We arrived in Riga midday after a fairly empty Ryanair flight out. After taking the AirBaltic shuttle bus to our hotel (anyone can take it and they'll drop you at your hotel for 6 lvs which is better than worrying about a taxi) we decided to spend the rest of the day getting our bearings and generally having a walkabout. Mostly because the hotel was empty, basic and downright depressing. After having a late lunch at Albert's Pub in Dome Square we wandered north towards Riga Castle and back down the outskirts, snapping photos all the way. This went well until my friend, being kinda loopy as he is, thought it would be funny to climb on the Latvian Freedom Monument and get a photo up there.
Apparently in Latvia this isn't cool.
After a short discussion about whether or not climbing on monuments is normal with Riga's police, we mumbled aplogies and were pretty much told to beat it.
Which we did, a tumble with the law over something so petty was not how we wanted our weekend break to go. After than we heaed off to see the Orthadox Church (impressive inside and being restored after being used as a planterium by the Soviets) and then headed backing into town, past the Freedom Monument and glares of the same two police officers. We spent the rest of our time wandering about until we headed back to the hotel to get ready to go out. We searched for a good half hour for a decent place to eat (we refuse to eat in TGI Fridays) dinner which was somewhat annoying given how many places we'd made note of earlier in the day yet now seemed completely incapable of finding. Perhaps maring them on the map would have been a good idea? Oh well, too late to worry about the past now, time to move forward.
The outbreak of a thunderstorm sped up our decision by limiting our options and my intense desire not to end up looking like a drowned rat on my first day (wait to the second at least!) and we settled for a nice little Latvian resturant just off the town square eventually. Pretty well priced, I paid less than a tenner for soup, beer and a main course. Afterwards we went back to our abode and to sleep, with the intention of seeing more tommorrow. But not before having a fairly long discussion of morality and it's perception expressed in Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". Bedtime reading indeed.