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ScouseLeeM on Tour
3rd May 2018 - 4th May 2018
Riga and Rundale - Latvia

Continuing my Eastern European oddesey, in a quest to complete 'level Europe' in my personal world travel game. Probably the only continent in which I will actually visit every country (except North America and Oeania, which are a bit of a doddle!)

A pleasant opportunity arose for me to complete the Baltic states, with visits to Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus -  having already visited Estonia many years ago in a not-so-cultural England football visit. From memory, we spent a free day visiting Tallinns local seaside resort to watch the local talent playing beach volleyball and meandered through the town, but didn't take a single photo record of our visit...a slightly more mature approach this time

First up Riga, Latvia's capital and at one point  very popular with British stag and hen dos, due to the cheap flights, beer, and general cost of living. Spent a long day travelling aroung the old town (castles, churches and monuments galore as per the standard in Eastern Europe, plus some more quirky points of interest such as the monument to the world first decorated Christmas tree), and capturing some panorama photos from the top of the affectionately titled 'Stallin's birthday cake' building. Then time to chill out in a town square with late evening bright Baltic sushine, entertained by live music and snacking on a local delicacy of toasted rye bread strips with dipping melted cheese...totally undoing any health benefit of the days walk.

If I thought I had done a fair bit of walking, little did I know what was in store the following day. Deciding to set off on an adventure to Rundale Palace, using the incredibly cheap local bus services, it was first a lengthy bus ride to Bauska (and a quick look at the Bauska castle), before taking a local bus service to (somewhere vaguley near) Rundale Place. I say vaguely near, as after getting off the bus at the correct stop, I seemed to be standing in the mddle of countryside, with no sign of life in any direction...

Thankfully  a signpost pointing up a long, tree lined country lane told me I was on the right path - some 1.5km later, more signs down another side path eventualy led to the outer grounds of the palace, and finally I came upon the enormous palace and gardens, compared in style to Versailles. After a self guided tour of the grand  interior rooms and huge gardens, it was time to start the trek back to Riga.

This is where things went pear shaped, as the already rather infrequent bus service fro the middle of nowhere decides to take a 3 hour break in the middle of the day, starting just before I reached the bus stop. With no life of any kind in view, I foolishly decided that I needed some excercise, and would walk all the way back to Bauska from Rundale, which I could complete before the next bus would appear. After 13 kilometers of walking along a country road, I finally reached my destination, ready to sleep on the bus journey back to Riga. At least the afternoon was one of bright sunshine, so got a little bit of a tan (well, pink skin).

No time to rest properly , as a 11pm flight would take me on to the the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius...



Next: Vilnius and Trakai - Lithuania
Previous: Moldova and Transnistria..the non existent country


Diary Photos
3rd May 2018  House of Blackheads
House of Blackheads

3rd May 2018  Town Hall Square
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3rd May 2018  St Peters church
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3rd May 2018  St Johns church
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3rd May 2018  The 'Three Brothers'
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3rd May 2018  Dome Square
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3rd May 2018  National library
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3rd May 2018  Latvia Riflemen monument

3rd May 2018  Freedom Monument
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3rd May 2018  Riga Castle
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3rd May 2018  Riga skyline
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3rd May 2018  Riga panorama
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3rd May 2018  Riga!
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3rd May 2018  'Stallin's birthday cake'
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4th May 2018  Rundale Palace
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4th May 2018  Rundale Palace
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4th May 2018  Rundale Palace
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4th May 2018  Bauska castle
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4th May 2018  Bauska church
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