Sunday, September 27, 2015

The ultimate road trip! Latvia - Germany - Latvia

University is in full swing and while it's only been a month, one particular class is already giving me anxiety. But all for the greater good, I hope.

So right before all this madness I went on a road trip with my parents. My sister lives in Germany and without a doubt we all miss her. I visit her every year but my mom is afraid of flying so we found a compromise - we decided to drive from Latvia to Germany and back. Already I had very mixed feelings about it. I'm a good driver just not a confident one. I don't even drive to Riga (the capital of Latvia) because I hate driving in big cities. And now I was about to drive across half Europe. Scary right? But I wanted to see my sister and honestly Germany is like my happy place and I'm always excited to go there. Plus I didn't really have a choice. Just had to suck it up and prepare for an adventure.

So I got a haircut the day before, got my journal and was ready for the road! It's around 2000km (1250 miles) one way. My dad drove first and halfway there I had to take over. Basically I had to drive all through the night (it started to rain in Germany and it was foggy and I was an emotional mess to say the least). But I did good. No speed limits, parents were asleep and the roads were not that busy. Around 8am I got to sit in traffic near Cologne and when the navigation said I'm only 1km away from my destination, of course I took a wrong turn and got lost because it said - drive off and then drive off. I'm a good listener. I understand people easily. Trust me. You can ask any of my friends. But til this day I still don't know what the navigation meant by that. But I found my way back and eventually got to my sister. We spent around 20h on the road. I hadn't slept for 48... But in the end it felt so good knowing what I'd just accomplished. I couldn't believe it. We spent the rest of the day kinda just napping and barely functioning because we were all tired and relieved to be there safe and sound. 

The next two days we spent in Bonn.
Bonn used to be the capital of Germany and it is also the hometown of Ludwig van Beethoven. We went shopping and also took a tour bus around the city. It was full of old folks and a golden retriever - both species I get along well with.

 North Rhine-Westphalia is the biggest and, in my opinion, the most beautiful state in Germany.
And both my favorite cities are there - Bonn and Cologne.
The tour was fun. Bonn really is a beautiful and interesting place.

When we got home, I had to cook that night. Another part of the adventure, I suppose. I'm a good cook, but when I have to do it for someone else who is an even better one, the pressure is on! But I did good and we all lived. So far, at least...

We went to Cologne the next day. Their hockey team Cologne's Sharks had their season opening event and it was a blast! Since I'm a hockey addict...
Got to check out some hockey players, listen to great music and walk around and enjoy Cologne. I'm always extra happy there because I really do love that city. It's beautiful and so alive and playful...

 Cologne's crazy architecture
Got to see Kasalla - Cologne's rock band. Love their songs.
And of course Cologne Cathedral. A gigantic, breath-taking beauty that does not fit in a photo.

We finished the night with some tasty drinks and a cake.
The next day was probably my favorite of the trip. We went exploring the Middle-Rhine Valley. Highway along the river, surrounded by mountains, wine fields and pure beauty. I literally was just clicking my camera's button because everywhere I looked the view was breath taking. 

A really beautiful spot was at the Loreley rock. Loreley was a female as a sort of siren who, sitting on the cliff above the Rhine and combing her golden hair, unwittingly distracted ship-men with her beauty and song, causing them to crash on the rocks. 

There are also so many castles and churches in the mountains! Too bad we didn't get to go see them all, but that's not really possible. We did go up to one of them and the view was simply amazing.

Marty, our little companion. 
A random church in the middle of the river

When we got back I was exhausted. But it was so worth it. I was in awe of the scenery and everything was so beautiful and peaceful. We finished the day with some delicious Chinese food and went to bed because the next day was our last one there and I had to have a good night's sleep since I was the first one driving. It was sad to leave. Germany always charges me up with happiness and I didn't wanna say goodbye to it and to my sister. But I did miss my pets and I had to get back to reality since it was the last week before uni.

All in all it was an amazing trip. And I definitely gained more confidence when it comes to my driving. I'm still not going to Riga though. 
The pets were happy as well since they got gifts. Martini got a new house and Reno got a fat squeaky raccoon. Life's good for all.

Who knows where the next summer will bring me.
Take care.


  1. It sounds wonderful, Baiba--& now back to uni!!

  2. Like that church in the river.
    Wonder why Budha's lips are blue.....

  3. Wow! That was a lot of driving! Good thing I wasn't in your car, because I have to stop and get out to stretch my legs every few hours. All that sitting makes some of my body parts fall asleep. :) But good for you for doing it. It was well worth it, too, to see your sister and such beautiful sights.

  4. Congratulations on making the trip... that is a ton of driving and I have heard there are places in Europe where people drive very fast... I am glad you made it to see your sister... it definitely looks like you had lots of fun... that is awesome xox

    Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving me such kind words, have a lovely rest of the week xox

  5. You got a lot of practice with all that driving, especially in the rain and fog. When my daughter first got her drivers license, I used to make her drive a lot, too. Those are also beautiful pictures from your trip. I'm glad you and your family had a wonderful time... :)

  6. Dear Baiba, a wonderful trip for you and your family. And I'm just so happy that you feel more confidence on the road. You certainly have done many things since college started. You've taken risks and grown as a human being. That's something for which to be so very grateful. Peace.

  7. Wow seems you really had a great practice while traveling. Besides I can see this trip was really cool. I envy you a little cause lately I had no opportunity to travel at all.

  8. Wow, you crossed so many beautiful countries that I want to visit. That building from Cologne looks crazy awsome!!
    Glad you had such fun time :)


  9. I finally got to reading your post about the road trip. Sound you had a great time! :)