Riga, September 2007
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I had a bit of a mission getting to latvia from berlin, i nearly missed the flight basically! the s bahn in germany was pretty slow and i guess i didnt account as much time as i needed. never the less i made it by the skin of my teeth!
i arrived in riga on thursday to a mega rain storm, the roads were flooded. i decided to take a taxi rather than mess about with the local bus. bit of a mistake, the driver was made-the weather didnt put him off bombing it down the road. argh! i found my way to the hostel, argonaut, and it was great. brilliant location and the place was so friendly. i had a quick turn around and by that time the sun was beaming so i took a walk around the place and it was amazing. every corner turned was a new experience and a great one at that.
i took it easy that night in the hostel lounge, which was a great spot for meeting people. i didnt bump into les a nice guy who was here to meet his internet lover. i got the full ins and out of the story which was great to hear :oP ive met so many people in this place, compared to the other hostels ive been in, people from oz, england, finland, holland, norway, NZ, prague it was great. the night was spend drinking plenty local beer and having a laugh. might i had a beer is 50p mega.
i had a good stroll arond the old part of the capital on wednesaday. the weather was good, nice and bright but not too hot which made it all the more special.
walking through the cobbled and winding streets its easy to get lost and i did many a time but i guess thats all part of the fun. i stumbled on the power town next which is a 14th century building anbd is the only survivor of the original 18 towers of the city wall. next came the cat house which was pretty funny to look at and the story behind it is a little bizarre. its a bright yellow building with a cat on the top.
i took a trip up st peters spire which stands at 123m but i only made it to the platform at 72m. the views from here over the city was great, truely breath taking. you could see for miles and the colours of the roof tops was a pretty good site.
i took a quiet walk through the park which was lush and green with loads of monuements spread out throughout it. i followed the old defensive moat through the park which is where the canal runs now.
in the afternoon me and a few guys from the hostel headed over to the central market which is an experience in itself. the stalls are massive and cover a great area. the colours and smells from the place are amazing. we got some locval produce which was delicious. yum.
again the night was spend mingling with other people in the hostel.
i decided to take a day trip from riga to ride the only narrow gauge railway that is still operating in latvia. it was a bit of an operation just getting the ticket.