Author: Mark

Mark

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a proud history of fighting off invaders from outside. The country is awash with monuments to this hero or that alliance, all of whom helped to repel foreign attackers in the past. Perhaps this combative approach to outsiders persists nationally in folk memory, at a reduced level. For instance, we called in at …

Mark

That Was Romania

We’ve been in a largely internet and wi-fi free zone for the last week.  It has been excellent, albeit this came at the price of leaving the world in ignorance about our travels for a while.  We expect you enjoyed the break as much as we did. Romania was a revelation – if I’m being …

Mark

Small Things

We didn’t spend much time in Hungary as it turned out, which meant that we didn’t have any local money – which turned out to be Forints.  This only became a problem as we navigated our way towards the border with Romania.  In keeping with our habit of following relatively minor roads we’d found a …

Mark

The Dangers of Hubris

I think it’s a thing in classic Greek Tragedies when the protagonist engages in a bit of well-earned self-congratulation, or tempts the gods by indulging in some normally illicit behaviour, and is shortly after brought low by a twist of fate. We suspect we’ve been dealt such a blow, for after gloating about our visit …

Mark

An Alarming Lapse

Easing out of Lithuania, we entered Poland by a relatively minor road and a seldom used border crossing.  This drew the attention of the Polish border people, who flagged us down.  One took our vehicle documents off into their office for a thorough going through while the other engaged us in conversation, opening with “Where …

Mark

Pause for thought

Reflecting on the past couple of months we came to realise that the first part of the trip up to Nordkapp had been conducted at quite a lively gallop. Fair enough, we didn’t actually want to be fighting through pack ice and eating our dog à la Shackleton Expedition, so a moderate amount of speed …

Mark

Pope-Dodging

It possibly won’t have escaped your notice that our progress through the Baltic States has been conducted in the shadow of His Holiness the Pope’s impending visits to their capitals. We arrived in Tallinn; HHTP was due to arrive three days later. Riga, once we turned up, was plastered in posters advertising his visit in …

Mark

Former Soviet Stuff

Bidding a fond farewell to Tallinn we decided to have a look at what the Soviets had left behind.  Guided as ever by atlas obscura we steered the van towards Haapsalu, a route that would allow us to take in a former nuclear missile base close to the coast, followed by a pilots’ graveyard on …

Mark

Tallinn

Utterly captivating.  Once again, we found a parking site close to the Old Town and all of 200 yards from where we’d driven off the Helsinki ferry.  We had a day of blazing sunshine to explore the small but perfectly formed Old Town and what a joy it was. The streets were largely empty as …