Rafael Hotel Riga
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I have to admit to a total surprise, and I guess ignorance, of the countryside here. I had it in mind that it would be full forests and hills, similar to Switzerland, expecting Julie Andrews to appear singing 'the hills are alive with the sound of music' ! How wrong...the countryside remains dreary, not helped by the time of year, with just an openness of forests (of pines and silver birch) and fields, which have at least been farmed in some areas, more than in the last few countries ...
... space, in the middle of the kitchen floor.
I don't actually know how Māris finally persuaded Minka to resurface, but the next tactic was to keep Minka in the other half of the apartment; in the empty living room where she couldn't really destroy anything. This went fine, except for the fact that she would still only hiss and growl at anyone besides Māris who would walk past her lazy chair. Oh, and except for the fact ...
... to Wikipedia, "HEMA is a Dutch discount retail chain [that] is characterized by relative low pricing of generic housewares, which are mostly made by and for the chain itself, often combined with original design." In other words: they sell just about anything you can imagine, it's cheap, it's cool, and it doesn't break!
Not that I'm a snob for a single (Dutch) brand. I would be very happy to buy a Latvian ...
... in use, exchanged for 2.85 euros at the bank)
# of times we did laundry: 4
# of languages we know how to say Butterfly in: 22 (Latvian - Taurenis)
# of holes in Amberīs sneakers: 4
Next stop: Riga city wandering
... squad of navy seals. We also passed the Tallink ferry to Stockholm. You could go as near to it as you wanted. Then back into the canal, under a road bridge which serves as a dormitory for Riga's homeless. I would hesitate to call it luxurious, but the cardboard dwellings seemed well constructed and for a city centre pad it certainly was secluded and quiet. 'Grand Hotel,' said the boat driver. Shortly after that we returned to our starting point. We ...