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TDB2015 – Day1: Tallin to Riga

finally: our trans-european TDB2015-tour starts today! after getting back to villa poska around midnight we both sleep very well. helped by a sunrise around 0400 we get up around 0630 and are treated to home-cooked porridge.

our goal for today is to reach riga.

tallin looks grand, bathed in golden sunlight – morning traffic is heavy and it takes us about half an hour to cross the city centre.

leaving tallin behind us, an important task is at hand: our traditional team picture for the tour, our ninth adventure together!

our usual picture

our usual picture (we can haz selfie-stick!)

we venture out into the countryside on small roads, as usual. no hills, no elevations, just fields after fields. nature here is about 40-60 days behind switzerland’s > we are greeted with fragrant and deep yellow rape fields.

wide expanses

wide expanses

driving in estonia is extremely relaxed. people wave, smile, take pictures and generally honk just to say hello.

what surprises us is the fact that we not only see charging stations but also a few electric cars – even out here in the middle of nowhere.

when travelling long-distance, jc and i usually drive until we’ve got 15-20 kms left in the battery before looking out for a place to charge.

just a minute after we decide that it’s time to charge, i see an official looking building and we drive closer just to discover that it’s the local fire and rescue base.

we ask if we could charge using their tri-phase connectors all over the base. the answer was very simple: no need. we have a brand new charging station you may use… and you are the first electric car to use it!

we settle down with the guys and start answering questions about TW560. about 5 minutes later, local police pulls up and has a good look at our TWIKE. since the guys around us stop chatting i decide to head over … might there be a problem?

as usual, no. TW560 is fully approved by the estonian police force!

fully approved by estonian POLITSEI

fully approved by estonian POLITSEI

full attention by local police

full attention by local police

our 65 minute charge is over in no time – chatting to the team and the police whilst drinking some coffee.

we get a small farewell present from the team: an estonian specialty to eat whilst on the road. mhh, you guys know us better than you think!

a present from the estonian rescue team

a present from the estonian rescue team

the super-friendly team that spent their time with us during the charge

the super-friendly team that spent their time with us during the charge

thanks again – we leave with a big smile and a fully charged TWIKE.

shortly after we enter a forest – which should be with us for the next 50 or so kms. we stay on very small roads which makes us feel even more remote – we see a car about every hour.

endless forest in estonia

endless forest in estonia

small houses and villages nestle within this forest and look fairytale-like.

small house, small vehicle

small house, small vehicle

see a drive-by at this very spot:

we settle into our very relaxing routine of chatting, driving and – quite possibly – slowly moving into a meditative meta-state, where we’re at a constant, cruise-controlled speed with the motor constantly humming around a specific frequency… a TWIKE owner’s bliss!

our single lane diet

our single lane diet

many kilometres through the forest

many kilometres through the forest

about an hour later, still driving through the same forest, we arrive the sea – always a special thing to do with your TWIKE!

the sea, always close

the sea, always close

not long after this encounter, we arrive in latvia – thanks to schengen, there is no real border feeling anymore – just a simple marker and a soviet-era concrete welcome sign.

welcome to latvia

welcome to latvia

TW560, welcome to latvia

TW560, welcome to latvia

in latvia, finally we get to fully appreciate the sea – driving along a pristine coastline, every 5 kms a small parking lots allow people to access the beach.

we obviously have to try them out πŸ™‚

a very nice parking spot for TW560

a very nice parking spot for TW560

no-one here! we stay for a moment, just to take in the warmth of the sun and listen to the waves.

the beach belongs to us

the beach belongs to us

our team photo hinted at us having a new implement for documenting our trip even better than before: even we, yes, have the ultimate tourist tool – a selfie stick! – we’re still exploring its uses in a TWIKE context – until we get the ultimate selfie tool: lily – check it out! it’s an I. WANT. THIS. RIGHT. NOW. gadget! just imagine what you could do with it when travelling!

anyway, until i have lily, you will get to see more of the below πŸ™‚

selfie stick fun

selfie stick fun

in latvia it was – once more – time to get some electrons into our batteries! a local woodwork place was friendly enough to let us use their plugs and infrastructure.

32A the creative way

32A the creative way

everything works just fine!

everything works just fine! πŸ™‚

with our batteries full within another 70 minutes, we head off to riga.

arriving in riga, we head to the place i booked during our last charge. situated in the old part of the town in an even older building, we get a mansarde suite on two levels, two separate rooms with en-suite bathrooms, a balcony and ample space under the roof. just magical!

my room in riga - balcony & massive skylights

my room in riga – balcony & massive skylights

shortly after checking-in, we venture out to the old town of riga. riga’s old town is stunningly beautiful – if you’re planning to go to the baltics – put riga on your plan, too!

riga old town

riga old town

riga old town 2

riga old town 2

riga old town 3

riga old town 3

after a very tasty meal, we head back to our place – i still have some writing to do πŸ™‚

looking forward to drive tomorrow.