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Latvia : Racing through Riga

Wednesday, 21st May 2008

The bus left Vilnius at 9:00 this morning and we arrived in Riga at 14:00. Our next couchsurfing host, Camilla, was working until 17:30 so we had to hang around a bit in town. We managed to leave our bags at the bus station luggage lockers and went walking around town.

After Vilnius, Riga´s Old Town was a slight dissappointment. It is very nice to walk around, but not as cozy and there is less of an atmosphere – even on the main square. Perhaps we have just seen too many Old Towns over the last 2 months.. We only spent about 2 hours walking around and had a weak, cold coffee at a cafe on one of the squares watching girls in leopard-print stelleto´s go by.

At 17:30 we made our way to Camilla´s apartment and almost fainted when we saw the size of it! She didn´t warn us that the flat is on the 5th floor with no lift though, so we nearly both had heart failure carrying all our stuff up the stairs. But is was totally worth it when we got inside. She lives in double storey penthouse apartment 50m from the main square in the Old Town! We had the whole top floor to ourselves with an ensuite bathroom and amazing views of the city from our balcony. You can imagine that we were gutted that we were only staying 1 night – we didn´t even have time to test the little private sauna in the guest bathroom downstairs (we´ll come back for that Camilla!).

Camilla is actually from Denmark, living and working in Riga for 6 months. She is a lot of fun and very outgoing. She suggested “The Garlic Pub” for dinner (everything on the menu has garlic – even the desserts) and it was really good – great food, great service and great prices – except for our garlic-hangovers the next morning. When we got back after dinner, we still chatted for hours and had a ball staying with Camilla.

The next morning our bus was only booked for 12:30, so we had a very lazy morning. At the bus station we only paid 1.20 Lats extra for the Lux Express bus at it was great – limitless free hot drinks, free wifi access and huge seats with lots of leg room. The 4.5 hours on the bus felt like nothing.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.