Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Panda Nams

Flag of Latvia  ,
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Possibly the cleanest port city I have ever seen, Ventspils was a lot more fun than I expected. Finally managing to find the tourist office (which had moved without updating their website) they looked rather surprised to see us but were very happy to help us find a hostel, even ringing someone to come and collect us. The hostel owner was a cheerful middle aged woman who spoke no English, but chatted away with expansive gestures while we practiced our smiling and nodding. She roped in the man from the shop downstairs to translate for us (not really necessary but entertaining). Their initial conversation in Latvian went something like this:
Hostel lady: These people are from Australia
Shop Man: No, don't be silly
Hostel lady: Yes yes, they told me they are from Australia
Shop Man: No definitely not, obviously you really mean Austria
Hostel lady, confused now, to us: Austria, Austria??
Us: Ne, ne, Australia, Oostoraaliya
Shop Man, wide eyed now: Australia? Really? No! But it is so far away. Why come to Latvia?

The attractions of Ventspils, other than the friendly people, are the lovely long white sand beaches and the numerous park filled with quirky sculptures and enough inventive children's play equipment to send my inner child into heart palpitations of delight. There are also a collection of cow statues let loose around the city for no describable reason other then, why not?
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Candice on

they had the cow thing recently here too, down south
lol love the convo with the shop man - obviously we aussies are a re occurrence out there!

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