Riga at a glance

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We are staying in Cheap and Good Apartments near the railway station. They are neither particularly cheap nor good but manager Jarek was friendly and the location convenient.

The rock music in the station square stopped at about 11pm so that the road works outside our room could continue in peace for the next few hours. We eventually overcame our addiction to fresh air, closed the double glazed windows and went back to sleep.

 

We went on an early morning sortie and saw the Opera House, Freedom Monument, old city and the splendid Daugava River. We had a hearty breakfasts at Merkel’s Restaurant across the under- construction road using half-price coupons from our lodgings.

 

The huge Riga Market is amazing. It fills 5 relocated Zeppelin hangars. Several have fresh produce. One is dedicated to pickles and another to fish (mostly smoked or dried) and expensive caviar. We can’t carry any of it. However, looking is free and most stall holders are happy with photos. Riga is a party town with hundreds of bars and cafes. We haven’t seen so much street life since Germany.

Brooding next door is the Riga Holocaust Museum on the site of one of Riga’s wartime ghettos. The museum provides a sobering reminder of unspeakable things that happened here during the second world war.

 

We caught a lift to the observation desk of the imposing, neo-gothic, sovietsky Latvian Academy of Science for tremendous views of the city and river – well worth the 5 Euro price.

We had dinner with Anastasia who lives in Riga and stayed with us in Adelaide a few years ago. Her family is of Russian ethnic background and we heard that the Latvian government considers Russian-Latvians aliens in their own country.

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