Back from Vacation to the Baltics

The reason there weren’t any posts for the past three weeks: holidays. To Latvia and Estonia, to be precise, and a one-day trip to St. Petersburg. 🙂

If you ever to to St. Petersburg (or Moscow), go eat at Теремок (Teremok)! It’s a Russian fast food restaurant, although I can’t say it’s really fast food you’re getting. You can choose between soups, buckwheat and many different blini (Russian pancakes) with meat and vegetables and potatoes or fruit or chocolate. Delicious! And so much better than the McDonalds which is everywhere. >.>

On the way home I suddenly realized how terribly designed my country is – the landscape in Latvia and Estonia isn’t that different at first sight, it’s almost as flat as the Netherlands but with lots and lots of forest. But in a country bigger than mine but with a population that’s less than a tenth from here, there is so much space and nature, it shows it is really different. In the Netherlands, every single square cm has been planned and designed, every field, hill, dike and ditch is man-made. Look at aerial photographs and it’s a checkboard pattern of fields and ditches. Heck, we even create land out of water! I never fully realized that until now.

Another thing I noticed, I feel the people are much closer to nature in Latvia and Estonia. We’ve seen multiple times people collect berries and mushrooms in the forests during our hikes. In the Netherlands there are very little people who do that, even though there are plenty blackberries and raspberries to pick here too. The people who do pick berries are mostly Polish immigrants XD. Some even think it’s weird. Thing is, these plants mostly grow on municipal grounds, so it’s also there were people walk their dogs and the like. I even think it’s illegal – same as it is actually illegal to pick flowers from the roadside when they were planted by the municipality. >.<

Anyway, I’m glad to be back home. 🙂

Too bad school starts in two weeks.