Art Deco

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Latvia  ,
Sunday, January 27, 2008

We love collecting sets. Lucy and myself have all the five Latin Euro countries, three short of the Med countries and have been to all the Western Euro ones, but back in October last year, we started a new set. Countries of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. After experiencing the delights of Ukraine, we knew we had to try another one, well mainly for the vodka fix, but once it gets into your system, you know you need to try another one !!!
Jew boy prices rule !!! Lucy found the flights, 40 return, and we were on our way.

Next step, lessons in Russian. Da, Nyet, Spacebo. Enoughs enough, lets get going !!!
We grabbed a bus and headed into the old city and straight away there was failure. I tried my Russian and the reply was in Latvian followed by English. Yes, my Russian had failed me, nothing to be expected really !!! Along the way, there were the usual EBA, but this is to be expected. Once the bags were dumped, we took an Uncle Davros walking tour. I had found a couple of different ones and thought it would be a good way to see the city.
Day 1
Starting at the touro info building, a guy came up and asked us if we wanted to go on his. I told him that he was making a mistake and he would be better off coming on mine. At that point, he lost his English, abused me in Latvian and walked off !!!
The majority of the first stuff that we saw was re-built from WW2, but that was ok. They were in the old style, not our favourite EBA !!! As you walk around, there are loads of old art deco styles, and the only problem is that you eventually get a sore neck from constantly looking up. They were everywhere, in all shapes and sizes. Amazingly, the Soviets had left them there.
As the sun came down, we came across an ice rink, but Lucy didn't have her skates with her, so she did the punter thing and went on with the hire ones on. Now Lucy can skate, but I was pissing myself with her attempts. After a while, she did manage to go backwards, spin and jump even !!!
Day 2
Up early, we headed over to the markets. They are housed in old Zeppelin hangers. Massive. And then it happened, we saw all this meat, just hanging there, so Lucy and me had an arguement, and it went like this
Lucy - It's Wabbit season
Me - It's Duck season
Lucy - It's Wabbit season
Me - It's Duck season
Lucy - It's Wabbit season
Me - It's Duck season

And then we saw them, Babushkas.

Then we looked at each other and screamed, It's Babushka season !!!
Be vewy vewy quiet, we're hunting Babushkas !!! Hahahahahahahahaha !!!
They were everywhere. We gave chase, but they were sneaky. Everytime we went to shoot, they would turn. They were not compliant like the Ukranian ones. We bagged as many as possible, then hit the streets again.
We walked over to the cathedral and caught the lift up to the top. It was nice looking down on Riga. It's a tiny city for a capital, about the size of L'viv. Once down, we took another walk around to see more art deco buildings !!! Not following any of the tourist maps that we had, we wandered around sections that were run down EBA and also through a part that was all wood. Some were old, some were not as people were re-building them. Eventually, the Jew in me found the local synagogue. It was the only one to survive the Nazi and Soviet occupation. Inside, I met a man and we had a good laugh about all things Jewish. I do like discussing my heritage.
As night rolled on, our weekend came to a close, snow came, and it was nearly time to go home, but first we had to feed ourselves.


We found a local place and I would love to know who was the person who changed the menu from Latvian to English. They had beauties like steamed green things, pok knuckles and the one that I went for, after celebration special. Raw fish and pickles. It was beeter than the cheese on toast that Lucy had, which we couldn't see the cheese !!! But the winner was the venison goulash.
And finally
Riga was fun, the city was nice but having experienced Ukraine, I think that they are lucky that the cheap flights haven't arrived. Ukraine still has an innocence about it, while it seems like Riga has been ripped apart by the young Westies over for cheap piss ups. Yes, it's nice, but I prefer the people and what I saw in Ukraine. I don't know if I will go back, but we never know where my life will take me.

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thistlemoon on

Thanks for this write up David! When I was an exchange student in 1994, I had a choice, Latvia or Norway. I had a hard time deciding, but after reading your post , I am glad I went for Norway!

uncle_davros on

Re: wow!
Don't get me wrong, I liked the place. I think it would have been amazing in 1994. The problem is that because of the cheap flights, these Eastern Euro cities are selling their souls for the cheap piss ups. It will happen to Ukraine, I'm just happy I got there before it happened.

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