It has been a long, anxious wait for me and Georgia to begin our travels. After an emotional goodbye at Gatwick we were on our 2 hour flight to Riga with grins on our faces in an excitable frenzy.
We touched down as dusk was looming on the Latvian capital, with a Baltic chill in the air we caught the number 22 bus that took us across the Daugava river to the Autoosta district of Riga, adjacent to the legendary ‘old town’ but with the bright lights of modern casinos and bars close by.
We checked into our home for the next 4 nights,Riga Hostel which cost us a very affordable £10 a night between us. We were presently suprised with the size of our traditionally decored double room and with the location being so central it is a ideal place to set up camp. After a quick rest we headed off into central Riga and came across Folkklubs ala pagrabs, an underground bar/restaurant that had a real dingy, soviet feel to it, we were greeted by the extremely helpful and friendly staff that showed us our table and we quickly ordered some local cuisine after eating nothing more than sour cream Pringles in 10 hours. I had the most delicious Latvian strognonoff Whilst Georgia having a traditional Eastern European stew, with a couple locally brewed beers each the bill came to £20, in Britain the quality of the food and beer would have meant the bill would of come to +£25 each without a shadow of a doubt, with Latvia living up to its expectations as an affordable and desirable place to visit. After sinking those pints we went for a brisk walk to burn off some alcohol taking in the views of Riga at night passing the Freedom monument, the house of the blackheads, places we will visit over the next couple of days when we’re not so jet lagged and drunk. Walking back to the hotel we came across a bar that sold the locally famous Riga black Balsam, which tastes like a herby coffee like liquor, something that had to be tried but something I might leave for the Latvians to enjoy.