Friday, 29 August 2014

Cruising From Riga To Stockholm

Soon after our arrival in Vilnius, the embassy organized a cruise across the Baltic Sea. We're in! The trip is quick, one overnight leg, leaving in the afternoon from Riga, Latvia and arriving mid-morning in Stockholm. You eat, watch a show, catch some sleep and arrive in Scandinavia.

Our big taxi.


Walking the plank. Watching the meal tickets board. While a decent enough cruiser, the ship is definitely a cargo hauler first.

Cabin for two, with a view.


Two more views of a cabin, no view (but a TV waaay up there).

Fancy restaurant.


Have a seat, stay for a Russian hockey game simulcast.

Distance dining.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Strykers Visit Vilnius

Everyone asks us if the conflict in Ukraine is influencing actions in Lithuania. Are the Lithuanians worried? Yes and Yes. Lithuania is in a different situation. It's part of NATO and fully-integrated with Western Europe (almost: it moves to the Euro in January). But after being repeatedly occupied by Russia, Lithuanians remain wary.

The US is holding joint exercises with their allies in the Baltic States. Earlier this summer, Sarah and James got to greet a special delivery of a group of Strykers, brought over for training.

The Strykers flew first class on a giant C-5 out of West Virginia.


Watching the unloading on the tarmac. The plane's lineage.

Out come the Strykers.


Ready to get going. The pilot was of Lithuanian descent, a big hit with the local media.

American might isn't quiet.