Before we left on our trip we managed to hook up with an old friend of mine who had just moved to Sweden in the last couple of months. Our travel plans included going across Scandinavia and into Russia and Stockholm was on that list. Allan and his wife Tanya graciously hosted us while we were on route and provided us with a much appreciated bed to sleep on!
Stockholm is a great port city and looks/feels very much like Canada. Our visit was pretty short – 4 days – and we had a great time visiting and strolling around the piers with Allan and family. We even happened to see Mr T on the television selling some wares! A bunch of dinners, drinks and laughs ensued with a bit of relaxation that was needed.
Our plan was to next take a ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki, and then a train to St Petersburg. Unfortunatly the money gods didn’t agree with us as the ferry to Helsinki would have been just over $750 and the train another $300. This is a point where the Eurorail train pass would have helped us with a 50% savings on the Viking line ferry. A little discouraged we started looking into less expensive options.
We had wanted to go to Riga, Latvia after Russia and thought why not see if we can go there? We found a cheap flight on Ryan Air out of Stockholm for $40 each and booked it quickly. I’ve heard about Ryan Air flying out of secondary airports but this is a bit ridiculous, 100KM’s is another city in Europe. They offer great airfairs but once they charge you $6 per person for online booking, $4 for using a credit card, $12 for carrying on bag and once you factor in travel to the ends of the earth to catch a plan it almost comes up a wash. Defiantly have to keep an eye on the costs involved of these great deals. But if you book far enough ahead and can manage the logistics it does work out to be cheaper than other means of travelling.
With our knees jammed into the hard plastic shell of the seat in front of us, we were off to Riga!