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Wet day sightseeing

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large_5550_14712884869481.jpgWet morning at Kalnciema Street Market.
The Kalnciema Street Market across the river came highly recommended so I decided to make my way there by bus after breakfast. Buses, trolleybuses and trams were all free today (and tomorrow) due to the city’s festival day. The weather was drizzly and I needed my poncho.

The market was more intimate than I had imagined. There were a collection of craft stands that didn’t interest me, some produce and best of all some food stands. I tried out the pickled herring, pickled anchovy and fresh-salted salmon. All were mouthwateringly delicious.

I bussed back into town and walked to the Art Nouveau district to admire some of the richly decorated buildings. With the rain, I didn’t hang around too much and snapped a few pictures on my phone.large_5550_14712884892712.jpgFreedom Monument in Riga.

I walked back into the old city and lunch at Pipar’s Bistro which again came highly recommended. It was pre-cooked food all laid out in the warmer but of very high quality. I ended up eating here three times, each time for EUR2.5 to 3.00!

I was more than ready to retire to the warmth of the hostel. Even though it wasn’t cold cold, my hands were getting the chill - even though my body was warm enough with two thin layers plus a poncho.

Back in the hostel, I had a chance to chat with the receptionist about race relations in Latvia. Based on my own experience, I asked how Latvians would react if spoken to in Russian by eg. an ethnic Russian Latvian (since looks are not 100% foolproof). It kinda touched a raw nerve with how some Russian Latvians refuse to integrate etc.large_5550_14712884917000.jpgBeautiful architecture of the Art Nouveau district.I repeated my enquiry with two other receptionists on their shifts and one out of the two shared the same viewpoint. Based on this, one could say that race relations in the country scores about 6.7 out of 10.

Later in the afternoon, I did venture out again. I caught a bit of the basketball game in front of the opera house as part of the city’s festival. I believe the two sides of the river were playing each other. I had dinner back at Pipar’ again.

Late in the night, a few people wanted to go out to see the fireworks. I walked out of the building with them but when I realised the rain had heavy again, I decided to give it a miss.

My hostel “Riga Hostel” was nice enough but the one upstairs called “Big Bed Hostel” has had average reviews but ran into some difficulty lately. They had their power and water turned off by the authorities and were also overbooking. We were having lots of enquiries from travellers wanting a bed but we were full ourselves. Poor people.


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Latvia

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