Road to Russia

Riga Travel Blog

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Breakfast at 7:30 AM. Depart for Russia at 8:00 AM. At about 9:30 AM our bus had to swerve to avoid a truck that made a sudden turn… or so I'm told… I was asleep when this happened. All I know for sure is that when I woke up the bus was stuck in a ditch on the side of the road, and I was being told that everyone on my side of the bus had to move to prevent the bus from tipping over. Luckily, we had gone off road directly across the street from some sort of quarry, so within 15 minutes we had gotten a bulldozer to tow our bus backwards out of the ditch, and we were back on our way to the Russian border.

After a few rest stops along the way, we arrived at the Russian border at around 4:00 PM. It took nearly 2 hours just to leave Latvia and enter "No Man's Land", where we remained for another 4 hours while each of our passports, visas, and bags were checked, and the bus was given a thorough inspection. It turns out that the bus had been delivered to Latvia from Denmark via ferry by a different driver than the one taking us across the border, which the Russian border guards made quite a fuss about. After several hours and a 2,500 Euro fine for not properly documenting the exchange of drivers, we finally entered Russia a little around 11:00 PM. One viewing of Anchor Man later, we arrived at our hotel at 2:00 AM, ate a very late dinner, and went to sleep. End
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Breakfast at 8:00 AM. Met Oliver (Our Tour Manager) in the hotel lobby at 9:00 AM for a walking tour of the "Old Town". After walking tour, went to the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia (1940-1991), which documented the history of their occupation by the U.S.S.R, Nazi Germany, and then the U.S.S.R again after WWII. Lunch in the square after the Museum at an outdoor café. Attempted to climb a nearby church tower, but the queue was far too long, so we simply paid a visit to "Black Magic" to partake of some unique local liqueur. Then, after exchanging some euros into rubles for the following day, we headed back to the hotel to shower and change for dinner.

The group was supposed to meet back at the square at 6:00 PM, but we didn't arrive until 6:15 PM, so we decided to go to an underground medieval restaurant called "Rozengrals" that Oliver had recommended earlier. After dinner, we went back to Skybar for a quick beer before meeting the rest of the group in the square at 9:00 PM, and then had a couple more drinks at Cuba Café before calling it a night.
 Dinner in the hotel at 7:00 PM. Met in the hotel lobby at 8:00 PM to walk down to the Old Town. Drinks at Skybar on the 26th floor of the city's tallest building, followed by further cocktails at Cuba Café.