Alone In Riga

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August 15th 2006
Published: August 19th 2006
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Alone In Riga
5:54 am and I am onboard a train to Oslo airport. It’s strange to think this may be the last time I will ever be in Norway (unless of course my Norwegian friends give me an excuse to come back!). It’s crazy that one year has already gone by. So much has happened this year. I feel like I’ve grown by leaps and bounds and pray that God continues to refine me and teach me even more when I go home.

Kaspars K and his friend picked me up from the airport, dropped me off at the hotel and gave me a quick orientation of the area. It is a very nice, clean, new, peaceful hotel with natural colors (it is very inviting even with a desk, which is always good for me). In case you are ever in Riga it is called the Grizins and is about a 10 minute tram ride (tram number 6) from the center (or Old Riga). Then I freshened up and headed out. On the way to the tram I used the two Latvian words I know to buy some water (I was so proud of myself). Then I jumped on the tram to the city center. It is strange to return to a city I never thought I would return to and this time alone (not with the team) and in the summer (no snow!). I was the silly tourist with a camera and goofy grin on my face as I was caught up in the beauty of the city (buildings, beautiful parks). I just walked aimlessly around, down the cobblestone streets, sometimes into shops (but didn’t buy anything - although an amber ring was calling my name, perhaps I will return and give it a home). It was such a lovely day but something weird happened to me by the end of the day, I felt a little lonely! One year ago, I would’ve never felt lonely after just one day by myself. I guess that is what happens after never being by myself more than a few hours a day for a whole year!

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If you look at the bridge there is a wedding party performing a Latvian tradition. The bride and groom are attaching padlocks (etched with their names) on the bridge. There are a few more bridges around the city where couples do this.

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