Oslo

I went to Oslo for a weekend in August 2005. I had never been to Norway and it seemed like a small enough city to be able to comfortably visit for a long weekend. I also realized that going in August seemed reasonable, whereas I wouldn’t go most of the rest of the year due […]

Continue reading


High speed European trains

Earlier this month I was in Europe and had the chance to take a couple of Deutsche Bahn ICE (Inter-City Express) trains and SNCF TGV trains. These were a pleasure to ride, both because they were on schedule and very comfortable unlike my last Amtrak experience. High speed rail travel is a real pleasure and […]

Continue reading


Swedish Countryside

The Swedish countryside is really beautiful. It is largely forested with numerous ponds and lakes ranging in size from quaint back yard ones to those that can only be seen across on a very clear day. I hadn’t spent the time to research this final leg of my trip, so I literally took a map […]

Continue reading


Swedish Road Trip

Last week I rented a Nissan Micra (a type of minicar that seats 4, but is pretty tiny and I think smaller than the Mini Cooper) and drove about 6 hours from Gothenburg to Falun in central Sweden. Its a great car that got upwards of 18k/l (45 mpg) and is perfect for the solo […]

Continue reading


Gothenburg

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city. It was founded as a trading port to take advantage of its natural harbor and is literally the Amsterdam of the north as Dutch planners were brought in to build the city including a system of canals. Only a couple of the canals still survive to this day as […]

Continue reading


Tallinn

I thought that Tallinn was the nicest of the 3 Baltic capitals I visited. This may have been because the weather there was better than the other two (only light rain for parts of two days), because I spoke with more locals, or because the city is the most developed to support tourism. Regardless of […]

Continue reading


Music in the Baltics

When I travel I often try and attend local music concerts. Those of you who know me might find this out of character since I don’t own a stereo and once drove across the US in a car without even a radio. However in addition to being entertaining, these provide a good glimpse into local […]

Continue reading


Riga

My 3.5 days in Riga started out a little tough as I tried to understand the public transport system. Even with two maps, one of the city and one of the public transport system it was hard to do. The issue is that only major roads are shown on the transport map and not every […]

Continue reading


On the Bus – Vilnius to Riga

Sunday I took the Toks / Euroline bus from Vilnius to Riga. I was expecting a bit of a sketchy bus given the state of public transport in Vilnius and was pleasantly surprised to ride a high quality touring coach. For LTL 45 (US$18) the 5 hour ride was pleasant.It included one rest stop about […]

Continue reading


Trakai

I took a day trip to Trakai on July 6, the Lithuanian flag day which is effectively their independence day. I had been told that it would be a good day to go there, but there really wasn’t anything special going on. Trakai is a lake town 27 km (about 16 miles) outside of Vilnius […]

Continue reading