TP looked up the bus time and her app told her the bus wasn’t due until 2:05 whereas mine said 1:50. We went for 1:50 and the bus duly arrived. Even though it was such an ungodly hour, there were food shops open although the streets were not very busy and the bus ride was very quick.
Checked out the next bus to Stanstead and it had been rescheduled from 2:50 to 3:00 am so we had over half an hour to kill. We spotted a café and went over for a cuppa and a sit while we waited. It was a couple of doors down from Dirty Dicks which was also still open!
We were pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the security guard at the door and the waiter. TP keeps telling me people in London aren’t friendly but at least some are. We were very bad and had tea which was great as it was served in a Christmas pudding t pot.
So unexpected! No the tea was not bad, it was the chips and cheese that was bad, but only ½ bad as we shared.
Bus ride was uneventful except that it was really hot. The driver must have been a cold frog.
Got my moisturizer confiscated, I was sure that I had checked the size when I bought it and I had also forgotten to take out my water bottle but we just drank that and kept the bottle.
Flight also uneventful. I wasn’t aware of the other differences, beside baggage of the cheap airlines. TP says I have been on one before but I don’t recall. There is no “bag” in the seat in front of you to put books etc and the seats don’t recline. It does make it harder to sleep.
We arrived in Riga to a cold drizzly day. We watched a plane take off and it disappeared into the cloud almost as soon as we saw it over the airport buildings. We bought a 5 day bus pass for €15 but it didn’t allow us on the minibus. The normal bus was only 10 mins away so we didn’t have to wait long.
TP tried to use her credit card to get money but it refused her and the she remembered that they had sent her another one.
I had to use my credit card because TP’s wouldn’t work but of course I hadn’t pre loaded mine as I wasn’t expecting to use it. They don’t ask for a pin number here, they get you to sign. Seems ages since we did that.
When we got to the flat I tried to connect to the internet because I wanted to transfer money to my CC so I didn’t pay too much interest but it wouldn’t connect. TP’s phone connected OK but my computer wouldn’t. Consulted the oracle, MIB, but as he cannot connect it’s hard to trouble shoot.
The flat is an Airbnb and very nice. Right in the heart of the old town. We found 3 Christmas markets but there was hardly anyone around, very different to the ones we visited on our Eastern European trip a few years ago. Maybe weekend nights will be more alive.
Had lunch at a very atmospheric restaurant. They did an amazing garlic bread. A brown bread, thinly sliced and deep fried and then garlic rubbed on it, really yummy.
We also had something similar to a potato bake with chicken in it which was also good. Province Restaurant. www.provincija.lv
We could see a lovely big Xmas tree out of the window but the view was spoiled rather by a digger, whose driver was asleep in the cab.
Wandered around and browsed in a couple of souvenir shops. Also visited the local cathedral just called Riga Cathedral which was having a lot of restoration work done on it and it appeared to need it. Two of the main pillars had thick metal belts around them and many of the windows were boarded up. The cloisters were interesting although they also needed repair. They were being used as an informal museum with nits from within the church displayed. There were a number of cannon barrels which probably didn’t originate from the church.
The huge cockerel did though. It was the church’s weather vane and had been taken down to preserve it. It must have been at least 6 ft tall.
We decided a sleep was in order so we headed back to the flat and the owner had only just finished cleaning. I must say it was pretty spotless. Tatiana, the owner, was really helpful and even gave us new slippers as she did not want us to wear our boots inside. It is well equipped and has 2 double rooms. Both the microwave and the jug need to be turned off as well as on. Tatiana was at pains to point that out which I don’t blame her as it’s something we are not used to.
TP woke me about 8 and we had planned to eat bits from the Christmas markets but they were all closed up except for the bars and they only had one or 2 customers so we decided we would get food from the super market and eat in.
The supermarket is called RIMI’s and we found one in the Galleria. Lots of things were sold loose which I’m not used to such as biscuits of many varieties and also sea food. The prawns for example were loose and you could help yourself to how much you liked. I suppose we do have that but it seems different when you can help yourself from a large box full rather than asking a shop assistant.
There were some stalls, one of which sold jewellery made from watches.
The wine was €8 a bottle which is very expensive for me, I usually pay $5-$6 a bottle. The food however was quite cheap. Everything for €5 for the pair of us for dinner
We bought a couple of interesting looking things from the hot box which turned out to be potato stuffed with cream cheese of some sort and potato stuffed with mince. Not a baked potato but mashed and filled and then deep fried.
We also had a salad from the salad bar. Bit like a buffet and then you pay by weight. You can also include meat if you wish. The other thing we bought was a large lump of Brie for $4. I think it would have cost at least $10 in Aussie.
Back to the flat for dinner and a wine.
Still couldn’t connect my computer to the internet but I used TP phone to transfer the money to my CC.