Lovelier Latvia

Riga Travel Blog

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Riga Birthday celebrations - ballet in the park!
I left Tallinn for Riga and unfortunately the only good way there is by bus... which takes over 5 hours...

Arriving in Riga was a bit of a shock as it is much more like a 'normal' city than Tallinn.
It's much bigger, quite modern and actually, the drive through the country was extrememely beautiful...

I met Pete at the hotel. He's a mate (and Travbuddy) from Uni who lives in Paris. Pete is a wicked bloke and it was great to see him, talk some good ol' aussie slang, have heaps of laughs and just travel with him in general.
 
It was a hot day so we decided to head straight for the beach.
What a great idea it was.

First I have to preface this with the fact that I am Australian and have had my fair share of terrific beaches.
Riga Birthday celebrations
I rate Riga as one of the better beaches I've seen in Europe. Certainly better than anything Spain has to offer. There was a lot going on and the scenery was fantastic. The water was also quite nice.

Back into town and we met some friendly Latvians on the train who offered to show us around the old town. We spent an hour walking around the churches, cathedral, town hall, different town squares, old town wall and the canal (Pilsetas Kanals) and its park (Kronvalda Garden).

They explained the interesting and novel concept of wedding Padlocks. Basically, when you get married in Riga you get a padlock, engrave your names on it and lock it to something permanent.
The place of choice is a Bridge on the canal near the Freedom monument. We saw literally hundreds of the locks all over the place and its quite cute!

Riga is also very touristy and there were witless wanderers staggering all over the place.
Bridge Locks
It disappoints me greatly when I'm in a very touristy place as I find that people just assume we are  the same.

I believe a year or so ago Riga was a cheap, fantastic place to travel.
Unfortunately, it is experiencing what can only be described by me as Riga-mortis.
It has become the Thailand of Europe. This means that the city gets hordes of young English guys on Stag nights getting extremely drunk and treating every girl as if they are for sale.
This serves well for no one.
The poor girls working in our hotel said that 90% of the english guys staying there treat them as if they are whores and it's the toughest part of their job to have to deal with them. I cant even write how much this shits me. How can one sad little island be so full of such inbred, rude, self absorbed, arrogant, ignorant losers?

On the other hand.
More Bridge locks...
.. they had nothing but good to say about Aussies.... but who doesnt?!!
How can one large island be so full of everything good in the world?!!

We had very interesting results going out at night due to the extreme paranoia and disdain the locals have for the english.... and people naturally assume we are english...There was even clubs that simply wouldnt allow us entry. Pete's ever optimistic and happy persona never quavered and it was really a joy to hang with him. I love this guy.

The day time was very different however and we found people to be very friendly and helpful...especially once they knew we werent english...

We spent a bit of time walking around the town as it was just so beautiful. Just to the north of the old town there is a really beautiful Art Nouvea street (Alberta Iela) full of extremely flambouyant apartment buildings.
one of the wedding lock bridges
There is also a huge market place (Zeppelin hangars) and some great shopping centres.

The food is very good and there is plenty to offer in all cuisines.

We were also lucky to witness Riga's 806th birthday celebrations so there was a lot going on: Concerts, ballet, light shows, speed boat racing, stalls. It was great to be a part of it and see how another nation celebrates.

Overall, Riga is a beautiful, clean, entertaining city. It's not as cheap as it apparently used to be, and I actually found it more expensive than Vienna in many situations.

If you are an English buck then please just stay where you are.
Everyone else, please visit this gorgeous city and its surroundings!




ilvagul says:
Omg, I can't believe I actually wrote that. Must have been a bad day! :D Crap!
Posted on: Oct 10, 2010
ilvagul says:
You know what - you made my day. Really. I'm actually so glad that you got to see the nice side of Riga.

P.S. The thing is that guys in UK are not that bad, but the ones who come and have their stag parties here (that's my hometown) they are assholes. The thing is that (I don't know why and how it started), but Latvia is known as a place full of good looking whores. And that just makes me pissed!

But it was great to read your blog! Thanks! ;)
Posted on: Feb 19, 2010
petew says:
What can i say mate....Had a shee it hot time and plenty of good laughs...

BRATS-islava all locked in mate! Have a good one in italy.
ciao
Posted on: Aug 29, 2007
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Riga Birthday celebrations - balle…
Riga Birthday celebrations - ball…
Riga Birthday celebrations
Riga Birthday celebrations
Bridge Locks
Bridge Locks
More Bridge locks...
More Bridge locks...
one of the wedding lock bridges
one of the wedding lock bridges
the delightful Riga Canal
the delightful Riga Canal
around the canal
around the canal
Art Nouveau building....
Art Nouveau building....
more Art Nouveau
more Art Nouveau
even more Art Nouveau
even more Art Nouveau
a taste of Austria in Riga
a taste of Austria in Riga
Riga Freedom monument...
Riga Freedom monument...
6 km (4 miles) traveled
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