I’d heard many things about the buses in Lithuania and Latvia, and most of them were unreal. Wifi on board? Free coffee? The thought of being able to chat online, twitter or watch stuff on my laptop while travelling – I dare not dream.
I made my way to the bus station and had just enough time to dispose of most of my last few Lithuanian coins on some snacks. I then did the confused tourist dance with the driver in sorting out my pack, and finally hopped on board.
What greeted me was something else. Firstly, this company is Lux Express. The seats have massive legroom and are well spaced and comfortable. In the middle you have a toilet, as well as a coffee nook – free coffee. Each seat has wifi and a powerpoint, a tv is playing … well mostly music videos, but still…and at the back of the bus if you paid a little more, there’s a *lounge*, with tables for groups. Simply surreal.
The ride through Lithuania is mostly farmland, the occaisonal small farmhouse, river or fields of flowers. It’s simple undulating countryside, nothing to get excited about, but scenic nonetheless.
I’m able to follow my progress on Google Latitude via the wifi, and do some reading about Latvia in preparation, and soon enough we’re crossing the ‘border’ (the bus slowed a little, and if I’d not been looking for it I’d have missed it) and we were into Latvia – a new country for me (#55!).
In Latvia the scenery changed, more forests, little hills and very, very green. Not really what I expected, but then I’m not entirely sure what I expected. Many forests are being logged, and some of the areas by the roads look a little miserable as a result, but in general it’s quite interesting to watch as it goes by. I imagine there’d be quite a few good walks/hikes in some of these areas.
Four and a half hours of travel, and without even really noticing the length of the journey we’re pulling into Riga, the capital of Latvia and where I hope to meet up with Danny and gain my visa for Uzbekistan, before moving on again. As a result, I’ll probably be here for good few days.
I have directions from the hostel in Riga, and start walking, before Danny’s heard from reception that I’ve booked and am in town, so txts start coordinating and we meet enroute to the hostel. Get checked in to Central Hostel – really nice hostel, confirm that Danny’s scooter is really there with him, and head off to catch up and check out a bit of the city in the afternoon…
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