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July 9th 2010
Published: July 9th 2010
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Early morning today! Got up at 5am for my flight, ugh. On the bright side, could have been worse had I slept back in Stockholm lol - 10min transfer and I was at the airport, good to go!

I wish I were flying out of Stockholm instead of Oslo on my way back haha - their duty free had every imaginable flavour of Absolut Vodka… and of course, it being from Sweden was quite cheap. Bah. They also had a neat little package of “Swedish spirits” - a bunch of those small taster bottles - but I didn’t want to carry those around for another 2 weeks.

I’m sure I’ll still find something that floats my boat in Oslo though 😉

Also, I need to learn the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian words for sparkling/fizzy water as opposed to regular water. Today was the 3rd time I’ve fallen victim to that trap while in Sweden haha, you’d think I’d have learned. I drank it out of spite… stupid bubbles.

(Sidenote: a popular chocolate bar brand here is called “Ploppy”… what a highly unfortunate name for a chocolate bar.)

Anyway! Flight was short and sweet - 44min. I switched seats so a grandma could sit with her grandkids, so no window seat for me - ie, no plane shots =(

Continuing my “I’m too stubborn to look at maps” routine (haha, sigh), I easily found the city bus to take me into town from the airport. (Screw paying $10 for an airport transfer, ha. I can have a 24-hr bus/tram ticket for $3!) I got off at the right stop… and that’s when my stubborn-streak finally came back to haunt me haha.

Def walked 15min the wrong way before realizing it was the wrong way... which of course meant I had to walk those 15min back to where I started. Then took me another 10min to figure out where I was going and to get there. All this with my ginormous backpack, in sweltering heat. Ugh.

Needless to say when I got to the hostel all I wanted to do was crash on my bed for a solid hour. The owner(?) wanted to give me a tour of the place and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Sigh, so after that 5-10min I finally got to crash into my bed.

Ahhhh, felt so good.

Oh, about the hostel - continuing with the whole “theme” thing, this one’s called the “Tiger Hostel” and everything is tiger - I have tiger photos on the wall, a tiger chair, my sofa and my bed are upholstered in tiger print blankets haha. It’s funny. It’s fun.

Since I really felt like doing nothing, and since it was boiling outside, I did the only logical thing - I headed to the beach!

Jurmala is about 30min by local train (ahaha, slighty sketch) - it’s Latvia’s “beach resort” so to speak. I bought my ticket through a lovely game of charades - ah, the lack of English games begin! That’s ok, it adds to the fun lol.

The beach was great - sand was nice and loose, very soft without getting burning hot. I grabbed a beer and read my next book, “Water for Elephants”, on the patio for a bit. (You were right Mom, really good book!)

I then waded out into the Gulf of Riga for a bit - the water was nice and cool, it felt really nice. The first few steps were disgusting haha - so much algae/seaweed - but after that it was great. It’s really shallow - you could walk out quite far and it still only went up to my mid-thigh.

I then pulled up a beach chair and lazed in the sun for the next couple hours. Ahhhh, I like doing nothing.

I grabbed supper before heading back into town - ok, seriously love that prices are normal once again, if not better than normal. I had a HUGE meal (pork, veggies, fries), well worth the $9. I grabbed another beer while I was at it too - they sure know their beer here, very good. Pretty weak, but it tasted good.

I headed back to Riga after that - I had planned on maybe going to see Toy Story (just released here the other day), but from what I could tell they were all dubbed in Latvian or Russian haha… that just would not work. I might pop over to the cinema tomorrow (it’s across the street, convenient!) and see if they have any in English with subtitles rather than dubbings. We’ll see.

Tomorrow I’m doing a walking tour as well, and we’ll see what I decide on after that =)

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