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Red Corner: Baltic Summer
Summer is still a little ways off but not so far that you can't start thinking about where to go. And if Europe is on your mind, but the crowds that plague the Mediterranean make you cringe, then consider vacationing a bit further north in the Baltics.
The weather is a tad cooler, and the water is not as clear, but otherwise the miles of coastline meandering through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia offer wonderful summer possibilities. I spent a couple of June weeks in the coastal resort town of Jurmala, Latvia a few summers ago and found it to be relaxing, quaint and quite beautiful. Not only is it much cheaper than Greece or the coast of Spain, but Boris Yeltsin has a summer house there and if you're really lucky, he might invite you over to play some tennis if he's not dead yet.
And if you think the Baltic coast is full of old USSR sanatoriums and Intourist hotels, spare a moment to check out this wonderful old Art Nouveau hotel in the seaside town of Pärnu.