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Latvia

So my trip of five weeks in Eastern Europe is nearing its end. I’m in Riga, capital of Latvia. Riga is nice with a lively atmosphere and interesting ‘Old Town’ with many 18th-19th century buildings. I mainly relaxed enduring the 34 degrees C heat and sweating as I joined a walking tour around of the city’s more interesting streets and squares.

Before visiting Riga, I’d been in Liepaja, on Latvia’s coast. It’s one of the nicest beach cities I’ve visited and is home of rock music and other musical styles. The soft, white sand of its beach just has to be experienced. A bus takes 3.5 hours from Liepaja to Riga and it is a nice way to see-feel the landscape.

Riga’s main attractions are, the Museum of Occupation, it takes about 3 hours with an audio guide, the river where you can row a boat or go day-time or evening kayaking and spot beavers! There are many adrenalin activities to do in Riga from paintball fights to firing a live ammunition AK47 machine gun in a former nuclear bunker, to bungee jumping or riding a Bobsleigh – on wheels in summer, on snow and ice in winter! I wanted to ride the Bobsleigh but, sadly, it’s only available at weekends.

The other main activity in Riga is drinking! Many English guys and/or girls visit Riga on Stag and Hen weekends to have fun and get very drunk on Latvia’s strong beer. There are many pubs and clubs, bars and cafes to choose from. One place, Alabar have very tasty traditional Latvian food plus live entertainment most nights. It’s in a former wine seller and has nice friendly staff. For fried breakfasts head to Kiwi Bar.

One warning which we were informed about on the walking tour, if two Latvian girls approach you together and start talking to you and invite you to a bar, don’t go with them. They’ll ask you to buy them a drink and when the bill comes, it will be around 300 Euros! It’s a scan, don’t fall for it. Apparently, several other night time establishments have similar scams, so be aware. However, the majority of Latvians appear friendly and very helpful. I really enjoyed this small delightful country and would like to return some time.

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