Riga Pt 1.

18 05 2010

Waking up at the crack of dawn last Tuesday the 5 of us, H, Bimbo, Dev, KP and I headed to Stanstead airport and boarded an as usual crowded plane. We did appear to be the only English passengers on the plane, with the rest being Latvians returning home to Riga. This may explain why that, when we landed a round of applause broke out… It wasn’t actually that bad a flight and I have definitely had worse landings.

After a crowded bus ride from hell we got to Riga old town and tried to find our hotel using two of the worst maps ever produced. We didn’t actually have too much trouble and dropped our bags off before we went in search of some food. We eventually decided on a little place near a church and has a superb meal for a few quid.

Feeling full we had a look around the town and got our bearings before we headed back to the hotel to check in, have a bit of a snooze and then go to the restaurant for a few beers and some food. This turned out to be a mistake, as we discovered Riga Black Balsam, a 45% proof beverage made of 24 different herbs, including Wormwood which gives Absinthe its weirdness.

This led to 2 things, the first being KP getting into an argument with a Finnish racist and Me proposing to H. What is even more surprising is that H said yeas, and so now I am getting married, which is really awesome (I won’t write any more about that here).

The next day with hangovers and in my case, a slightly wobbly stomach we headed out to go up the tower of St Peter’s Church where we would get a great view of the city. We also headed around to the Powder Tower and Arms museum and had a walk around some of the art-deco style streets and had a sit in the park.

We went to look at the Freedom monument, a potent symbol for Latvians who have had a horrible time at the hands of larger neighbours. Feeling incredibly tired from our walk around the city we went to the Riga Black Magic bar, where everything is Black Balsam based. I can recommend the cocktails and cake.

Going back into town in the evening we at a nice meal and a few beers before turning in for the night.

I will post more about Riga and my Birthday tomorrow.