Annika Urm Blog #101: what are Baltic States- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania summer hotspots @202029-07-2020
In this COVID-19 virus life, we have to adapt to the new normality! Spain and Marbella have been more affected by COVID-19 than Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and also Finland.
Annika Urm blog #101 summer 2020 at Europa, Baltic states.
I am (Annika Urm) from Estonia. This is my home country, my second home is Marbella :). Summer 2020 is so much different than the last decade. Coronavirus has changed the world, and most likely, we will never get back to the old times. So let's make new times, new memories let's take the best of the lockdown and virus situation.
I decided to take a look around the Baltic States Summer Beach cities. We went on a road trip, and our destinations from south to north were from Lithuania, Neringa Island, Palanga, in Latvia Jurmala and in Estonia Pärnu and Haapsalu city.
Our family country house is in Pärnu, and We started a drive from Pärnu 6 hours later we were in Neringa Island, in Klaipeda in Lithuania. It is the Zambian Peninsula, part of which is connected to the mainland by Kaliningrad, which belongs to Russia. The only way to get to this peninsula from Lithuania is 5 minutes by ferry from Klaipeda.
The Curonian Spit is a 98-kilometre long, thin, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. Neringa hospitably welcomes everyone who loves nature - sea, dunes, sand, beach, forest, and introduces the unique old architecture of coastal areas.
A 50 km long road crosses the peninsula with villages. We visited Nida, which is the oldest settlement in Neringa, we had a fabulous lunch at Nida port. I ate traditional Lithuania beetroot soup with potatoes on the side and also a burrata salad and had kvass drink. Kvass is a traditional fermented Slavic and Baltic beverage commonly made from rye bread. Later we went to Nida beach and admired the impressive sand dunes.
On the road, we had a surprise 10 km from the port. We had to pay a tourist tax per car and two people 30 euro. ONLY! 12.60 euro was 2 ways ferry tickets to the island and back to the mainland!
Nida at Neringa Island Lithuania and Sand Dunes Annika Urm Blog #101 @2020
Parnidis sand dune drifted by harsh winds is rising up to 52 metres (171 ft) above sea level. The interpretation of the name of Parnidis dune – local residents believe that the name comes from the phrase meaning "passed across Nida", because this wind-blown dune has several times passed through the village of Nida. Scientists estimated that each person climbing or descending on the steep dune slopes moves several tons of sand, so hikers are only allowed to climb in designated paths.
Later we drove to Palanga Lithuania, the most famous summer resort town at Baltic coast with a beautiful beach, lively walking street Basanavičiaus Street full of bars and restaurants. Palangos Pliažas is a long beach, backed by dunes and has Palangos Tiltas, an L-shaped pier.
We were looking where to stay in Palanga and all the hotels, hostels, houses, apartments were nearly 100% full. Finally, we find the last room in the booking. com even twice :) because the first one someone else was quicker than us. When we finally settled in the hotel. We went for a walk and had dinner at Palanga main walking street. We had dinner at seafood fancy Restaurant "Žuvinė". At the menu, we had fried foie gras, white fish, mussels in wine sauce and good Italian prosecco!
Despite the current pandemic of COVID-19, the beach and streets were packed with people.
The Next day we went for a few hours to the beach. We visited the Palanga Amber Museum with other words, Tiskevičiai Palace houses, which has a large display of amber, and exhibits on the gemstone's history. Amber Palace has a beautiful rose garden. This was my highlight of the road trip!
2nd day at Night we drove back to Latvia 3,5 h away to Jurmala beach! We booked the hotel earlier. We didn't want to hassle again to find where to stay! I have to say the hotels and Airbnb houses and apartments are quite expensive as in South Europe or even higher! ca 150 eur per/ night. But food and drinks in restaurants are cheaper than in South Europe! Dinner for two ca 60-80 eur with a bottle of prosecco ( no sugar desserts). Breakfast omelette, Caffe, fresh salad and water 12 eur, (includes coffee 2,50 eur)
Jurmala is famous for its aquapark and The Amusement Park AB park. We went for a walk on the beach, dinner and then walked on the Main pedestrian Street in Jurmala.
We arrived Saturday night at the beach and found ourselves in the middle of the classical music festival. This means people were sitting on their beach chairs and had tables with drinks and snacks. Also, a lot of people were just walking by and enjoying the sunset and music. Music came from speakers, name of the event:
Riga Jurmala Musical Soirée 5
Jurmala beach, Turaidas Street
Johannes BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 (B-dur), Op. 83
Antonin DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 in E minor "From the New World", op. 95
Later that night we had dinner at Japanese restaurants on the streets. Jurmala, Latvia was quite empty for a Saturday night compared to Palanga, Lithuania. It seems like coronavirus has done its damage here as well. We met many Estonians in Latvia and Lithuania; everyone had a reason to come. At least here we can come and enjoy a vacation. It seems that tourism will rise inside these countries or/and the Baltic States and Finland because we can travel freely over these borders.
Next day we had a morning walk on the streets and walked on the beach and had lunch at XO beach club and restaurant! Jurmala beach has some similar beach bars and clubs with beach beds-like we have used to see in Spain, Italy or Turkey. XO club had even two small pools, that felt refreshing and luxurious.
My road trip continued to Pärnu, an Estonia summer resort city in southwestern Estonia, overlooking Pärnu Bay. The city is known for its 19th-century timber villas and sandy Pärnu Beach, with its shallow waters and promenade.
30 years ago every Estonian had a vacation in Pärnu, and wealthy people had their summer houses and apartments. Later from 2000 and Now the same families are going to have a vocation in Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain and buying properties in the South of Spain! Now you can find up to 2000 Estonians around or in Marbella. Why? Simple it is the weather, warm every time you go outside. Estonian even have their own private school in Marbella, Elviria. You can also have one term in Estonia and then the winter terms in the Spanish school!
Pärnu has been my choice for the summer in my childhood and whole life till the last ten years when I chose to spend all my summers in Marbella. For me, this city is full of the best memories and hot beachy days and coolest summer parties.
For me, PÄRNU means- Beach, Sunset Night Club, iconic Ranna Hotel (Beach hotel), Rüütli Street- The main oldtown walking street and Pärnu yacht club - one of the best memories at my young age! Later on, more night clubs opened! :)))
I love Pärnu beach, shallow water, wet sand full of people, white soft ice cream. We spent one day bicycling and Aloha Beach! Of course, we stayed in our country house, and we went bicycling!
Another day we just enjoyed walking down the street, beach and restaurants! We walked around Aloha and ate lunch at Hedone terrace which has a confusing menu, but Raimond ala carte restaurant is good, I have been there before!
Dinner at Ranna Hotel is my favourite, Food is good but also important is my personal emotional good feeling with this iconic hotel. Lunch is good also in Ranna Hotel Restaurant! They have the kitchen closed between 16-18.00 PM and then they also switch the menu! We had a 3 courses tasting menu with prosecco!
Pärnu Estonia Ranna Hotel Restaurant
We spent one day at Haapsalu at the wonderful little seaside town with narrow streets located on the west coast of Estonia. Haapsalu is a small and quiet city. If you value privacy and nature, this is your city. My daughter said that it has the best beach because it has a grass beach next to the sea! We spent a few hours at the beach. Haapsalu has four beaches and many Spas. Haapsalu is famous for the unique procedures is mud therapy from the mud of the Gulf of Haapsalu.
We walked at Haapsalu seaside promenade and had a late lunch at Wiigi restaurant! I loved the food and sea view there. It was practically next to the water!
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Who is Annika Urm?
Annika Urm is an international businesswoman, celebrity journalist, international blogger, public speaker and influencer, the director of i-Marbella.com, and her job is to report emotional experiences and facts in the best possible way. Annika is a modern entrepreneur, a business lady of high standards and exquisite taste.
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