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Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga May 6th 2015

Heute war Riga dran. Ich komm mir schon so vor wie ein Japaner, der ganz Europa in 7 Tagen macht. Bei mir sind’s zwar nur Litauen und Lettland, aber auch zu wenig Zeit. Aber Arzttermine vorher und hinterher haben mich eingeengt. Jedenfalls war Rigau irgendwie ein Reinfall. Ich wagte mich, wie schon in Vilnius, ohne lange Unterhose aus dem Hotel - und das war ein gravierender Fehler. Es war saukalt und regnete immer wieder und mich fror meistens. Mit dem öffentlichen Bus fuhr ich ins Stadtzentrum und machte eine Stadtrundfahrt mit einem Hop-on-Hop-off Bus, in diesem Fall allerdings nur Hop on, den bei diesem Wetter dachte niemand daran irgendwo off zu hoppen, der nächste Bus kam in zwei Stunden. Schließlich war ich die einzige, die vor der Endhaltestelle ausstieg - ich ging zu den Markthallen. Sie ... read more
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Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga May 5th 2015

In der Nacht hat es wieder geregnet, aber bis ich endlich aus der Tiefgarage kam war blauer Himmel. Und im Lauf des Vormittags wurde es sogar so warm (18°), dass ich die Sturmhaube, die bei Motorradfahrern im Winter und bei Bankräubern im ganzen Jahr so beliebt ist (weil nur ganz kleine Teile des Gesichts sichtbar sind) ausziehen konnte. Die erste Sehenswürdigkeit des Tages war der geographische Mittelpunkt Europas- leider konnte ich Paulchen nicht bis ganz dahin fahren, vorher war eine Holzbrücke und wie machte keinen sehr gesunden Eindruck. Verboten war es sowieso.... Und so toll, wie Berta am Äquator wäre es auch nicht gewesen. Aber ich bin schon erstaunt, dass der Mittelpunkt so weit im Osten ist. Leicht wellige Landschaft, Einzelhöfe, oft auf Anhöhen. Die Friedhöfe sind im ganzern Land immer außerhalb der Dörfer, oft in ... read more
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Europe » Latvia September 17th 2014

Boy I'll tell ya, there are some true tests of overseas living. When you are carrying everything on public transport, your grocery trips tend to be rather small. Therefore, you shop almost every day. Bigger things like "Wow a laundry hamper would be nice" get put on a list for a later day, when there are a number of things like that, enough to justify taking a taxi home from the store. But yours truly has always been big on doing things now, things that should probably wait. To begin with, Dave is one of two 6th grade advisers. Besides the glorious task of teaching the children not to be pains in the neck, he also got to spend an overnight camping trip with them last weekend. Unfortunately, I had scheduled an appointment for our cat ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga September 12th 2014

Monday, 8 Sept – Gauja NP, Latvia Bankwest sent me an sms overnight saying they’d blocked my card, despite speaking to me only yesterday. Yet another call to get it unblocked. Useless! Besides, how on earth does a €48 hotel charge equate to A$676,000 (which is why they were calling). I’m pretty sure there’s no exchange rate in Europe that matches that equation. Don’t call me about stupid amounts. I am not buying a chateau, and even if I did, we both know you wouldn’t approve it even if I authorised it. €2.85 = A$3.96. This was how much our delightful breakfast cost at Hotel Lacu Miga (henceforth known as Hotel Knowles). We bounded down the stairs at 9am to find a different lady from the night before, smiling and talking to us in Latvian, or ... read more
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Europe » Latvia » Kurzeme Region » Liepaja September 2nd 2014

Liepaja west coast of Latvia for Tom's Birthday 1 September 2014 Liepaja is known for its unique former secret military town of Karosta and a magnificent beach. The coastal city is known to Latvians as "the city where the wind is born", for the sea breeze it constantly enjoys. It has a nice beach and a charming town centre with a colourful mixture or architectural styles, from wooden houses and spacious parks to Art Nouveau and concrete, Soviet-era apartment buildings. Some of the drive from Riga to Liepaja was through forest. We noticed a lot of cars had stopped along the road. We found out later they were mushrooming. It is the mushroom season in Latvia. We arrived in the city by late afternoon on 31 August and found a fantastic camp site about 5 kms ... read more
Liepaja Latvia (1)
Liepaja Camp Site on west coast of Latvia (9)
Our tour guide for Karosta Prison in Liepaja Latvia - he had served under Societ and USSR forces for 40 yrs and believes Putin is the most dangerous man in the world

Europe » Latvia » Kurzeme Region » Ventspils September 1st 2014

Ventspils & Kuldiga in NW Latvia 31 August 2014 What an interesting day we had today in western Latvia....weather fantastic, roads mostly good, lovely neat towns, helpful people and amazing landscaping, both hard and soft. We had a smooth trip from Riga to Ventspils, which is on the western coast and hosts one of busiest ports in Europe. This town is known for its white sandy beaches (main one is called Blue Flag Beach) and its harbour terminal for commercial purposes, including passenger terminals for ships coming from Stockholm in Sweden. The extra feature of the town is its parks, summer entertainment, ancient narrow gauge railway, cow sculptures and the medieval Livonian Order Castle. There are Adventure Parks and other sporting venues which are well used all year around. Some towns just 'mould around you' and ... read more
Ventspils Latvia - the cow is their emblem (1)
Ventspils Latvia - incredible parks (11)
Ventspils Latvia - incredible parks (10)

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga August 31st 2014

Riga Latvia 30 August 2014 We arrived in Riga on good roads, at about 4.00pm on 29 August and found Camping Riga which was on the island across the River Daugava which winds its self through the city. It was an OK-appointed camp site which had everything we needed. We got to our GB and German neighbours. In fact, the next morning we took a 90 sightseeing bus trip around the city and 2 couples from Germany came to. They had both been to Australia so we chatted about their times in our country. The bus trip gave us a good overview of the city and how beautiful it was with its many German Art Nouveau buildings. Gosh I love those buildings. It is the largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. Riga is ... read more
Outside St Peters Church in Riga Latvia
Where we had our cold afternoon drink in Riga Latvia - great entertainment and decore (3)
Extreme Sport event in Riga Latvia (7)

Europe » Latvia August 31st 2014

Well this is it. The start of the 3rd week of school. I always say that the 3rd week is the determining week, when the kids are the craziest, your plans and to do list are highest, and it seems like it will never end. Our school is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. We had a big celebration the first day, with guest speakers, a flag raising ceremony, and cupcakes for everyone. It was simply nice. We will continue to celebrate throughout the year. Dave and I are getting better at learning our schedules and sharing our room. Everyone has been helpful and understanding as we work in our new school, new curriculum, and new country. Some of the things that make it purely different from last year: 1. Latvians give flowers for everything. It ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Vidzeme Region » Sigulda August 29th 2014

Sigulda near Riga in Latvia 29 August 2014 After finishing some emails and blogging and watching all the group Dutch motor homes slowly leave the camp site at Cesis, we drove to Sigulda which is about 50kms NE of Latvia's capital, Riga. And hooray, the roads were excellent. Located in the picturesque Gauja valley, with its steep banks and cliffs, Sigulda has become known as the 'Switzerland of Latvia'.....without the mountains. We got our maps of the area from the tourist office again. We saw the following: Turaida castle was about 4km outside of Sigulda. It's been rebuilt in the Soviet area and now houses exhibition space and a small café. It also has fabulous views over the valley and the river. Gutmanis cave lies half-way between Sigulda and Turaida castle and has a little creek ... read more
Sigulda Castle complex in Latvia - the old castle (9)
Gutman's Cave and Guaja National Park in Sigulda in Latvia (1)
Gutman's Cave and Guaja National Park in Sigulda in Latvia (3)

Europe » Latvia » Vidzeme Region » Cesis August 29th 2014

Madona & Cesis Latvia 27 & 28 August We are now in Latvia after 2 hours going through the border at Terehova which is near Zilupe. It has been so very different being in Latvia compared with Russia; back to our alphabet, more English spoken, many camp sites for motor homes, excellent sign posting, easy to fine tourist offices, not the big distances to drive between towns, beautifully landscaped villages, back to the Euro, our GPS loves Europe(!), and lots of maps and information about special places to visit. I don't often compare countries because they are usually so different that it is unfair to compare, however we have immediately found it so much easier as soon as we entered Latvia. In saying all that, we wouldn't have missed seeing Russia for anything! As it was ... read more
Cesis Medieval Castle Latvia (12)
Madona eastern Latvia (1)
Madona eastern Latvia (2)




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