Photo Friday: Riga, Latvia

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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 IĀ  *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.

  • June 19, 2009

    The architecture is pretty neat with how stark it is. I love that you collect jewelry from places! What a good idea! I’ve done that on my last few trips and hope to continue to do so.

  • June 19, 2009

    The town looks almost deserted, but the desert looks fine.

    I can always find room for jewelry in my travel bag. But finding new stuff would certainly be OK also. Love the new earings.

    I’m guessing your back in SF. Did I miss Orlando somewhere?

  • June 20, 2009

    The architecture is amazing! I’m glad you found somewhere to get dessert. I find you can astutely judge a city on its pastry offerings šŸ˜‰

  • June 20, 2009

    Not to sound redundant, but you have such a cool job. You get to peak at little pockets of the world that most people never see, and you share them with us šŸ™‚ thanks

  • June 20, 2009

    I love how in the pictures, the buildings look all wonky, like something out of Dr Seuss.
    Also, those earrings = adorable!

  • June 21, 2009

    I love the old architecture, the spacious town squares, the little cafes…something we don’t have here.
    And I’m certainly with you on the jewelry! I love getting a pendant, earrings or some cool bracelet somewhere…and remembering what a great time I had on that trip every time I wear the piece. Jewelry is probably the most common “souvenir” I purchase on trips.

  • June 21, 2009

    Your photos are amazing! I think part of what make it looks so lovely is your talent in taking all those beautiful pictures. And yes, who can say no to shopping especially when the price is so right. šŸ™‚

  • June 21, 2009

    I recently read a T+L article on Riga (by Thomas Beller, I think). I like your version better.

  • June 23, 2009

    catching up on your latest travels. i can’t wait ’til we make it to italy for our next tour. i’ll be using this site to make travel plans abroad. your advice is great. do you have any family conscious travel advice or maybe other sources to check out? have to keep the little punks in mind.

    by the way…love your new pics with the new camera. they are amazing!

  • June 23, 2009

    I always look like crud when I travel. How come you always have such great style and well put together when you travel and I look like I’ve been put through the wringer?

  • June 26, 2009

    Hi there Kristin

    Just to let you know that I gave you a one lovely blog award – please pass it on when you can.

    Best wishes

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