….was a delight. The Latvia border people were helpful and courteous. I got my European bike insurance at the border and a a new SIM card at a petrol pump. I was set.
I rode through into Ludja, a water colour town. Cobbled streets and small lanes. A quaint church and castle on the hilltop to complete the European qualification. A policeman caught me as I entered a no entry road. I apologised and explained my tiredness and my journey and forward plan. Ofcourse, I presented my documents as well. After evaluating my presentation, he most courteously let me off. Then, on behalf of Latvia, he welcomed me. Nice.
I rode into a small hotel and checked into simple European comforts. A brisk walk around town took all of thirty minutes and this I did. There were few tourists and I could see the people walking purposefully. No doubt to get to home and dinner. I did too. Salad and soup with home-made fries was my first dinner. I left this beautiful country the next day.
The highway was in excellent shape as I rode onwards to Birzia, in Lithuania. My friend Lena Vaz Henriques had a friend here, Dovi, who was going to host my stay. The first day, as I rode in and she parked my bike in a neighbor’s garage; she took me to to a boat club. We did water peddling it was fun. Like standing up and rowing a canoe. Thankfully, I didn’t fall into the lake. The next day I met her parents and her father took me to a motorcycling event that was coincidentally on the same day! Two hundred superbikes roared together to do a charity rally and we saw the flagoff. I got introduced to some bikers and they were mighty impressed that I was on a RTW from India. This event was made for me.
The next day again luckily, there was a cultural festival and I saw a vintage car exhibition and Market Day. We ate dinner at a lovely cafe and had the national dish: the famous Pink Soup. The next day an excellent home cooked meal by Dovi was my send-off to Poland.
I got a message from my FB friend Niranjan, a great Indian biker and now biking in Europe that I should visit Gdansk. I did and in two days from Dovi I rode through the port town and after parking my bike at an Airbnb at Mosty with Adele, I walked to a pier on the Baltic Sea. It was evening and the sun set as I walked in. Very special! Gdansk shall always be special for me, as it was unplanned. I realised my adaptability and route changing capabilities as I went to Gdansk. I felt I was dreaming. To do what I want and when I want. In Europe? Someone up there likes me. (It’s the name of a Paul Newman movie-see it)
My son sent me a text: Don’t forget Auschwitz.