After sitting through the recent SAS pilot's strike I wondered about SAS logistics when an Air Baltic flight was also scheduled to fly to Riga also at 9am for a quarter of the price of ours. 3 staff, 1 pilot and only 15 customers were on our flight. We only flew with SAS because it was part of our connection.
Riga airport was modern and peaceful.
Buying the bus ticket to town was extremely easy and we didn't even need to withdraw cash or change money.
It was raining lightly on arrival but was an easy 10 min walk to our Airbnb and the room was ready when we arrived at 12.30.
On our way to our room we spied a few Konditori bakeries and after check in fully sampled what they had to offer before wandering through the old town. The sun came out and it topped 10 degrees.
Our room was a modern but fairly squishy double with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities in a modernized basement. There were only 6 private rooms that shared in a beautiful, old, solid, high ceiling apartment block.
Our first morning whilst fixing breakfast we met a German girl
staying alone. Her mother was staying at a flash hotel elsewhere in Riga and she opted to stay cheaper.
We went on the Alternative Riga tour at midday after a slow start which was a great city orientation of the areas outside of the old town and the weather brightened up. It was fairly quiet in the city and we learnt that it was the Independence holiday; reason for many shops being closed. We wandered home after basking in the sunny park and then following the greenery along what used to be the old town moat. The architecture was surprisingly beautiful for an ex-Soviet city.
On the Tuesday Heike and Herta, the German mother and daughter, joined us for a day in Jurmala seaside resort which was a half hour away by train. Coffee, cakes, photos of beautiful houses and a walk along the sand beach. Herta and Heike left us after lunch and we explored an adventure park in a forest before catching a train back. Once we told them what they missed they decided to return 2 days later for another trip. The cc for some reason wouldn't accept our payment but fortunately the emergency cash that
I had kept from years ago came out to help. This worried us a little as we were depending on our credit cards for payment and cash withdrawal every where but it turned out to be a one off event, for some reason.
Our friend from Stockholm; Anna Karin arrived on Wednesday and was happy to follow along for an Art Nouveau Architecture tour of Riga in the afternoon. Dinner was at a restaurant called Lido, where you could choose from a huge selection of Latvian dishes that were ready to take directly from a buffet and pay at a counter. Loads of local selections. It became our new favorite and we returned for lunch the next day after the tour of the Old Town.
It was nice to see Riga at night with Anna Karin, as we usually have difficulty getting out on cold nights to enjoy the atmosphere.
After saying farewell to A-K we photographed her ferry back to Stockholm from the view from the top of the Radisson hotel so we could send it to her.
Our last day flew by quickly as we prepared to move on to Vilnius in Lithuania on the
3pm Lux bus and Lux it was! With our own computer screens, movies, music and plugs as well as allocated seats and free coffee. A great customer service focussed bus service, which we commented was better and more comfortable than our international flight had been.
More Photos follow. .....
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