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Europe » Latvia » Vidzeme Region July 4th 2014

Did you know that in this country 80% is forest and that its entire population is 1/3 of Paris population? Well, until going there in June, I also didn’t know that fact. So, for those, who prefer big citites, Latvia is definitely not the country to visit, except a trip to Riga will satisfy you, but for all the others, I can tell you that Latvia amazed me a bit more every day I was there. Even now, I still remember this country, as one of the best, if you are a nature lover, don’t like over touristy places and look for quietness! This country is for sure not rich but the people there are rich in their mind and attitude, which is far more important I think when you want to have a happy life. ... read more
Hiking along Gauja River
Typical wooden houses in Latvia
Remote beach near Tuja

Europe » Latvia » Kurzeme Region » Liepaja June 20th 2014

The Baltic Rally that we had been traveling with on and off through this area had gone to Lithuania when they left Gdansk. With us taking more time to explore Poland when we had a good weather window we moved up the coast further to Latvia. We left Gdynia at 8:30PM on June 18th with clear skies and about 10-12 knots of wind. We left this late at night because the winds were calming down some and with it staying light so late here we still had light for leaving the harbor. At the beginning of our journey we only had about 1 foot seas but by 4AM they had increased to 6-8 foot seas and finally got up to 9-10 foot seas by 4PM the next day. The winds had climbed to between 29-23 knots ... read more
The View from the "Marina" in Liepaja
Our Early Morning View from the Marina
Rafting Up

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga December 17th 2013

Geo: 56.9465, 24.1048We went for the champagne breakfast which was really nice with many varieties for the vegetarians and we then went to St Peter's Cathedral to see the views from top of the church, there is a lift to the top so we saved our legs. The 360 degree views of Riga were spectacular but it was bitterly cold and very windy so we did not hang out there for very long otherwise we would have hypothermia.There is a small charge of 7 euros for the lift but the views are worth it. Santa's Fun RunAfter St Peters church we went to town centre which had all the Christmas and New Year decorations on with elegant churches and some beautiful buildings with interesting architecture but the main Highlight was the Santa's Fair. Santa's Fair was ... read more
How many Santa's ?
Mulled wine stall
Santa's Fair

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga December 16th 2013

Geo: 56.9465, 24.1048 Our holiday to Baltic States was planned late; my daughter had just arrived a day before from Hong Kong for the Christmas and next day we were off for a short break to Riga and Tallinn. We were delayed at the Luton airport due to a signal failure but finally we arrived in Riga in the evening, we had booked the taxi with our hotel Wellton Centrum Hotel & Spa but the driver was waiting at the departure but we got it all sorted out in the end. The hotel was having few teething problem, we did not have any wifi in our room and my daughter was upset but the hotel was fully booked so they promised to change our room next day. The weather was freezing cold with minus temperatures and ... read more
Riga
Ice Statue
Rabbits having a picnic

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga October 1st 2013

Sorry, no easy train connection between Vilnius and Riga, so we took the nearly four hours easy ride on a bus. Lux Simple sell tickets for 3 euros per person one way...if you book into the first 5 seats...I did, and it was dirt cheap for a pretty comfortable bus. We would do the same for the 4 hours ride between Riga and Tallinn....but this time, on top of it, for the same three euros...we would receive complementary wifi...not bad! I didn't even noticed the border...well, I was looking for it...but didn't see it till we passed the first petrol station and saw the change of currency. Latvia will switch to the Euro in 2014, Lithuania only in 2016...and for Estonia, it was done two years ago. This time, I don't have any proper frequent hotel ... read more
Old Town
Tourist season is over...
We slept...across the river...

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region September 18th 2013

Riga, Latvia Loved this place. The pictures will give you an idea of what a joy it was to spend 10 days here. It was surprising to trade 2 US dollars for 1 Lat. This city is large enough to get lost in and spend an unplanned day wandering the streets without a plan, but small enough to cover in 2-3 days if you are in a crazy rush.... read more
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Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga August 25th 2013

I haven't written anything for a while now, I guess now that I am in Vilnius I should do a quick update on the rest of the organic farm stay as well as my three nights in Riga. Well the rest of the farm stay was interesting and relaxing. It was so interesting staying with a family and observing cultural differences which were more prominent than I expected. Marju was really busy the first day I was there and then the next few days was sick with an infection so she was pretty quiet towards me which I understood but after a few days I kind of felt a little unwelcome. At mealtimes conversations were pretty minimal and mostly in Estonian then when people finished their meal they would just leave the table and go watch ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga August 19th 2013

In the middle of August, my friend Hetty spent a long weekend in Riga. We arrived there on a Wednesday night, Hetty had flown in from Munich and I from Hamburg. It was perfect timing, and we started our long weekend that we had both been looking forward to with a nice glass of wine in the hotel bar. This was a kind of curious experience. We wanted a glass of red wine each, Cabernet Sauvignon, to be precise. The bar tender said he was sorry that the wine was not cold – which of course was perfectly fine for us. Who drinks cold red wine?! Then he started opening a bottle of white wine and I had to tell him that we actually wanted RED wine. But finally, we got what we wanted and enjoyed ... read more
Cathedral
Livu Laukums
Chocolate & liqueur shop

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga July 31st 2013

Day 77 – Riga - Latvia Bus bus bus bus. Sigh! Another border crossing which wasn’t as long as the one getting into Russia but still long enough. Eventually we get to Riga in the arvo and our tour leader takes as on a walking tour of the Old Town. I really like Riga. Everything is cheap and in walking distance. We had a group dinner which was delish and headed to a Kiwi Bar to party the night away. It was a great night. Good opportunity to mingle with people you don’t usually speak to. Courtney and I developed Essex accents as the drinking continued and had a bit of fun with that. A lot of photo bombing and posing going on too. Fun fun. Day 78 – Riga A lovely ... read more

Europe » Latvia » Vidzeme Region » Cesis July 23rd 2013

On Monday we rented a car in Riga and headed east. I was enjoying the scenery when ahead of us on the far side of the road a blue ball of light blazed outwards. Thoughts of aliens and superheroes flashed through my mind in the seconds it took for Keith to mention that the top of a tree had splintered off and fallen across the power lines. Sure enough, as we neared the spot, having slowed considerably, there were leaves and bits of branch scattered across the road. I was surprised it hadn't started a fire. We continued on to Segulda - an attractively laid-out town - and looked around the Livonian Order castle ruins and the New Sigulda Castle, which was more of a stately home, built by Prince Kropotkin in the early 20th century. ... read more
Turaida Castle
Folksong park
Folksong park




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