After a little persuasion from our contact at the Estonian Tourist Board (and a lot of trouble getting hotel rooms in Riga due to Latvia holding the rotating EU presidency) our itinerary was altered to add a stop in the Estonian seaside spa town of Parnu and drop a night from Riga. Usually just a quick stop on the drive between Tallinn and Riga, an overnight there gave everyone a chance to unwind a little. We checked into the almost brand new Hedon Spa hotel then sought out some lunch. We didn’t have to go far. Supelsaksad, recommended by both Andrew who came with us on the private transfer he’d arranged from Tallinn and the sales manager at Hedon Spa was a study in retro cute, in a wooden building not far from the hotel.
After everyone took way too long leaving because of taking photos of the adorable café we had a walk around the town centre with Andrew, with him pointing out the place where the declaration of Estonian independence was signed in 1918, the fist time Estonia truly became a nation.
The afternoon was spent relaxing in the ‘Silent Spa’. Not quite as silent as the name implies, something about buckets of ice water being thrown over you after exiting the sauna causes the occasional scream. A very pleasurable experience overall and combined with visiting somewhere outside of the capital cities gave an excellent and calming contrast to the prior stops (Costa Brava for most, plus Tallinn).
We left early the next day, trying out the LuxExpress Lounge service to Riga. Business class seating, seat-back TVs and a self-service hot drinks machine made the journey very pleasurable.