Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Africa-Europe 2015 Day 43. From Frankfurt to Riga

We left the home by 7 am, boarded our flight at 9:55, and landed in Riga, Latvia, by 12:30 pm. A short taxi ride brought us to the luxurious hotel Gustav had selected, right in the middle of the old city. After a brief repast, and the first of what will no doubt be many deep amber beers, we went for a brief exploration of the old city. It is a beautiful European city, which is slowly recovering from the long time of occupation by the Russians.

Since we are like a pack of chickens, each going his or her own way, I soon lost the group and decided to spend a couple of hours making plans and arrangements for the next three days. I bought us all Riga Passes, which for three days will entitle us to use public transportation, access to several museums, use of the hop-on hop-off tourist bus, and significant discounts on some restaurants and scenic tours. After that I located the bicycle rental place (that will probably be tomorrow Wednesday’ adventure), and the scooter rental place (that will be Friday’s adventure). Finally, I found the supermarket and bought some munchies and drinks). Latvia is a lot cheaper than Germany, even though it is a EU country and uses the euro.

In the afternoon we went out to dinner at the Blue Cow Restaurant, where we had a typical appetizer of pickled vegetables and thin slices of fat! Yes, pure cold white fat; you pile on a slice of black bread, add some of the pickled vegetables, sprinkle it with pepper and salt, and wash it down with cold vodka. Of course, the fat has no flavor, but we must believe our waitress and accept that it is just the thing to accompany a shot of vodka. Christine and I also had salted herring, which was very good.

Latvia is clearly making an effort to attract tourism, and all the young people speak perfect English. We often baffle them by addressing them in German, but they recover quickly, and always answer back with a smile. Good people, reasonable price, a long history, and a charming city will no doubt make Riga a popular destination in the years to come.

No comments: