Book: Via Baltica by Allan Neil
categories: Book, Baltic Sea, War Horrors, War Crimes, Good Food, People, Baltic Republics, Eastern Europe, Travelogue
Allan Neil about this book: Written 12 years ago, this is an account of a road trip I undertook to circumnavigate the Baltic Sea in July 2007. I was initially motivated by curiosity about the geographical features and populations of the countries visited, i.e. France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In addition I had been fascinated for some years by the effects of the USSR upon the last five of these nations. My plan had been to camp in a tent all the way round, but these plans were dashed by the fact that it transpired to be the wettest July in living memory and on my second night I was flooded out of my tent. However, I was enjoying the variety of geography and food. Finland first made me aware of the conflict and oppression from the USSR in the 'Winter Wars'. Estonia made me more and more aware of man's potential inhumanity towards man, whilst the final stages of the circuit, in Germany and Flanders really drove it home to me. I wrote this book from a diary I kept on the trip and I hope that anyone reading it gets the message about the human race's potential for cruelty. I started the trip thinking it was maybe the 'last hurrah' of a 68-year-old and ended it with deep anti-war sentiments. Those drove me to begin writing about a young man's passage through life in the first half of the 20th century. This book is nearing completion only now.
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