and it was another wonderful day, not a cloud in the sky.

Adjacent to the meadow the owners have a small orchard and a garden with everything that you would ever require in the way of vegetables, broad beans, peas, leeks, onions, cabbages, potatoes, cannabis (yes that’s right).

This is an idyllic spot, hidden well from the beaten track, it is one that is well worth a second visit, the hosts are wonderful (they even insisted that we used their industrial dish washer). The total cost 18€.

The Road to Riga

Our next port (and it is truly one of the old Hansiatic Ports, so may be HR) was Riga, this is another Baltic City that has suffered much in the last 100 years, thank goodness things are now taking a turn for the better and with the influx of EU funds there is a lot of rebuilding without demolishing all of its past (both good and bad). The road was very well maintained and we arrived at the outskirts of Riga without any detours, deviations or missed turnings, everything was going hunky dory, we passed through a part of town that defiantly was in need of a bit of loving care, we followed our lady in the van (not Linda) and hung a left down a lane and STOP, the bridge she was trying to take us across, now I am game for most things, but up a footbridge, that had passed its sell by date by 50years and had more holes than a Swiss cheese is even beyond me.

We returned from whence we came and turned left, thinking that this would be it, nope a dead end, across the river we could see the campsite, most annoying to say the least. But around the bend came the cavalry in the form of a young couple and small child,, we asked them how to get to the RV site, out came the chaps smart phone and  he showed me how to manoeuvre with a few loops and side roads to get to the RV campsite. After a few wrong and missed turnings we arrived at the RV site, this is situated on an exhibition site and was quite pleasant beside the river that we had failed to cross.

We got our pitch, the camper levelled and connected, Sat-dish lined up and off we went into town, we asked at reception about the busses into town, but on reaching the bus stop saw that it was quicker to walk, the old town, where we were heading was just across the bridge (still showing signs of a previous owner ).

Linda had been in touch with our friend Martin who was (or had been) a frequent visitor to Riga, he had given her a list of must to see places, but we first wanted to visit Riga’s much vaunted market halls, we walked along the wonderful riverside promenade until we reached them , or at least got opposite them, but do you thing that the city planners of Riga are more astute than any other, no the same silly buggers do the planning in all town halls throughout the world, we had to go about 1km back until we found and underpass to allow us to get to the otherside of the road.

We at last got to these 5 interlinked hanger sized buildings, the first we entered was the meat market, absolutely amazing, passing across an adjoining open square full with vegetables, fruit and flowers, we then came into another hall full with dairy products, butter, cheeses , vats of yoghurts, curds nothing was missing and a lot more than I didn’t recognise. The nest hall was full of nick-knack and bric-a-brac, the next hall was unfortunately closed for renovation and this was the one we really wanted as it was the food eatery hall. We next went to the wonderful fish market hall, you name it they had it, I am a fisherman (angler) and have been all of my life, I have fished all over the world, but there were fish her that I have never seen.

We both were feeling a bit peckish so decided to return to the Meat market where we had seen a food stall sell local food (market stall holder were coming and going), we queued, and the very helpful lady wearing a hat that reminded me of the ones the trolley dollies in the BEA used to wear, informed us what we had selected. It was all very tasty, I had selected a pork schnitzel in an egg crust, a mushroom stuffed chicken breast and a creamed mushroom sauce. Linda selected stuffed peppers with boiled potatoes and a tasty tomato sauce, I drank 0.5 Litre local beer, spot on and Linda  a water. The total cost €9.70, we are living life to the full aren’t we?

We then strolled through the old town visiting the sites that Martin had selected for us, we ended up near the Cathedral square and decided to have a piece of cake each, I had something called diplomatic cake (not too sweet) and Linda a slice of lemon cheese cake, we took it outside and  sat in the warm afternoon sun and watched the goings on of the fine folk of Riga and admired the fine renovation work that they had carried out.

We then visited a few more places that Martin had suggested.

We decided it was time to head back to the RV site and though weary we walked retracing our way until we reached the bridge that crosses the Daugava River and then to our campsite.

We had an early night as next day we were heading along the Baltic coast into Estonia and Pärnu which is a seaside town just across the border. See you there!

1 comment:

  1. What a great mix of food experience, camp fire feeling, politics, history and geography. Wish I could be a stowaway in your camper sometimes. Enjoy Estonia!