The cable car bungee jump
9th July 2007
Riga and Sigulda, Latvia (euro trip part 3)
Current Mood: Sore
Category: Travel and Places
Did you know there are more Russians in Latvia than there are Latvians? There you are folks; you're useless fact for the day.
Once we arrived in Riga we left almost immediately to get the national park in Sigulda, where after we left the station it soon became apparent we were going to have to get another set of wheels as we had to walk a shed load of miles just to reach our guesthouse. Any more walking and we'd soon be back in Riga or worse still, London. So the Tour De Estonia had reached Latvia and soon we were once again flying around on bicycles and almost causing road accidents
View from a bungee
In Sigulda I managed to tick off one of my new years resolutions by doing a bungee jump out of a cable car over a river. One thing that became apparent whilst we were up there waiting for our turn to jump was that Sigulda is a bridal factory. I swear to god. There was a bridge down below us with a group of people all watching and waiting to see if any of us plummet to our death and every other chick walking over the bridge was a newly wed bride.
Either that or women's fashion sucks in Sigulda. Anyroad, I done the jump and I caught an arm on a lose rope as I was going down, so rather than having my arms sprayed elegantly out to the sides as I intended I actually ended up performing a Nazi salute much to the horror of those on the bridge. They thought those days had ended. Now I have a scar on my arm from the experience of getting my arm caught on all things, the safety rope. Later on in the evening when it was dark we cycled to see some ruins and out of nowhere fireworks started exploding in the distance. For a moment there I thought the Red Army had regrouped and were having a second pop at Latvia.
Del was struggling to find the exit to the cave. 'I've only found the entrance' he said
The following day we cancelled the idea of canoeing down the river as it appeared the British weather had managed to track us down. So instead of performing my Last Of The Mohicans impression starring Daniel Del Lewis we found ourselves back on the cycles doing some extreme off road biking. Tour De France doesn't even do this. Then we headed back to Riga to see what the capital was up to.
We stayed at a great hostel recommended to us called Franks. It was great cos it provided us with free beer when we arrived. One of the first things the hostel also did when we arrived was to be careful of the police. They're on a really low wage over there and rely on fining people who are drinking and peeing in public. I was going to have to curb my good habits then. The hostel also offered to take us to a firing range where I could go nuts with an AK47, shotgun and some other Rambo toys they had available but I didn't have the cash for it. I'd just have to keep getting my thrills off my Super Soaker water pistol back in England.
Spot the imposter and win a coconut
Much of Riga was involved us walking around looking cool and seeing the city, which isn't very big by the way. Well the country is about the size of London. We visited the Museum Of Occupation that sites the history of the Latvian people.
It explains how Germany liberated Latvia from the Red Army back in WWII - then went on to kill 20,000 Jews. Funny way to liberate a country but there you go. We went to the Skyline Bar that is 26 stories up in a skyscraper, which was a head spinner and had absolutely nothing to do with the cocktails we drank. Then there was the famous Central Market, a big market right behind the station. It had a massive meat market, and I'm not talking about the kind where you go and pull a chick, proper meat this one. At one point this burley butcher walked past us pushing along a wheelbarrow piled with pig's limbs and severed pigs head neatly balanced on top of the pile. I was like an animal version of the film Hostel.
Riga, I think
We met up with Lorna once again, along with others we had seen in Estonia. Turns out this is a little popular route this one, and the route was now leading us to Lithuania, the last of the Baltic countries.