Blogs from Latvia, Europe - page 14


Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga June 27th 2011

Latvia is very nice, it feels genuine, like people are going on with the business of living in a regular way, not sure how to say it, but people seem REAL here. We have been recouping from our last week or so of adventure and enjoying the day. Doing some shopping - or I should say some looking - because the US dollar is incredibly weak, you really wouldn't believe just how expensive it is to travel throughout Europe. In Latvia of all the countries I have thought about, we have encountered prices as high, if not higher than they were in Finland. And the terrible thing is there is just so much cute clothing - I want it! But, will instead be happy strolling the streets, seeing the sites and the people. Have learned a ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region June 27th 2011

It is early Monday morning here. I have learned that it is a wonderful time to use the hostel computers and kitchen. All that drinking the night before keeps the youth in bed and out of my way. I am going to head over to the open air market this morning and see what fresh fish they have. I have been putting a few pictures on my facebook page since my phone has some pictures in it. We have not been able to download the photos from our cameras onto the hostel computers. The Naughty Squirrel is very nice and clean. Bonus we can close the window from all the whistlers in the street below. Now I know why the folks in NY yell not nice things from the windows. We had a quiet evening last ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga June 26th 2011

We have arrived in Riga, Latvia and just getting our bearings around the city. The city already feels more authentic, more real then the city we left, which I appreciate. The bus ride over was very nice, they have gone quite luxurious with their buses and the 4 hour trip passed quickly. We've had our fill of caviar, bread, butter, nutella and other good things we have come to have the taste for while on the road. Not sure what the next couple of days here will hold, we haven't got too many plans, and instead hope to go at a bit slower pace, to recoup from our running over the past few days. More later, love, A... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga June 24th 2011

After Tartu in Estonia, it was just short train journey to the border with Latvia at Valga. The border between Estonia and Latvia actually goes straight through the middle of this town, which must have made life for the locals really fun before the border controls were removed a few years ago. From Valga I caught a Latvian train for the town of Cesis, which is about halfway between Valga (or Valka as it’s named in Latvian) and Riga. Cesis is supposed to be one of the more beautiful Latvian towns, as it has a preserved medieval centre and not one, but two castles. The first impressions however weren’t the best – the area around the station was filthy and full of inebriated Russians, and unlike Estonia where there were tourist signs everywhere, I had no ... read more
Cesis Castle
Midsummer celebrations
Midsummer celebrations

Europe » Latvia » Latgale Region » Daugavpils June 15th 2011

Here's the deal. I'm in the library, banging on a keyboard who's spacebar seems to be stuck so am making quite a racket. I'm in the library because, according to tourist information who didn't listen to me when i said that the internet cafe they said I should go to is closed, is the only other place i can use the internet (according to them). What's happened since I last blogged? Well, i've had my gear cable replaced, chain oiled and a new tyre fitted but well, i'm still stuck in first gear. Grrrrr. Not so bad because I'm in hilly country, Latgale, but still... And tomorrow I'm out the door (ie border) to Lithuania. So after Aluksne I was Balvi bound. But, you know how things can change... I was still Balvi bound and what ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Latgale Region June 10th 2011

What have I done since I last blogged? Moved on but not all that much and still managed to make it to a new country. You gotta love Europe for its incy wincy distances and new countries every few hundred kilometres. Ride out of Tartu pretty uneventful. Did meet a Swiss cyclist, Jepp, riding into town as I was riding out. He had ridden from Switzerland in the same time that I had spent in Estonia. And done double the distance. Hmmm. Am glad I'm not cycling with these guys I'm meeting along the way. Actually, what am I saying? There's no way I even could! I did end up camping that night in a place that also doubles as a nightclub "Life" just near Podha. Luckily, there was no life at the club. Just me. ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region June 1st 2011

We were traveling from the Hill of Crosses to Kuldiga in Latvia,we had taken a different route to the original plan and I suddenly realised we were only 50K west of Rundale Palace so we did a U turn and went east. It was late in the day we had 1 hour to look inside at the 40 renovated of 128 rooms, but we were not told we had to pay an extra lat to take photos inside, we had paid by card as we had no cash yet so we missed out on side photos. It was well worth the visit. The same architect as the winter palace in St Petersburg so it will be interesting to compare. The cost of renovations and the effort after it had been left in the Soviet era is ... read more
View of the gardens from inside
Swallows nesting on all the windows
Virka Muiza hotel Kuldiga

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga May 23rd 2011

We arrived in Riga in the late afternoon and it was a perfect afternoon to take a stroll through the old town down past the imposing St Peter's Cathedral through the dome square to the huge Daugava river. We sat out on the dome square and had a beer listening to a live band playing English music. Riga is different to what I expected. It has quite a modern, western feel to it with a couple of really nice parks with a canal running through the middle of them. Our hotel is right near the pretty Latvian National Opera House and it was a very nice evening to wander around the area. The next day was a little rainy but didn't stop us from doing a 2 hour walking tour of the old town by a ... read more
Riga square
Freedom monument

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga April 26th 2011

I arrive at Riga in the dark and set off in an attempt to orientate myself. I figured I had about 20 minutes of walking ahead of me to get to my hostel, Cinamon Sally, and as this was my first bit of solo travel I felt some pressure to get things right! I took a picture of a map and started walking in a random direction, searching for a street name so I'd know where I was. I couldn't find any, but of course I just kept on walking – I'm a man damnit, I don't need to ask for directions! I refused to take a taxi too, I was going to figure this out. After five minutes of walking I eventually found a street name – and it happened to be precisely where my ... read more
The Naughty Squirrel
One of the many squares
Gotta love the architecture!

Europe » Latvia March 18th 2011

Another bus journey, another Baltic capital city. We arrived in Riga quite late but it quickly made a better impression on me than Vilnius. It was cleaner, there was less litter and much less senseless graffiti. Our hostel was a little way out of the old town and was a pretty nice place. It was also pretty good value for the price we were paying (€30/night for quad room with baby cot). We had two full days to explore the relatively small city, so we relaxed a little and took it at quite a slow pace. The first thing that became quite apparent was that the prices were considerably more than either Lithuania or Poland, something we weren't expecting at all. We’ve been told that with the arrival of the budget airline flights from the UK ... read more
Typical Riga street
Inside Riga Dome Cathedral
View from St Peter's Church

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