A quick trip to Riga

I’ve been behind on posting my photos to my Flickr for a long time now. I finally added the Riga set.

and well…that was in November. Typical to my travels, I didn’t know anything about Riga before I went. All I knew is that it was an “exotic” sounding destination that could be reached by ferry from Stockholm. I went with some friend from school and we shared two windowless cabins. The journey started out pretty well…in fact, we won some wine in a ring toss game hosted by the crew and we were merrily consuming massive amounts of chocolate that we had bought at the duty free when our ferry came across an unpleasant strong. Let’s just say that I spent the rest of the night regretting that chocolate as the waves tossed our boat and the contents of my stomach up and down. One of my other friends suffered the same fate, but those who had been a little more judicious in chocolate consumption attempted to dance and karaoke away the nausea.

We only had one day in Riga, which we spent entirely wandering around the old town. None of us knew anything about what to see, but we stumbled upon some interesting things. One of them because we heard ominous organ music, which turned out to be coming from a very old church with obvious Eastern influences. The buildings in Riga’s old town were beautiful and it seemed many of the crumbling fascades were being restored. Across the water we saw some relics of the Soviet past in the form of square brutalist buildings.

We tried some traditional Latvian food, which was quite similar to the other cuisines I’ve tried on the Baltic: meat and potatoes. However, this meat and potato combination at Alus Sēta was quite flavorful because it was garnished with ample amounts of lemon, mushroom cream, and dill.

The local bread was also very good and there were many bakeries and nter local varieties of bread compared to Stockholm. But in the end we just spent a day there, so wasn’t able to sample all of what Riga had to offer. We spent more time on the cruise, which could best be described as kitschy with its outdated 70s-style decor, Swedish country kids with mullets, and rowdy drunken Latvians singing Karoke. The cruise food had some Baltic treats like caviar and quail eggs, but overall it was bland and tasted stale. However, singing Lynn Anderson’s old country hit “Rose Garden” and finding that all the old Latvians singing along, more than made up for the bad food.esting

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