What an anticlimax coming home to lashing rain and colder temperatures this morning than we had in a week of travelling through Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
Looking outside at the rain I can’t get inspired to write anything about canals today so here’s a few jottings about our holiday instead. Personally I can’t see the attraction of sitting on the same beach for a week, so we tend to do the opposite and sit on buses and trains instead, which I can understand will not appeal to many especially those who prefer to relax on hols!
However we had the most marvellous time, starting in Riga, thanks to Ryanair. I find Ryaniar’s use of technology to be superb and rather than complain about being charged extra for using their automatic check-in terminals at Stansted (as opposed to free online check-in) I will actually praise them for thinking out a radical new solution to preventing check-in queues. It took no more than 2 minutes to find a free terminal, collect our boarding passes and hand a bag in to the baggage drop desk.
Riga was wonderful but surprisingly desserted. There was no traffic, no noise, no pedestrians in many streets – altogether a little bit eerie. The old town centre is very attractive with a mixture of quaint and very grand buildings. Every corner has a coffee shop – no queues – and free wifi is the norm. The cheaper restaurants offer self service menus till late into the night and we especially liked the Pelmeni – self service bowls of different flavoured ravioli style dumplings – a great feed for a couple of quid. You are charged by weight, which is a very common feature in Latvia – pile it onto the plate and pay only for what you take, weighed at the till.
The day’s highlight for total relaxation turned out to be a tea shop with hundreds of teas to choose from and a first floor piled with cushions to lie on with a view of the park, all within a couple of minutes of the town centre.
The river Daugava was perhaps 400 yards wide through Riga and with at least a three foot swell I was pleased to be visiting by land and not arriving by boat on a river with breaking waves. A narrowboat here would have no chance of staying upright but boat trips do exist, although like so much aimed at tourists here, the operating season will only be May to September. Continue reading Holiday report – no canals this time!