start of my tour, not quite as I had planned

Riga Travel Blog

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my Saab 2000 in Riga
"I am going to be spending a few days here with organized tours during the day and then exploring by myself in the evenings, i think i'll get to see some of the countryside while i'm here."

Well that statement above was my plan, I wasn't too sure about going to Russia and the Baltic states on my own as I figured (before I started my journey) that Eastern Europe would be vastly different than what I am used to and I might be more comfortable in a group. Funny how life throws you a curve ball sometimes and plans change without warning. After my 2 months of freedom I was really not looking forward to the thought of being on an organized tour with what would be in my mind, old, fat and rude people most likely from America. I don't know why I was thinking this, I just was and I had a feeling of dread for my next phase of my journey.
flying on a ghost plane, i was the sole passenger


Like I said plans change...

I went to the airport in Lithuania and had a big old laugh with the check in girls as I would be the only passenger on a 50 seat Saab aircraft from Vilnius to Riga. I don't think they had ever had just one passenger before and I must say I have never experienced it myself before either, I have had flights with as few as 4 other people but never a flight where I was the sole passenger. I was waiting at the boarding gate area (where 5 flights had their gates) and rather than make an announcement stating that the flight was boarding, a check in girl just came up to me and told me that my mini van to the aircraft was waiting for me.

After I boarded the plane even the pilots thought it was funny as the captain made an announcement starting with the phrase "with the gentlemen sitting in 4A.
canal in Riga
..." The flight was very pleasant and after I landed in Riga and collected my bags I had a driver waiting for me at the arrivals gate holding a sign with my name on it. I got in the car and the driver took me to a hotel and left me there. I went in the hotel to check in and they didn't have a reservation for me. I looked through my paper work from the tour operator and it turned out that the driver dropped me off to the wrong hotel. I asked for directions to get to my real hotel and decided to walk there, the walk took me 20 minutes and it started to heavily rain halfway there so I got nice and wet.

I got to the second hotel and they didn't have a reservation for me either, it took about 2 hours to get it sorted and eventually I was told the hotel I should have been taken too and I went to that one.
Toby and Andy at the table
When I finally arrived at the 3rd hotel I was able to check in, however I received no information about the tour or anything at all. The paperwork given to me by my travel agent just said evening welcome get together and nothing else. I waited until after 6pm and decided to go out and get some food as I had no idea what was going on.

I went for a nice walk around the city for a while and grabbed some food at a cafe , here I met two English guys and I hung out with them for the rest of the evening. We went to a pub where I met some great German girls who where riding their bikes from Germany to Russia. We all exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up for dinner the next evening in the same area.  I was having a great time with them, however I decided to leave at around 11:30pm as I figured that I would be meeting up with the rest of the tour group in the morning and I didn't want to make it a late one.
enjoying myself in the pub


I was walking the streets on my own to my hotel (like I had been doing my entire trip) when all of a sudden from my left a guy came straight at me and sprayed my face with pepper spray. He didn't say anything to me just sprayed my face, while I was blinded by the spray another guy from in front of me proceeded to punch me in the face and then clubbed my right knee with something so that I fell to the ground. After that my memory of the night is really blurry as I was knocked out during the attack. I do remember waking up later on only to have more people hit me when I was down, my friends think that these second guys may have been the police as I somehow ended up in a Police station telling police officers about my attack.

My next memory is of me in a hospital, I have no idea how I got to the hospital except for the fact that I have a memory of being in a hospital and the next day I had a script for some medication.
the last photo I have before the mugging
I woke up the following day in my bed at the hotel and again I had no idea how I got there, I didn't even know which hotel I was staying at before I left on my walk so I had absolutely no idea how or when I got back to the hotel. I was still wearing my clothes from the night before, my head hurt really bad and I couldn't see out of my left eye, but at the time I had no idea what the hell happened. I noticed that my favourite necklace that my best friend had given me (and I never ever took off) wasn't around my neck and that my wallet and phone were missing but I didn't straight away put the pieces together.

I'll continue this story in the next blog as technically it is part of the next day.

(oh if you are wondering how I am able to have photos, for some reason my camera wasn't taken from me in the mugging. I'll never understand why)
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my Saab 2000 in Riga
my Saab 2000 in Riga
flying on a ghost plane, i was the…
flying on a ghost plane, i was th…
canal in Riga
canal in Riga
Toby and Andy at the table
Toby and Andy at the table
enjoying myself in the pub
enjoying myself in the pub
the last photo I have before the m…
the last photo I have before the …
Lithuanian air lines Boeing 737
Lithuanian air lines Boeing 737
arrived at Riga airport
arrived at Riga airport
connecting the fuel line
connecting the fuel line
pretty clouds through a scratched …
pretty clouds through a scratched…
nice map
nice map
european union member states flags…
european union member states flag…
fast moving tram
fast moving tram
in flight refreshment
in flight refreshment
lamb and tomato meatballs
lamb and tomato meatballs
mini bacon croissants
mini bacon croissants
view from my hotel room
view from my hotel room
my bag stored in the next row
my bag stored in the next row
my beer in this cool mug
my beer in this cool mug
my Saab 2000 in Vilnius
my Saab 2000 in Vilnius
nice looking beach
nice looking beach
nose of the saab
nose of the saab
on that canon
on that canon
part of the safety card
part of the safety card
tram in Riga
tram in Riga
a Saab 340
a Saab 340
the bar where I met the two Englis…
the bar where I met the two Engli…
the first wrong hotel i was taken …
the first wrong hotel i was taken…
the plate my food came on
the plate my food came on
this is called green rice
this is called green rice
this is one of the SAS Dash 8s th…
this is one of the SAS Dash 8's t…
Toby with his rabbit dropping cove…
Toby with his rabbit dropping cov…
turbo prop
turbo prop
unfinished wall and canon
unfinished wall and canon
more views from my hotel
more views from my hotel
wall next to the exit stairs
wall next to the exit stairs