Blogs from Latvia, Europe - page 3


Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga April 5th 2017

That was the only advice we got before we were flung down the icy tunnel in a “bobsleigh” that looked like it had been knocked up in someone’s garage. There were no other warnings, no training, no disclaimers to sign, “it is for five people, you are six, no problem we will squeeze you in”. The image I’d had before arrival of donning a lycra suit and sprinting down the ice track in spiky shoes before jumping in then carefully navigating the streamlined craft around the twists and turns were far off the mark. Turn up, get given a helmet, sit down in the padded coffin, off you go. They said with five people in it goes 80 km/h so with six I’m going to say 90-100 km/h. Certainly fast enough for us to bounce off ... read more
Very excited after first spotting the bobsleigh track
Not quite at winter olympics level but it's fun
Riga Central Market in the old German Zeppelin hangars

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga August 1st 2016

Day 191 Wednesday 27th July 2016 – Tartu to Riga Easy day today, with us taking our time packing and checking out at 11.30. Had a walk through this pretty town again and then sat in the park for a while to enjoy the ambience. Ended up in one of the shopping malls and decided to catch a movie, and couldn’t believe that a movie ticket only costs 2 Euros each. With the movie finished we only had 90 minutes before our bus arrived and so couldn’t eat at our usual restaurant as the service is a bit slow so decided to eat at the bus terminal and as expected it wasn’t very good. Grabbed our bags from our hotel across the road and then waited till our bus arrived which it did smack ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga June 20th 2016

Bremen – Riga: Ryanair £27 I showed the old geezer in the driving seat the address of my hotel and he nodded. Off we set. As we left the airport perimeter, I tried to engage him in conversation. “No English,” he barked. I nodded, irritated by his casual rebuke. Maybe it was because he was sick of Englishmen visiting his city and causing trouble. I couldn’t blame him if that was the reason. Ever since low cost airlines had invaded Riga, young Brits had flocked to the Baltics. In 2008, things came to a head when the Latvian interior minister described British tourists as ‘dirty, hoggish people’. His comment followed the arrest of a drunken 34-year old British man caught urinating on Latvia’s most revered memorial – the Freedom Monument. The taxi hit a ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga May 21st 2016

Baltic Road Trip May 2016 Day 1 Saturday – 6 hours driving Minsk to Riga Up early – 4:30 a.m. to depart for the Belarus-Lithuania border before it gets busy 2 hour drive to the border; only five cars ahead of us 1.5 hours to cross with much checking of the trunk; a helpful Belarus border agent with minimal English; Belarus immigration check; drive Belarus customs check; drive Lithuania immigration check; finally inside the European Union Stop near Lithuania-Latvia border for coffee and special cake – sakotis on into Riga, Latvia using our great phone navigation app (OsmAnd) We entered Riga during a huge motorcycle rally and maneuvered around closed roads to our nice hotel in the old town – huge room. Lunch on a square in the glorious sunshine. walked to see some of the ... read more
Riga Blackhead's House
Chilly, but sunny evening on the veranda
Stalin's birthday cake

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga July 12th 2015

Saturday 11 July: Igor picked us up at 9:15 to take us to the bus station so that gave us plenty of time to get ourselves packed and organised. We got to the bus station with time to spare and the bus was away close enough to on time. We had been pre-warned that there were extensive road-works on the main highway in Latvia so there would be about half an hour added to the journey. The bus wasn’t very full and was pretty well equipped. We headed south through the Estonian countryside, stopping after just under two hours at Pärnu. The bus filled up here and a group sat in front of us and in the vacant seat next to Heather. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to be acquainted with deodorant. We soon crossed the border ... read more
Blackheads House in Riga Old Town. Originally built in the 14th century it was bombed by the Germans in 1941 and the Soviets finished the job in 1948. Reconstructed from 1995 to 1999.
Not what we were expecting to find in Latvia!
A bit of geographical confusion perhaps. Could be that the owner of the Kiwi Bar is actually an Aussie.

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Jurmala July 8th 2015

No biking today, but did train and walk quite bit. Woke to cool overcast skies, later sprinkled intermittently until early afternoon. Then sun came out and heated up. Woke ate at hostel, granola, wild blueberries, lox, bread, tea and coffee - same as yesterday. Bought train tickets to Jurmala. We had read about this resort/spa area up the west coast, only 20 km from Riga. It has 5 miles of fine white sand beaches, with shallow waters of the Baltic sea. The train took about 30 minutes to get to Majori in Jurmala. We were met with a slight drizzle when we exited the train at Majori. We had brought umbrellas and extra clothes.Initially need them. We walked along the main tourist street - Jonas iela, where souvenir shops and restaurants line the carless street. We ... read more
Another Russian Historic wood home on Jonas iela
Selfie on streets of Jurmala
From tower Dizintaru park. Looking out at Baltic Sea.

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga July 7th 2015

Today we biked about 15 miles for a total of 472 miles. Warm, but not hot. No rain but breezy at times. After breakfast, wondered about some. Met at the Bike shop for our 2 planned bike tours today. Marcus, who is a transplanted Aussie, took us on a tour of the Kipsala, the Citadel and Art Noveau neighbors. Looked at redevelopment and refurbishment of Russian Wood Historic homes. Most have been torn down, but there is a movement to save this old relics from the Russian Empire ( not Soviet). They are mainly in Kipsala, on the other side of the river from Old town Riga.We also visited the Art Noveau area and identified several fascinating buildings in ... read more
Kipsala island in Riga - example of Russian Historic building
1905 statue dedicated to the Worker ( pre-Soviet era)
Front of Russian Orthodox Church in Moscovy section in Riga

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

No biking today. Started warm and part Early partly cloudy, later in late afternoon, rain began, with some thunderstorms. Rain ended early evening , but cooler. Got up at 6:00 am, ate scant breakfast. Boarded bus for Riga at 7:00 am. Arrived in Riga at 11:30 am. Went back to our Hostel in Riga - Cinnamon Sally and got set up at our new digs. We left a bag of our clothing here when we went to Vilnius. Walked around Riga some, but rain started. Finished reading the book, " the Devil in the White City". Excellent detailed book, but very creepy. H.H. Holmes is a certified sociopath. Anyway, need to find a new book. I read this and other books on the iPad. Works pretty good. Went to eat at Lido Restaurant. This is a ... read more
Starred waterfalls at park near hostel in Riga
Small river in Riga in Zpark
More Art Nouveau Architecture in Riga

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga July 2nd 2015

Today we biked about 6 miles for a total of 430 miles. The weather warm, felt hot at times, but in the shade you could still feel some coolness in the air. Had a fine breakfast at our Hotel - Livonia in Sigulda. Biked to the train station, but they changed the earliest time to 13:49 which we did not like. We ended up taking the bus, which was cheaper. For packing the bikes on the bus it was 2.30 € for both bikes. Pleasant ride. Riga is a big city with all the usual accoutrements. It seems much bigger than Tallinn. Bobbie and Gary are staying in the Opera Hotel. We are staying in the Cinnamon Sally Hostel - 4 bed dorm room. Shared shower and bathroom. A step down from we had gotten used ... read more
Blow up of Plaque for Cinnamon Sally Hostel
Art nouveau image on Alberti st
Doorway on Alberti st

Europe » Latvia » Vidzeme Region » Sigulda July 1st 2015

Today Pam and I biked 31 miles for a total of 424 miles. Started partly cloudy, but eventually partly sunny. Very good biking weather. Had a tailwind for a short time. Had a nice breakfast at Igate Pils. Left at 9:11 am. Road did not have much of a shoulder, but most drivers were respectful of us. Made good time. Stopped at Brinini castle. One of many castles in this area. Built in the beginning of the 11th century, but the current building is from the 18th century. Beautiful grounds and buildings. A Big manmade lake in front of it. Storks have taken up residence in one of the towers. They called to us by smacking their bills together rapidly. Later made it to the Turaidas Pils complex. There is much to see here. Lots of ... read more
The entrance to Brinini Pils
Storks taking residence in of the towers of Brinini Pils
Brinini Pils

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