At the end of March - beginning of April this year we visited three cities of Latvia - Riga, Jurmala and Sigulda. The journey was eventful and quite interesting. To be honest, this from Latvia, we did not expect. What is Latvia's post-Soviet country, Baltic, Baltic sea, cold, wet and rainy climate, that's about all we knew about the country, gathering in his journey.
Our choice has fallen to Latvia for two simple reasons: first of which, the country is close to Kaliningrad, and since we now live in the NRM in Kaliningrad, it is close, cheap tickets, only 5 thousand rubles for two round trip and 6 hours away by bus, including border and we are already in Riga. Besides the previous summer we were in Lithuania and our country very much, and as Latvia is the Baltic States, too, that this was the second decisive factor for our trip to Latvia.
Thought the weather may prevent it, still the climate of Latvia is not a resort, and the relatives from the two sides solid one: "What are you coming to Latvia this time of year? There's also rain and dampness! And the attitude of local residents towards Russians is just awful!".
However, it is not so! Our trip has evolved quite differently and left only the most positive memories. Then we decided the time will definitely come back to this country again.
The weather was great, couple times was intermittent rain, but the rest of the time was mostly Sunny and warm. Besides, we arrived in Riga on the eve of the Catholic Easter, so the streets there was an atmosphere of celebration and a General rush took place festivities and performances. In the Cathedrals, in which the entrance fee, the day before Easter we were free, also a kind of plus. And the attitude of local residents towards Russians is the most that neither is friendly. And who the hell knows that you are from Russia, if the majority of local communicates in Russian. So, with our poor knowledge of English had no problem in communication and understanding, they too speak Russian, even among themselves.
In general, what we want to say by this, when planning your vacation in a particular country, do not listen to anyone. In all countries of the world, perhaps with the exception of the African hinterlands, if you do not encroach on life, property and someone's well-being, you will be treated better than in Russia. Here you immediately remember the words of Vova's former colleague, who has not been on a single trip around the world. A funny little man, leaves home for two years and went to travel around the world, and on his return tells amazing stories, sometimes standing on the verge of life and death. For example, about how they sailed on a small catamaran from Australia to New Guinea and they were accompanied by a shark for a long time, oh, how they were afraid that it would turn the boat over, and they went to the toilet right overboard. Or how they once fought off sea pirates. Or here, in New Guinea, Papuans stole a motor from a boat twice, after which our travelers had to take their machetes and go to the village to these Papuans to demand the return of the motor. The Papuans pretended that they did not understand anything and did not know what kind of engine they were talking about. And they gave the engine away only after our friend and his team, shouting: "We'll chop everyone up!", rushed at the Papuans. The next night, the Papuans still stole something small, but no one went after it. Russian Russian attitude is like that of the Papuans, a person is a wolf to a person and you never know what he will throw out in the next second, whether he will run away, or he will cut into the back with a machete, and in other countries there is a very different attitude to all visitors compared to our country. And he was really telling the truth.
So do not fear, do not get stuck in their holes and not get bogged down in everyday life, and travel around the world. In addition, the impressions and the feelings which you will experience in the next trip will always be superior and even not compare with buying a new TV, iPhone or whatever it is yourself who buys. After all, buying things we experience joy and new experiences happiness. Joy and happiness are two completely different feelings, where a sense of joy is quick and not even close to lying with a sense of happiness.
But back to Latvia. The main place of our stay in Latvia was chosen, of course, its capital city Riga. We arrived at the Central Bus station of Riga, about half past five in the morning. The hostel was booked in advance. By the way, our advice, book hotels in advance, even at home, as the arrival of empty seats may simply not be there and then have to wander around the city in search of housing, and it's very tiring. We always, regardless of what part of the world go, enjoy the site, and we this is enough. So booked was a hostel in the heart of Riga's old town. Check-in from 10:00 o'clock, and we had grown tired of the road, and can only move in 4.5 hours. What to do next? Alternates to the hostel the benefit of the old town in Riga is across the road from the railway station, so on the road took only 15 minutes given the fact that we walked very slowly and stared around. The friendly owners of the hostel allowed us to leave at the reception things that we did and went for a walk around the old town.
Old Riga city center big and beautiful. In it are the main attractions of the city, old churches, excellent area, and walking through the narrow cobbled streets and admire the low colored houses, is a pleasure. Old city we were so pleased that we the bulk of his time walked exclusively on it. And did not regret that his host chose historic center, and that would make daily use of public transport, and this additional cost and time.
In the old town we tried the national Latvian cuisine. Nothing special about it no, but all very high quality and delicious. But the beer in Latvia we did not like. We are fans of good beer and always try it in every country and city in the world. Generally in the Baltic countries is very high quality and tasty products, where you ate or bought, whether in stores or restaurants. The average bill for dinner for two in Riga was 40-50 Euros, to drink beer with snacks around 20 Euros and drink a Cup of fragrant coffee and eat fresh pastries - € 10. All for two, of course.
Speaking of food, we loved Eco yogurt, Riga sprats, cookies and salads in the supermarkets of Riga. Local cheeses also do so. In stores cool installed salad bars, suitable, type in a disposable bowl that you want, add seasonings of choice and fill than like, and after at the checkout, everything is weighed and paid on the basis of weight. Price per 100 grams € 1.19 and no matter what you put in your bowl. The salad bar features fresh herbs, vegetables, various meats, shrimp, cheeses, fish, spices and condiments, sauces, butter, etc.
A gastronomic Paradise, especially fish, we found at Riga Central market. The market is large and the variety of products it is huge. We loved the natural smoked chicken. The market we went back again and again. Smoked chicken bought several times. Buy chicken in the market, the store in bulk yourself a salad and get the sauce, and then the kitchen in the hostel will warm up the chicken and eat it all, very tasty, and the smell is such that the neighbors of his room looked out. That's why we like to book hostels, hotels or guest houses, it does not matter, the main thing that was shared or private kitchen. It helps to try local food from the stores, and money order to save. For example, dinner at a restaurant of Riga to us have cost somewhere in the 50 Euros, and with the products from stores and from the market only 10 Euros for two.
In the old town of Riga ends. So, outside of the historic centre, the so-called new Riga, we were impressed by its architectural beauty of the Pearl of art Nouveau - the streets in the art Nouveau style, Alberta and Elizabetes street. The pearl of art Nouveau is two streets along which the building is located in a young modern style. Very nice, I recommend a visit.
In the centre of Riga many green areas, squares and parks, which are also nice to stroll and relax. The children can visit the Riga zoo.
Once we arrived in Riga not at the beach, in Jurmala, we took one day. See there is nothing special, except to walk on the Central pedestrian Jomas street and stroll on the sandy beach along the sea. Jomas street, plain street, both sides of which are hotels, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. The beaches of Jurmala wide and sandy like the beaches of Sopot (Poland) on the beach in the village of Yantarny (Kaliningrad oblast). And during the beach season in Jurmala there will rest comfortably, posylochki tiny, and the Baltic sea is quite cool in the hottest months the warming to a maximum of + 20 - +22 degrees. In General, nothing special.
Oh, I almost forgot, in the "Jurmala" Dzintari Park has an observation deck, towering above the trees. Admission is free. The observation deck offers a beautiful view of the surroundings and the Baltic sea, and when it rises to the top, the observation deck swaying in the wind, and through the slatted floor shows the earth, a little scary, but so cool. Dylan didn't even want to go to the site, barely persuaded, citing the need to take photos. Garbage sure. First photo of the article made it on this viewing platform.
The next day went from Riga on the train to Sigulda. Yes, Sigulda, Sigulda beautiful. To go into the city for one day does not make sense, there need to arrive at least two or three days. One day we half not have time to see, but still happy. Besides the fact that the city itself is rich in attractions, of which we like the most complex of Sigulda castle, consisting of New and Medieval castles. So out of town in the National Park "Gauja" are also several Hiking trails, walking through which you can see castles, nature reserves, caves, cliffs and etnoturistic complex. We walked through one and the longest route of five kilometers. But in Sigulda and its surroundings there are still two routes, amusement parks and a sports centre.
Wanted to go to Cesis, there is also something to see, but did not. Next time be sure to visit the town and will tell you in detail about it on the pages of this blog.
If you're interested! Details about each of mentioned in this article the place, with photos, can be found in category "Latvia".
P. S. the Conclusion of his visit to Latvia we have done the following! Latvia is beautiful and welcoming country, with its customs, flavor and memorable, its unique atmosphere. So Latvia, expect us to visit again!