La partenza da Cracovia, quando ero ancora a casa, me la immaginavo come una seconda, grande partenza.
Comunque, il colpo di genio poi arrivò, chiesi informazioni.
33 hours on a bus
When I was at home, I imagined leaving Krakow would have been as a second, big departure.
There, in Davide’s room, I felt like in family, with my two flat mates Roberto and Rocio, that I could count on.
I imagined that somehow leaving would have been like loosing a big support, an anchor, but I was totally wrong.
When I left from Krakow I didn’t really know what to expect from the cities I decided to stop by, but I was dying to find out.
I didn’t have huge plans, neither I’ve read much about those cities, because I wanted them to surprise me. However, in hindsight I didn’t expect to remain so amazed.
Warsaw is small and I was told there wasn’t really much to do but, actually, I found something.
I got lost.
At the beginning I wanted to reach the city center on foot, with 30 kilos on my shoulders and without Google Maps. I thought it was the perfect solution, but after a meter and a half I realized I couldn’t have had a worst idea.
Thus, after I got lost and destroyed my leg for an hour, I changed my plans and I finally decided to use public means of transport.
There, in Warsaw, you can buy a ticket that lasts 20 minutes and, in that period of time, you can use every means of transport you want.
However the situation wasn’t getting better, I kept getting lost.
The only difference was that I was travelling on a bus or tram.
I don’t know, maybe I was gone gaga but I didn’t thought to ask somebody, yet.
I thought “c’mon, it’s not that hard to reach the center”
..eh Alle, I’ll tell you next time.
Anyway, the stroke of genius arrived and I asked for information.
A Polish girl, very kind, gave me perfect directions and she even accompanied me to the bus stop to be sure I caught the right one.
She has been really kind, but in that moment I realized I didn’t look like I was gone gaga, I really was.
In any case I managed to reach the center, exhausted but happy.
Here there was a surprise waiting for me.
I stopped only for ten minutes more or less, but there, precisely under the central statue, there was a violinist playing.
I was tired, but the sunset that was coloring in red the house facades and his notes, made that moment pure magic and I was touched.
Without a word I head up to the bus station.
I left for Riga at 9 p.m., tired and sure I would have fallen asleep in no time.
I arrived in Vilnius at 5a.m and, even thought the bus was really comfortable with huge spaces I didn’t sleep a wink.
Going down from the bus I met a couple from Switzerland that, very kindly, offered me the breakfast.
It has been a pleasure to meet them, but soon after breakfast I left on the bus for Riga.
Here I was enough tired to almost sleep the whole journey on this very comfortable bus.
In Riga welcomed me a pleasant chilly and soon after the girl that would have hosted me in couch surfing arrived.
I’ve never used this app in all those years and it has been a huge mistake.
Annija immediately took me to Jurmala, a little sea town, once populated only by fishermen, but that since some years became the par excellence destination of wealthy people and Russians, particularly Russians.
I never thought I’d end up at the sea in Riga, in the Baltic Sea which, by the way, is the sea with the lowest salt concentration of the whole world.
After having visited this small sea town, full of Russians, we moved to Riga’s old town.
As I already told you, I didn’t have huge expectations, but if Krakow surprised me, Riga astonished me.
Having been an important harbor landmark, Riga was subject to Russian, French, Swedish, Polish, Italian and, of course, Latvian influences.
It’s a concentrate of many diverse artistic influences that constantly surprise you in every corner.
I spent only 2 days in Riga, but I had the luck to attend the pre-concert for the 100th anniversary of Latvia, that will be hold next year.
Latvian, since generations, pass on a sing culture.
They sing in choir, in Latvian, folk songs, while wearing traditional clothes and many schools teach to the young these songs.
Annija told me that also Latvians who live abroad want to learn and sing their folk song and in the U.S. there is a school where you can continue this tradition, even though you’re not living in your own country anymore.
So, they’ve been 4 days of movement in which I learned one important thing.
During a journey there’s nothing better than having the chance to meet a local, willing to tell you about his city and to show it to you.