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Riga in Latvia is amazing. I was apprehensive about my visit here. Online, I had read that it was over run with stag groups but soon changed my mind. I am already looking to return. Since its founding in 1201 by German knights, Riga has be under Polish-Lithuanian monarchs, Swedish kings and Soviet commissars. After I flew in with my tour group. Our rooms were not ready so a lot of people went out to explore. With my knee problems, I stayed and waited for my room. And then went out for a little exploring.
The trams were so quaint and right outside our hotel. But I never heard them and they were always busy with locals.
This is the National Library of Latvia which hold there most precious things notably their songs. Such a beautiful building, I am hoping to visit this on my next visit to Riga.
Our tour had a strict itinerary. I expect to see as much as possible. This day started with a two hour walking tour around the Old Town. Unfortunately, I and another member of the tour have problems with my knee and his leg. And with both of us with a crutch and a walking stick were often left behind, slowly catching the other tour members up. After our hour, I told the Tour Manager Hugo, that I could not continue and went back to our hotel to rest. What I had worked out by looking at Riga on Google Maps. It had taken us, an hour to walk to the House Of The Blackheads. And this by walking direct was only ten minutes away. After more resting, I decided to try and find the Freedom Monument. And found this beautiful peaceful park, where I did sit and enjoy the high temperatures that Riga was experiencing.
I found in the centre of Riga on Freedom Boulevard. This part of the city is beautiful and luckily for me, smooth paths. No more cobbled streets like I had found in the Old Town part.
I had problems with my health. With a lack of proper sleep and a busy itinerary. I went back to my steriods. And they made me feel amazing. At 6 am that morning, I thought that I would do a little exploring and as breakfast was not open until 7 am. I re-walked some of the walking tour. And what I loved, was how empty the Old Town was. I am aware of the dangers of exploring places at dawn. But it also one of my favourite things to do. I managed to get to the House Of The Blackheads, Riga Cathedral and The Three Brothers. I then went back for my breakfast and then my day at the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum.
After the visit to the museum, I only had a few hours of an afternoon left. I decided to visit Riga Central Market. Which I could view from my hotel room. The market is held in five former Zeppelin hangars. The hangars, each holding different markets from a fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, and anything goes. I loved exploring here.
Would I recommend a visit to Riga – absolutely. I loved spending time here and I feel that there is more to see. I would like to return and walk around the world’s largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings. When our group was driving through the city but it was too far for me to walk too. And also visit the former KGB office. One of the tour group did the tour and told me it was amazing. And I also loved that although there were tourists there, it did not feel over run like it has in other places like Rome and Madrid. It feels very cheap, I think that the Euro went further, drinks and food were very cheap. And the food was amazing but I did not get many pictures. Sorry I eat most and just forgot !