Leaving Riga we passed numerous apartment buildings. A recurring theme in all the Baltic countries we visited, any ugly or oppressive building was blamed on the Soviets. Also, the term "Baltic States" is not particularly well received in the area, either. Estonia prefers to consider itself Scandinavian, possibly legitimately due to its close language ties with Finland. Latvia and Lithuania are working hard to develop independant national identities and are not really wanting to be lumped into the generic "Baltic" category, either.

- Yellow houses became increasingly popular as we moved south. There's a definite shade of Lithuanian yellow that's easily recognized but difficult to describe.

- The RAF factory in Jelgava appears to be mostly abandoned. In its time it produced tens of thousands of the ubiquitous mini-van/micro-bus vehicles they were famous for.

- Elgavas Palace, built in 1772 is an impressive reminder of affluence past. It was not listed in our tour book and there's not much about it on the internet, so I'm guessing it's in somewhat of a state of disrepair or privately owned. We didn't stop, and I only frantically grabbed this photo from the window of the moving bus.