Day 17 • Riga outskirt

The pain in my bad arm has been worse the last couple of nights. We therefore contacted our travel insurance company. They recommended the University Hospital in Riga.

Here we were told it was 6 to 8 hours of waiting, but we got the address of a private clinic in Riga. We were unable to find this clinic, but found a pharmacy. There they checked the address note we had received at the hospital. The nice lady could tell that the hospital had misspelled the street name. Thus we had ended up in the wrong street.

With the correct address we found the private clinic, but IT was not possible to get an apointment today. After all, we had spent most of the day exploring and waiting.

Thus, we dropped the doctor and based ourself on what the pharmacy has to offer.

WE are washing the car.

Since we drove a lot on dirt roads yesterday we had to wash the car.

Since the charging stations in Latvia do not work on the Tesla Model 3 we charged the car from an ordinary house socket with our helpful hoste permission. It soon turned out that this was a problem for the site’s main fuse.

If we charged the car and used the electric kettle, micro, stove or dryer, the fuse smoked and the host had to go down the street to turn it back on (don’t ask). It went better when we adjusted our charging current and charged at night.

Despite the problems we got a nice lunch in Riga and a nice evening on the terrace in our Airbnb. I even walked for a few kilometers in the area while Anne spent the time on the terrace.

Video day 17: Day17

Day 16 • Annes stork – finally

In Palanga we stayed at a small hotel without a reception. There was only a restaurant on the ground floor. When we should leave the hotel in the morning the restaurant was closed. Our car was trappen by 2 other cars. We could not get out of the parking lot. Finally we managed to get one car moved. The other one we sneaked pased (sorry if any of the bushes got permanent damage).

Annes Stork Picture. Take 23.

We were driving from Palanga to Riga today. It is about 300 km. We had the power to drive all the way but would be about empty on arrival. Therefore, we planned two charges. In Latvia, there is mostly one type of charging station. It turned out that they worked with one of our charge cards, but they were not adapted to Tesla and charged only with 16A. It is not a good feeling when the screen shows that the estimated charging time is six hours.

We ended up charging an hour so we were sure to reach the destination on the outskirts of Riga.

We hoped we could be allowed to charge from the house contact when we arrived. We were allowed that.

Much of the road today was a dirt roads. This was combined with heavy rain. The result was an extremely dirty car. Car wash tomorrow.

Anne has for several days tried to take a picture of stork. There’s lots of stork here. She has either been late, or she has missed. Today she managed – in a way.

Video day 16: Day16

Day 15 • Tourists

A bit of a change to come from Kaliningrad to Palanga. In Kaliningrad it was the permanent residents who put their color in the area. Here it is the tourists. In Kaliningrad, it was the blackbird who played at night. Here is the deep technobass half the night until 2:58 (exact).

During the day, there were trade stalls and restaurants throughout the long main street – a pedestrian street.

In the evening there were musicians, draftsmen, perfomance artists, rose sellers and restaurants that are looking for your money. We bought pottery – again.

When the evening came, there was a walk down to the sea where the sun disappeared into the ocean.

I still have a bad shoulder and elbow. Can walk a few hundred meters, can barely sit at a coffee table and we can forget about the bikes. Fortunately, the self-driving of the Tesla works well so the driving is no problem. The car runs 90% of the way itself. The Tesla controls the steering wheel and regulates speed by speed limits and cars around. Very satisfied.

What we are not satisfied with is the range. We were promised 530 to 560 km. Has got 500 km. An error has occurred with the lid on the charging port. Charge port sensor error. Certainly a trifle.

It turns out that Annes shopping is depending of the size of the car. A small car is a good thing.

Video day 15.: Day15

Day 14 • Free charging

We left Kaliningrad and drove straight and great roads to the border. Here, the service was much nicer and gentler than where we came into Russia. Anyway, it took an hour and a half to get through.

One of the customs asked how much alcohol we had in the car. I asked Anne who thought there were 6 bottles of beer. Then the custom laughed and asked for wine, vodka and marijuana. There were more questions about the Teslas power, how fast I could drive and whether it really had two engines.

Then we were suddenly in Lithuania. We reached the first charging station with less than 160 km on the battery. We still had two charging stations within reach if this one did not work. There was no charge fear.

Charging the car

There was already a Tesla on the station (there are no Tesla Superchargers in Lithuania). We struggled to get the charger started. It turned out, however, that the owner of the second car spoke Norwegian. He told that this charger only managed one car at a time. We waited for him to finish. Then the charge went smoothly. 50kw station. We filled up in 40 minutes.

There are a number of public charging stations in Lithuania. On these you charge for free. This was one of them.

We charged again at a similar station before we arrived in the seaside resort of Palanga.

It wasn’t that easy to find our accommodation in Palanga. Some streets were closed for traffic after 13:00. This disturbed the Carsten computer. Especially because our accommodation was located in the city’s largest pedestrian street.

Anne jumped off, found our place and talked to the staff who thought we could drive in the pedestrian street. We just had to say we lived here – if anyone asked. I drove slowly through the crowd and everything went well.

We reached the sunset on the pier.

Video day 14: Day14

Day 13 • Kaliningrad

We haven’t seen so much of Kaliningrad. We know we have enough power on the car to get to chargers in Lithuania and therefore leave the car in the pakking area. Does not take the risk on being dependent on a Russian charger with user manual written with creepy characters.

Besides, the area here around Verkhniy Prud is quite idyllic. Verkhniy Prud are some small, narrow, lakes that are a few kilometers long. The areas around are green lawns, trees and flowers. All the walkways and bike paths are in good condition and where there was a little damage the workers are repairing – on Saturday.

When I walk here I get a strange feeling that everything is fake. That everything is set up to fool me. That all these happy people are hired actors who are only here because of me.

Like the young restaurant manager who spoke good English (and German) and arranged a great lunch dish for us and softened the music. He didn’t know how to make Irish Coffee and we forgot to tell that there was cream on top. We got Irish Coffee without cream! After the food, he followed us all the way out of the restaurant.

We’ve been to amber museeums before but this beats everything we’ve seen. This was art.

A great skateboard court with lots of kids and youth. What strikes me is patience. There are children who have to be kept on the board or the scooter by Mom or Dad together with young people who rage around and do tough tricks.

In short, we had a great time in a beautiful area with good food and nice people.

I forgot to say that the buildings around are nicely maintained and a good blend of 18th century and modern style buildings.

Video day 13: Day13

Day 12 • Russia

Today we drive from Malbork to Kaliningrad. A very short leg of 137 km. We belive we cab drive both in and out of Kaliningrad without charging the battery.

UP to the border the trip went well on beautiful roads. Less and less traffic the closer the border we came.

The border crossing took a couple of hours. We were there in the morning and came straight in. Here is a lot that has always been. Paper should be filled out. Some in two copies (copy machine?). Narcotic dogs and mirrors to light under the car. The lady behind one of the counters need the help of a colleague to understand that it is allowed to put zero (0) in the box for engine volume. She checked the car documents (car card?) as well.

Well through, we got wide roads all by ourselves. Behind us we had the border crossing and it took just about half an hour between each car they let through.

We were surprised that the Tesla route instructions did not work on the Russian side of the border. The screen showed a map with poor resolution. The car is shown on the map, but no route instructions. We connected iPhone to the Tesla and got driving instructions from there.

A group of cheerful youths showed us willingly the way to the hotel after we had walked up and down the streets to find it.

The hotel was okay and the room was large.

The area surprised us. It was fantastic. A lake with park around. Great tiled bike paths and walkways. Restaurants – we got the best meal of the trip this evening. Lots of people of all ages.

Children playing everywhere, but mostly at the big playgrounds. There are youths on skateboards and roller blades. No loud voice, just talk and laugh. On the lake there are electric boats and bicycle boats. There is a large and modern amusement park here. No garbage. It is simply idyllic.

Simply idyllic

Within walking distance of the hotel there are several restaurants. This is the trip’s positive surprise and will probably be the highlight of the holiday. A contrast to what we have read online. We were recommended to drive by.

Having said all this, we must remember that it is not the case throughout Russia. The country has major challenges in terms of democracy and human rights.

Video for day 12: Day12

Day 11 • Jaceks town

The hotel EdMar in Malborg surprised with high quality and great service. We got a garage place so we could charge the car in a regular outlet. 17 hours time, but then we will have enough power so we can come all the way to Kaliningrad tomorrow and further to Lithuania on Sunday.

We had a walk in the castle and I, a pensioner, got bread from Anne’s so I could feed the ducks.

The castle in the evening

From the hotel terrace there was great view to the castle. The castle is Malborg’s big and only attraction. Lot of people. And it’s great. It is probably the largest brick building I’ve ever seen.

Does Malborg have more to go with? Yes, it’s actually Jacek’s hometown. Jacek is our good friend and neighbor.

Video day 11: Day11