Translated as the ‘other’ Latvia is a title best assembled for our tour around the ‘old’ or ‘pre independent’ Riga, a city a far cry away from the same town that got nominated as the European capital of culture 2014.
The typical tourist when visiting a new city would automatically be drawn to the main tourist attraction. So as to not cause any disruption to that cycle of life we headed staight to the Riga square where the house of the blackheads is situated.
After cunningly dodging a couple of tour operators we gazed unwillingly at the beauty of the Dutch like architecture of the president of Latvias digs. After a ponder around we came across the infamous St Peters Church, a towering triumph of precise design and optimistic composition that beamed over old town Riga.
After a 15 minute walk we arrived at one of trip advisors recommended tourist attractions in Riga. The central market, home to 5 gigantic pavilions each with its own speciality, to name a new few: fruit and veg, meat and dairy.
With 100,000+ visitors a day you can gather quite easily where the majority of Rigans get their produce from, with lunch (pizza for us) from as little as 30p it is a great place to watch the world go by whilst eating freshly cooked pastrys.
Being adventurous, we decided to go on a local treasure hunt to Lagalite Flea Market, a place recommended to us by locals. Trailblazing our way through the brutalist streets of suburban Riga we arrived at the most bizarre flea market we have to been to yet. From soviet daggers to Czech world war 2 uniforms, to working machine guns to a wall of disused remote controls, Latgalite Flea Market had it all. The market felt like a slum with confused market sellers almost questioning our presence.
Although this district of Riga was far from the tourist hot spots shown on our local guide we stumbled across some amazing places. A memorial to 270 Latvian heroes who helped Jews hide from Nazi occupied Latvia during world war2
A quite literal golden plated cathedral that dominated the skyline that for religious purposes were not allowed to be photographed aswell as the academy of science, a truly magnificent building that embodied the importance of the regions intellects.
For our meal out we visited ‘Milda’, a family run restaurant. We were delighted to have Marius as our waiter, whilst his girlfriend and her mother cooked our meal in the kitchen! We both tried delicious, traditional Latvian cuisine at very affordable prices with 2 mains, 4 beers and a shared desert costing £24!