Lithuanian couple cam
Largely forgotten by the world, Soviet-occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania hit the headlines in the late 1980s with a near-bloodless (hence "Singing") revolution that led to the restoration of their independence in 1991.
Since giving Communism the boot, this energetic trio have seen their economic fortunes soar, with all three countries set fair for admission to the European Union in the next few years. Wedged between the Russia and the Baltic Sea, with Russia's annexe Kaliningrad acting as a bookend for Lithuania. Running from Estonia in the north to Lithuania in the south, these flat, thickly forested lands are unspoilt, rural and sparsely populated, but all three have buzzing, historic capitals, folkloric traditions that have survived centuries of foreign oppression, and customs and cuisines shaped by a peculiar mix of German, Russian and, in Lithuania, Polish influence.
With salmon and sea trout spotted in the river for the first time in decades, the regeneration work has also seen the Nene come alive with other aquatic life, ranging from fish such as pike, carp, tench and barbel, to water voles, snails and freshwater prawns.
But this week, with spring in the air and flowers in bloom on the banks, few local people were brave enough to venture for an evening stroll along this delightful waterway, following disturbing allegations that Eastern European immigrants are 'plundering' and 'pillaging' local wildlife.
Cooked up in 18 century, forever cementing its badass reputation. Vodka, Russia: If the thought of drinking vodka neat makes you screw your face up, you’ve been on the wrong stuff, my friend.
Good vodka goes down smoothly: in Moscow, sip it in shooters between bites of zakuvski (hors d’oeuvres) or drop it in your beer (yikes). Siam Sunray, Thailand: Created in 2009 as a way to lure in tourists, the Siam Sunray has now become the county’s signature drink.
Creating 50 miles of cycle routes, parkland and dozens of delightful picnic spots, the Millennium Green Wheel project - which runs through the Cambridgeshire market town of Peterborough - was designed to encourage families to make the most of living beside the river. With recreated woodland and hedgerows alongside the water, the project was also intended to give a boost to wildlife in the area - a traditional mating place for Mute, Bewick and Whooper swans, which congregate in vast numbers as the Nene flows through Peterborough town.There are a couple of unbreakable rules, however: whatever you do, don't call the Balts Slavs, and don't get the Baltic Republics confused with the Balkans. Because it's geographically convenient; because all three established themselves as modern, democratic nations in the interwar period, and emerged from the Soviet yoke at roughly the same time; and because that's what Moscow did when it forcibly annexed them during the Second World War.Latvia and Estonia have a common history, as their ice-free ports were irresistible prizes for more aggressive nations: the Danes, Germans, Swedes, Poles, and Russians all held sway there, while the peasants were in thrall to émigré German barons until 1918. In medieval times, its territory stretched south to the Black Sea and east almost as far as Moscow before entering a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th century.For, according to a flurry of alarming reports, Eastern Europeans are stalking the creatures of the River Nene and, to the horror of local residents, are reputedly now targeting the city's swans.Rather than simply enjoying the spectacle of these majestic birds, it was claimed that immigrants see the swans as a rich source of food, and are trapping the birds, then roasting them on open fires along the river bank.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuana have long escaped Communism, fully embracing tourism.