Partying in Riga

Trip Start Sep 02, 2010
1
6
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Trip End Jun 16, 2011


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Flag of Latvia  ,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Latvian motorways are strange. There's a single lane but this doesn't mean that you shouldn't overtake anyone. In fact you should overtake more often, and do it as slow as you like. Vehicles moving in the opposite direction will move over a couple of metres though to give you a bit of breathing space. I should look on the bright side though - this time the driver wasn't drunk.

Riga itself is another beaut of a city. The first thing I do once I have checked in to the hostel though is sample one of it's beers. I meet these 4 Finnish army boys, a yank, and a few birds and we all end up going out that night. One of the Finnish boys is nicknamed 'the map' due to his poor navigation skills and he leads us around town.

In one of the bars we're joined by one of the weirdest little guys i've ever met. He is a Mexican that studies in Riga, was brought up in Germany, and speaks like a mafia guy in NY. No one trusts this guy but we all follow him down a few alleys to a quality bar full of Latvian folk.

I wake the next day fully clothed and head banging - a true sign of a decent night. I had to rush to get to the church, as this is where the free walking tour starts from. It focused on the day to day life in Riga rather than it's history which was a nice change (and certainly less depressing) It feels like everything I have seen up to now has to do with the terror involved with WW2 or the soviet union after that. There is an awesome market here which reminds me of Borough market. The guide, Angelis, is a legend. His accent is more English than my own, even though he has only been to England once, and that was to Southend of all places - astonishing. He also takes us to the Russian district where he shoes us this little wooden house. It is the last in the area because the locals burnt down the whole area when they thought Napoleon was in town to try and kill him. Unfortunately for them he was actually in Vilnius at the time!

When I get back the owner of the hostel Gerrerd persuades me to sign up to this shooting activity. This guy is the most chilled out bloke I have ever met. He told me the way he came about the hostel was that he was on holiday in Riga when he went out one night on a bar crawl with the owner of the hostel at the time. He said it was a heavy night and he had woken up in the morning with a hostel under his name. He then had to quit his job in Australia and move to Latvia. So the shooting was pretty cool. We shot from a glock, an AK47, and a pump action shotgun which was my personal favourite - i'm a demon with a shotgun.

Later me, Kathering and Leah went to a proper Latvian restaurant. I can't tell you what I had as I simply don't know what it was. But there were potatoes involved. After that we met up with all the others and went to do some karaoke. I was supposed to do a duet with Katherine but she bottled it. So I sung an OCS tune which nobody knew and therefore didn't go down as well as I'd of hoped, despite a rather solid performance. We left at around 5am and stop off at a late night food place where I order a pink soup popular among the locals. I get a tap on the shoulder and turn to find the most beautiful girl in the world who I had apparently met the previous night and failed in chatting her up. I was to spend the next hour doing exactly the same! Latvian bird 2 Fadhelio charm 0. :-( :-(

On my last day I head towards a black market that Angelis spoke of on the tour. He made a point of telling me not to take any photos as most of the stuff there is stolen. It was the dodgiest place I have ever been - and i've been to a few. The stalls were made from anything and everything, and there wasn't much room for manouvre. You could literally buy anything you wanted/needed here it was amazing and had it not been so intimidating I could imagine Gar-rod and BT would love the place. I didn't stay here too long in fear of getting knocked out.

I have to say that this was the best place I've ever been to. But can't help but feel it's a different place at the weekend - stag do's etc - which I was lucky to avoid. I'll definately return to this place.
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