Waking up in Riga, excited to explore another city. Checking my app we looked up places for traditional breakfast and found a brilliant restaurant. We had a breakfast for queens for so cheap.
Different types of pancakes - the banana and cheese were so yummy; different patties - chicken and pork; eggs; a variety of smoothies; good coffee; lots of fresh fruit and juices. This was on the outside of Vermanes Gardens (the oldest park in Riga) which we walked through after our massive breakfast.
We explored the different tourist attractions such as the Freedom Monument which was made to honor soldiers killed in the Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920).
In the midst of touring we met two German girls who had been travelling a lot so we sat down with them for a while and had some chat. One girl sounded like a German Australian as she changed between accents frequently.
In search for the castle, we realised we had walked past it. Unable to see it from all the constructions, it definitely isn't a competitor for the best castle.
We took a break from walking in a local traditional resturant and enjoyed some Latvian beers and snacks. Following this we ticked off a few more attractions such as the Swede Gate and the many churches. We met a very interesting character outside one of the churches. There was a wedding taking place so when asked her if she was going to the wedding, she said no and that she just came to see the flowers🌼🌺🌷🌸 because she likes nature. I then asked if she was from Latvia and she answered, "so, so!" Anyway this just added to the observation that both Lithuanians and Latvians have a great love for flowers. Flowers everywhere. r
We then enjoyed a balsalm (a fruity drink) before going to Spot for Happy hour and meeting a very nice Estonian guy who told us all about the history and local eats. It was he who advised us to curb our craving for local food by eating at Ala. Although he did say beforehand that it wouldn't be as good as home cooked food and that we should just pay a local to eat at their home or could get his mum to cook.
We ended up at Ala which was a huge medieval place with live music and food samples coming around on a regular basis. We played the game, "where are they from?" And didn't do well at guessing people's nationalities. However this got is talking to lots of different people - Swedish school teachers, Japanese tourists, German bowlers, a five aside football team from London and some more English people. Oh and let's not forget the one local that we found.
We ordered drinks and also a platter to share. The platter was huge consisting of pickled herring, cheeses, ham, chicken, carrots, bread, horseradishes, etc.
Dani enjoyed some dancing with the lady pensioner and then we has some banter with the Englishman. It was then time to get back to get our bags so we could head to the bus stop which we turned up on time for :)Finishing our trip with games of pool in hotel, I managed to surprise myself and win two games. I guess this was because of pocketing blacks and also a white once hit the winner haha!
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.