Thursday, June 12, 2008


We spent the last couple of days of the first stage of our trip relaxing in Riga. We arrived an hour late or so we thought (the clocks had gone back at the border but we didn't notice), having gone through a much easier border crossing than the way into Russia.

We were 'surfing' (see here for details.) with Rebecca, Kris and 2 yr old Konrad. Their apartment was right in the middle of the old town, which made sightseeing very easy for us. This meant we had plenty of time for snoozes in the park and beers on the terraces!

We've been hosting people in Singapore for a while but this was our first experience of being hosted, and it was fantastic. Couchsurfing is such a great concept and one that we've had a lot of good experiences with, its so nice to get a local perspective on somewhere rather than just following the tourist propaganda.

We were treated to an impromptu dinner party on the first night with some of Rebecca and Kris's friends. Kris cooked a splendid traditional Latvian feast for us all. We washed it all down with some good Latvian beer and wine. We were given a good insight into local life and their perception of us English (especially those disrespectful enough who pee on or moon their Freedom monument...). Sometimes our fellow countrymen are embarrassing when we travel.

Our last morning we were up early to say goodbye to our hosts before they left for work and play-school. We had a quick stop in the supermarket to grab snacks, vodka and heavy Latvian bread before boarding a crowded local bus to get us to the airport on time for our first flight since Singapore to Hong Kong. We spent our last Lats on more vodka and some chocolates in the airport. Our Ryanair flight bound for Liverpool was full of Latvians, no idea why they were all going to Liverpool? Maybe they're interested in the Capital of Culture.. Who knows?

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