Hotel Monte Kristo
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... And there's an elevator! Woo Hoo. The last place was on the 3rd floor.
We're paying 35 Euros for a large double room with a GREAT bed. The last one wasn't so hot. And the common room is big and comfy and the wifi is strong. Sadly, wifi is as important of a utility as water and electricity now.
We checked in our room early and headed out for a tour of the city at 11 am. It was a good tour with people ...
... a relatively small area. The architecture is, as we’re becoming used to, amazing and both similar to many of the other countries we’ve visited (full of ornate statuary and design flairs) and somewhat unique. We did discover that much of what we saw was restored and, in many cases, newly rebuilt. A prime example is the ‘House of the Blackheads’ which was a merchant’s gathering place built in 1334…quite ...
... margin, so you could see everything. I've included several shots of the city itself and the river Daugava adjacent.
After that, we took a free tour of Riga. Our guide was Toms, born and raised in Riga, and a big hockey fan. He also had been to New York twice - but not New York City, just Albany. That is probably the most unique "I went to the US once" story ever. He was there for a hockey tournament. Toms also wanted to know if the ...
... gear, TV remote controls, passports of dead people or Nazi memorabilia.
I'm not kidding. As I wrote when I was in Warsaw, they used to have something similar but it was knocked down ages ago to accommodate the Olympic stadium. Vilnius still has theirs, but you may recall that the area got a little too dodgy just as I got there, so I turned around and went back. Nothing stopped me this time. Our guide only gave us ten or so minutes to browse around and ...
... only that, but having been driven up and down all the little alleys of the Old City, when it came time to actually walk them ourselves half an hour later, we didn't have a clue because everything was vaguely familiar.
We found our way, eventually, to the House of the Blackheads (which is even uglier than it's name implies) where the Tourist Bureau lives, and picked up the walking tour map which we had read about online. This was written by the same fellow who ...