Friday, 25 June 2010
We've just returned from our travels through The Baltic Countries beginning with Sweden, moving on to Finland, then Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Germany and finishing in Denmark. All this achieved cruising on The Clipper Adventurer, a small cruise ship with just over one hundred passengers, a wonderful crew, delicious food and The Baltic Sea and The Gulf of Finland as calm as a duck pond all of the way. I ate fresh fish every day and above is a small example of the foods sold in a local food market - but I can't remember which country we were in when I took the photos!
Most of the time I was caught up emotionally with the people in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as the local guides proudly showed us their towns and cities and talked gently of The Troubled Times leading up to 1991 and their eventual freedom. Freedom from the Nazis to the left of them and the Russians to the right of them. Centuries of occupation, invasion and they are at last free. I kept imagining if this had been us here in the UK and simply how lucky we all are as no matter how we feel about our governments we have no idea how it was for the people of these countries. They are rebuilding their beautiful cities and they welcome visitors like us with great charm and speak our language perfectly.
We were in Finland and a pompous Git in our very privileged group asked the Finnish guide if they 'had a lot of trouble from the Eastern Europeans coming into their country and taking their jobs' I held my breath waiting for her reply and she answered
'We have many Estonians coming here to work and they are excellent carpenters so when they arrive they start up their own carpentry businesses and are a great asset to us and our economy'
That shut him up.
Sunday, 6 June 2010
Lovely dish of mussels and the fattest chips and mayo eaten sitting in the afternoon sunshine in The Bull Hotel courtyard. Although next time I order them I'll ask for them cooked with no cream. I prefer them Mariniere -simply white wine, garlic and parsley so I can drink the liquer like a soup and dunk my bread. I was left with a bowl of cream - undrinkable.