Drizzling today so we were a bit damp but at least it wasn’t cold. We walked out of the old town where we were staying along the canal to the more modern area.
We saw the guards change position at the Freedom Monument. They must have been SO cold, especially a couple of days later when the temp was below freezing. They marched goose step but how often they moved I don’t know. It was slow marching so it would just have prevented them from freezing to the spot.
Dotted around the city there were frames where you could stand and have your picture taken. They framed some interesting decorations and were appropriate to the scene they were framing. Some were old fashioned and ornate and others plane.
We found the flower market which as a row of small booths selling the most beautiful flowers and floral arrangements. Compared to Australian standards they were really cheap.
TP had read about the Lido and after we had marveled at the floral displays we saw one across the road. It was only 11:30 but we hadn’t had breakfast so we went in for lunch. What an array of food! We did one pass just to get an idea what was on offer. We then went back and decided what to try. We had a variety including cabbage roll, a sausage and chicken kebab. The kebab was like any other kebab but the other two were different. Desert was interesting, chosen because TP loves raspberries. TP also tried a local alcohol free beer but wasn’t very impressed. It was too sweet for her.
We found another Christmas market. This one was different in that it had a playground for rabbits. I’m not sure why but TP loved it. Lots of furry bunnies , most of which were trying to keep out of the rain.
Next to it was an Orthodox Church. The church was begun in 1876 but to us it looked newly built. It was restored in the late 1990’s. We had to have our heads covered to enter and no shorts for women were allowed although I don’t think that would be a problem in winter!
Next stop was the major Art Nouveau area in Riga. Riga is known as having the largest number of Art Nouveau buildings of any city. We stopped and looked at one, a blue one and the more we looked the more we saw. There was so much detail.
We visited the Art Nouveau Centre which showed how the house it was situated in would have looked at the turn of the century. There was even a lady making gingerbread in the kitchen, TP said they were very tasty.
We thought it was time for a coffee then and we saw an interesting looking bar across the road. We thought we might have to have a drink but the barman said they had coffee and cocoa which is what I felt like. The place had a welcoming atmosphere. How they made a living from it I don’t know as it would only seat about 20 people.
There were some people from Denmark there who we had a chat too before they left. Very friendly people.
We walked back through the Art Nouveau district and made our way to the main markets. These were housed outside and in what looked like big hangers. 4 of them. One for fish, one mainly fruit and veg and one mainly meat. It was interesting to see the different foods for sale.
There were hundreds of stalls, at least it felt like it. We bought some interesting cheese for S. One was bright red which tasted like tomato and one bright green which tasted of pesto. They would have been an interesting addition to a cheese board. And tasty too!
We walked along the river to what was supposed to be a trendy area full of bars and coffee shops. The concept didn’t seem to have taken off as all we found were offices and a shop selling beauty therapy chairs.
Some guys asked way and TP was momentarily worried as there 5 of them but they were fine. We told them about the underpass but they mustn’t have believed us as they passed us a short while later.
Food. Once again we needed food. We went to the main Christmas market and ate in an enclosed area. I had to have a sit down to give my feet a rest!
TP had sausage, boiled potato, sauer kraut, black peas which tasted like chick peas. Black peas must be a staple because one lady had a whole container full. I had a veggy soup.
We tried the bar at the Christmas market but it didn’t have a great deal of atmosphere so we decided to move on. I went to pay the bill while TP got ready to leave. Unfortunately, she knocked over the candle and the wax went everywhere. Jeans, jumper, coat and even on the backpack had splashes of wax. She was not happy.
We wandered around and eventually TP spotted a small bar down an alley which looked very much like a local pub.
There were a few youngsters chatting around the bar and a DJ was happily playing music with no interaction with the clientele. The wine list consisted of dry red wine, sweet red wine etc. We decided to try the dry red which was €10 so we weren’t expecting much but it was excellent.
A Chilean wine which we managed to consume with no trouble at all. After prolonged consultation of about 10 secs we decided we would have another but disaster. They had no more. The barmaid let us try a different one but it was not a patch on the first one so we reluctantly headed home.
Finished off the remains of our cheese after stopping to get some biscuits and taco chips to go with it. We also had a glass of wine from the bottles we had left from the previous evening. We chatted for ages and didn’t get to bed until around 1am