vendredi 23 août 2013

Riga, Latvia, April 2013

After leaving Tallinn, our trip continued in Riga, the capital of Latvia. I have to admit it is the town I enjoyed the less, but we learned some fun and less fun facts about the town through the city tour, and food and drinks were really cheap once again. 

Riga, a fake old town, with real ghettos. 

So, pretty much every monument you'll see in the old town is actually NOT old. It all have been destroyed and later rebuilt or renovated after the end of the Soviet Union. But the thing that stroke me the most was how different the city can be from one place to another. From the window of the hostel, we had a view of a modern and grey landscape, recently built, and of which Latvian are either proud or disgusted. If you go further down the town to the bus station, you will have to go through a part of town where misery is everywhere, and people walk with their heads down. Let's call it a Soviet ghetto, more or less.. So basically, there is a touristic, a modern and a 'real world' part in Riga. All are interesting, all have their history, their peculiarities, and that's what make the town interesting. 
Also, if you are, as I am, a tourist and proud of it, you will have to be prepared to pay to visit museums and churches, and it will be expensive. You can also choose not to visit anything from the inside, and only walk through town and eat and drink almost for free ( compared to crazy Finland with their 6eurosbeers). 
If you are using traveling tools such as TripAdvisor, be careful, you can look for a specific museum for ages before realizing it is definitely not where it should be ( We never found the Museum of the Holocaust. Why? Don't know.) 

Concerning the fun facts we got from our lovely guide, Riga was the host of the first Macdonald's in the Baltics, and people were so excited that for a while, it became the place to go for romantic dates, or company meetings. Macdonald's, the place to be. 
The most famous legend about Riga is about the Cat House, I'll let you read about it  HERE

Now : pictures ! 

France is everywhere

Riga's pastel colors and genuine old stones

View from the hostel.
The sort of pyramid is  the National Library...

Market : the place to be if you need an entire fox to keep your neck warm. 

A perfect example of old/new building : the House of Blackheads


This sculpture stands for the first Christmas Tree, which was supposively born in Riga.

Do you speak Latvian? 


Random couple in front of the Church ( I was missing 'home' ..)



Statue&Opera in the background


There is a German Legend about this statue that everybody knew except for me.

Super cheap alcohol..

Super cheap food in Market place

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