In transit between Tallinn and Berlin, I found myself in Latvia’s capital. I mean, obviously it wasn’t just pure coincidence, I had to have a layover there no matter how I booked it, so I opted for 10 hours in Riga. I hadn’t been there before, so why the heck not?
It was a cheap ($0.80) and easy half hour bus ride into the city. I thought I’d get back to the airport just before the flight, but I covered all of downtown Riga so quickly by foot that I was back with a couple hours to spare.
It wasn’t my favorite city, but worth a wander nonetheless. I think anything would have been a letdown after pretty Estonia, but every city has its own unique beauty, you just have to know where to look. I was surprised at how starkly different it was to its Baltic neighbor.
Don’t get me wrong, I still found a way to pass the time…shopping! (You’re shocked, right?) In fact, I meandered into a couple arts and crafts stores and walked out of one with five funky pairs of earrings for under $20. One thing I did love about Latvia was that the price was always right. I’m often asked if I collect things from all of my travels. Generally not—other than the thousands of pictures I take in each place—as that would get expensive and add to my already cramped luggage situation, particularly when I *try* to travel with a carry-on. I do, however, often make concessions for jewelry, as it’s one thing I never leave home without. Plus, you can hardly say you don’t have room in your bag!
Grittier in the parts surrounding the Old Town, Riga was still endearing, but in a completely different way than Tallinn.
I spent my entire time in the Old Town and its square, as quite frankly the rest of the city made me feel like I needed to clutch all my belongings close at all times. The Old Town was filled with the geriatric set (likely, cruisers docking for the day) who wouldn’t have nearly the reflexes required to slip a fast one on me.
And when the wind got too much to bear—frequently throughout the day, it would drop a good 10 degrees when the sun went behind the clouds—I would pop in a cafe and eat yet another pastry. Because, truth be told, that’s really my not-so-secret favorite part about traveling: the chocolate and desserts.
*All photos taken with a Canon XTi, 10-20mm lens.
**For more Photo Fridays, check out Delicious Baby.