Saturday, 16 July 2016

Day 42: Tallin to Cēsis, Latvia. 310 km, 4 hours.

We set off early to avoid traffic as we left Tallinn.
Leaving was easy compared with our arrival in the rain yesterday.
For most of the day we ride through extensive cropping...
Wheat, barley, oats, rapeseed, broad beans, maybe mustard, hay and some potatoes.
The fields are unfenced.
Very little livestock.
Folk have large vegetable gardens. I can see potatoes, beans, peas, broad beans, calendula, herbs.
Lots of people out walking along the roadside.

Many houses look deserted.
We cross the border to Latvia in a blink.
Part of our plan is to a aid large cities.
This means we get to ride rural routes and smaller towns.
Tonight Dick has booked a room at the hotel Cesis.
It is located near a medieval castle.
We go and explore the castle Cesis equipped with a candle lantern each so that we can navigate the narrow, steep spiral dark tower steps.

The castle was built by the German crusaders - the brothers of the Teutonic  Livonian order in 1209. Prior to this Cēsis was populated by the Wends.
Ivan the Terrible from Russia attacked the castle in 1577 and all the castle inhabitants died when they chose to ignite the armoury to prevent Ivan IV taking control. The castle was destroyed. The ruins and the land became part it the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and was later under Swedish control. It was again destroyed in 1703 by the Russians. In 1777 the castle was bought by Count Carl Sievers, a Baltic German, and he built a new residence on the site. That is the 18th century new castle. The Sievers family a ages the estate for five generations until the Latvian agrarian reform in 1920.

From the old at our hotel...
To the new... Repurposed building as we leave Tallinn.
Canola aka rapeseed oil fields in flower.


Strawberry road side stall.
I loved Veera. She was more than happy for me to snap her to show her tee shirt message.

We saw people out walking. Sometimes it seemed that they were far from a house. Some times walking  to a bus stop.

Lots of houses have this deserted look. I am guessing folk have moved to town as farm holdings have grown larger. Some of the crop fields are very large - more than one-man operations.

We sighted very few cattle.



Look at the prices...
Dinner for us included two mains, a soup, a wine and a beer. Less that $NZ30.

Beautifully presented. Tasty. 
Pumpkin soup with smoked fish and pumpkin seed oil with a cheese crisp.
  Rabbit fillets

Pork belly with barley, juniper, onion jam, and. Parsnip and capsicum. 

 If you have lost a few vowels they might be in Latvia.

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