“Baltic Way 30” – the Second Day of a Vintage Car Tour

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“Baltic Way 30” – the Second Day of a Vintage Car Tour

RYGA 19/08/2019, THE FREEDOM MONUMENT

In the beautiful morning of the second day, all the participants of the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way moved from the Riga Motor Museum towards the centre of Riga as a large convoy exactly at the scheduled time. The Horch 853, that had become the Latvian flag bearer, began its journey on the march, and was joined by several unique World War II cars. The participants were joined not only by them, but also by a dozen of Soviet and Western cars and motorcycles.

The flawless work of the police and the respect to the parade of the vintage cars paid by local road users was simply astonishing. In just a few minutes, all the exhibits of the historical car convoy of the Baltic Way were lined up for an exhibition at the Symbol of Latvian Freedom in the centre of Riga. Even though Monday is a working day, the exclusive event attracted a large number of spectators. The visitors of the exhibition admired not only the historical vehicles, but also the wonderful photo exhibition dedicated to the historical Baltic Way.

It is an interesting fact that for Latvian vintage cars enthusiasts, the exhibition at the Freedom Monument was important and significant not only as a part of the history of the Baltic Way. Although the Latvian Ancient Car Club had existed since 1972, no vintage car show had been held here until then. Thus, it may be stated that this was another historic and memorable event for Latvian fans of vintage vehicles.

At the end of the exhibition in the city centre, the vintage cars and motorcycles said goodbye to the capital of Latvia and moved again along the historic Baltic Way.

The next stop was Cēsis. Very few participant in the march (tour) knew, or nor suspected, that this city had played an extraordinary role in the history of the Baltic Way 30 years ago. On August 12, 1989, in Cēsis there was held a meeting of the Baltic Council, during which the leaders of the Lithuanian Sąjūdis, the Popular Front of Estonia and Latvia met. They then signed a protocol on the organization of a mass political action by the people of the three Baltic States aimed to condemn the Molotov and Ribbentrop Pact. This event was called the Baltic Way.

After having arrived in Cēsis and lined up the vintage vehicles on the town square, the participants of the march (tour) had the opportunity to have some rest and meal. While the residents and visitors of the town enjoyed the exhibition of the historic cars, the Latvian soldiers (military personnel) treated the participants to dinner.

After a satisfying meal and a short rest, the vintage car enthusiasts once again set foot on the road, according to the timetable and route shown in the road books.

At the end of the second day of the march (tour), a festive convoy of exceptional vehicles arrived at the border of Latvia and Estonia. As a matter of fact, there was some misunderstanding on the way out of Cēsis. After the flag bearers of the march got lost, the convoy of vintage cars was separated, however, near the Estonian border settlement Lili it rejoined, the participants laughed and turned towards Estonia.

LATVIAN-ESTONIAN BORDER / KARKSI – NUIA – LILLI / 19/08/2019

Continuing their way, the accurately lined up vintage cars and motorcycles attempted to cross the Latvian-Estonian border, but encountered unexpected difficulties. Hundreds of people had gathered at the border and once again demanded freedom for the Baltic States holding 30-year-old posters of the Baltic Way! And some uniformed border guards, appeared from somewhere, blocked the entrance to the Republic of Estonia!

Of course, it was just a theatrical show and a reminder of a bygone era. After completing and signing the improvised declaration, each participant effortlessly crossed the border and continued on the Baltic Way march (tour). Here, in the customs zone, the head of the parade changed and Latvia gave priority to the Estonian flag bearers. The journey continued along the picturesque territory of southern Estonia. When passing by-roads, seemingly uninhabited places, the participants of the march were met and greeted by the hundreds of blue-white-black flags. Among them were the colours of Lithuania and Latvia.

VILJANDI 19/08/2019, MARKET SQUARE

Late in the evening, the convoy of vintage cars reached Viljandi. The festively decorated city welcomed the participants of the march. Untsakad, a popular music group, performed on the stage in the Market Square while a lot of people watched the displayed antique and classic vehicles. Here the second day of the march ended.