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Moving on to Latvia


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large_5550_14712871444745.jpgRiga (Lutheran) Cathedral.
I had been undecided about walking 30+ mins to the bus station or taking a taxi. I’ve read that hailing a cab here leads to a rip-off and one should really book it online, using the app or call up. With the wifi at the gueshouse down, the decision was made for me. Fortunately the weather cooperated and I got to the station on foot and dry.

The Simple Express bus was a dream with wifi and PTV loaded with lots of multi-lingual content and also a web browser. Surprisingly the higher-standard product, Lux Express (which I’m booked for a few days later) only gives water and hot drinks as additional features. I had bought a pirozhki along for lunch and it wasn’t quite enough.

The 4.5h journey was largely on motorway through woods and fields. We stopped at Riga [Riga-travel-guide-1045008] airport briefly before arriving at Riga station which was near the old town and my hostel “Riga Hostel”.large_5550_14712871506217.jpgRiga (Lutheran) Cathedral.I dropped my bag at the hostel and wandered out to grab some food. I found a Pakistani kebab shop which did EUR1.50 mini kebabs which would tide me over till dinner time.

Having learnt about the crazy Baltic weather, I thought it would be wise to explore Old Town a little since the weather was good. It was very nice but very touristy and a lot of it has been rebuilt anyway.

In October, when I was in the Tibetan Plateau, some European bus-mates cried out when they saw a church with a cross. They said it must be Catholic. I asked "Why?" They said: Because it has a cross on it; Protestant churches don't have a cross on the steeple but a cock. I was in disbelief but that's what it is like where they come from. Now I know it is true. Lots of churches have cocks on the steeples here.large_5550_1471287155728.jpgHouse of the Blackheads.

I found a simple pub-like place for dinner and ordered pork chops cooked in mustard and mushroom sauce. It was so so awesome. A group of five Brits walked in towards the end of my dinner. They were courteous enough but I got the feeling they were preparing for a good night out. Riga is a prime stag-party destination for Brits, fuelled by cheap booze and Ryanair fares. It has made Rigans a little “over” tourism, I’ve been told.

Back at the hostel, my room was by reception. It was a little noisy as people spoke softly after quiet time of 2300. But it wasn’t enough to stop me from having a good night sleep.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Latvia

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