Seeing another side of Riga
Riga Travel Blog› entry 16 of 19 › view all entries
OK I was determined to see a different side of the city today, outside of the Old Town, so I took the free Riga tour. Its a walking tour that takes you all over the city, giving you an insight on parts of this great city that get overlooked by most people... On the tour I met a couple that watched the ice hockey game with me the night before (small world).
The tour takes us through the food market, as I already explored this the day before... We pass the 24 hr market, by the docks where you can buy 15 kilos of potatoes at 2 AM if you really wanted to :D (However, I would not recommend to be in that area at 2am lol)
We made our way to the Art Noveau area of Riga, with nice buildings, past the film academy, and buildings showing off different stages of Latvian architecture over the years.
We spot at the old KGB Headquarters of Riga, where we are told the basement was reinforced with concrete to keep out the screams. The building is a reminder of past history, with the place that is supposed to be an entrance being locked symbolizing that you enter but cannot leave. You used to be taken and kept on the 6th floor until your interogation but people would jump out of the windows rather than be interogated so they had to put bars outside the windows to stop people from jumping out... CRAZY!
In Riga almost all of the reminders of Soviet occupation are gone, and people are looking toward the future!
The next part of the tour took us into the 'illegal' market, this is where you will find your bike that was stollen the day before along with just about anything you might think of.
One thing that really was pretty sad was that with the economic hardship that is effecting everyone, people are forced to sell their most prized possessions just to survive. I saw every Soviet medal imaginable, the equivalent of Purple Heart, and other high honors being sold off for pennies. This is especially sad for me being so close to 'May 9th Victory Day' when the Russians celebrate victory over the Nazi's. I remember my grandfather would dress up every year on May 9th, wearing all his medals like badges of honor, and the thought that someone has to sell them is very sad to me.
After the tour I checked out Old Town, St.
At night I met up with my friend Zane and a few of her italian friends for some drinks and fun in Riga. We went for few drinks at Cuban cafe, the italian guys Lorenzo and Daniele cracked us up! Then we went to the docks to check out live bands playing at this old abandoned warehouse! It was awesome!!! Accoustic performance by an amazing singer, and then rock band really put on a great show :D
Riga has something for just about everyone, you will not be disappointed!
Ok on to Stockholm!