If you want to know where most Range Rovers in the world are then look no further. And we are not talking about farming-one-man-and-his-dog-vintage ones we are looking at nothing over a year old and top-top spec. This city drips in British-made 4×4 wealth and then…….. The roads and infrastructure are total rubbish. Looks like certain people here do not like paying taxes and that may just be that the majority of the citizens of this fine town are not Latvian but Russian. Rumour has it that the people from Mother Russia snapped-up all the best land and property just before independence and left the unwanted to the newly-formed republic of Latvia.
An unmemorable drive with a stop-off at the Hill of Crosses.
Due to some terrible weather we spent 4 days in Riga instead of the planned 2. The first couple of days were spent writing stuff for the blog. Trust me it was too miserable to leave the van for a second. We were kept amused by the arrival of a group of vehicles that were heading for a 6 Month jaunt to China and back in an organised tour. The vehicles ranged from a VW T4 through the normal conversion types and up to this beauty that was the star of the show. In fact the best homie we have ever seen.
To The Right
To The Left
After the storm passed we managed to get our wet bottoms into town to have a look at this self-styled ‘Capital of the Baltics’. It certainly has a capital city feel with wide boulevards and impressive architecture. First stop for us was the Quiet Corner. This is the largest and most impressive showing of art nouveau architecture in Europe. You will see from the number of pictures we took that we found this far more enjoyable than the old town. Nightmarish gargoyles and praying goddesses adorn more than 750 buildings in this Inspector Poirot Backdrop. This is easily our favourite collection of buildings outside the Adam Terraces of Regents Park, London. In fact they are better. They are fun, they are quirky, they seem to live and breathe.
Egyptian Man with Breasts
Joan of Arc
Seen a Ghost
Another Blue One
Next stop for us while weaving in and out of the pavement riding Range Rovers was the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. A true spectacle both inside and out. We did try to take a photo but a former KGB operative descended upon us before I could get my lens cap off. It is the first religious building we have ever seen with neon lights above the altar advertising Jesus. It was like going to church in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. So no inside pictures I’m afraid.
Carrying on with our theme of not visiting museums unless they are different left us with only the walk around the Old Town to do. There are some fine old buildings here to see with ‘The Three Brothers’ and ‘The Blackheads House’ being at the top of the poll. Elsewhere there winding wobbly lanes to wander around and churches with high spires to gawp at.
Wibbly Wobbly Lane
The Riga Cat
After all that walking and with the knowledge we were going in the direction of expensive land we headed for a quality restaurant for lunch. Restaurant 36 in Riga is at the top of nosheries and is bang-on vogue with the current Scandinavian foraging theme. The food was stunning and the best we have had since The Dordogne. For the money I would have liked my main course to have been a little larger.
There is a lot of room on that Plate.
Not risking the same again with pudding we nipped around the corner and dived into an XXL portion of hot wings from KFC. Thank you Colonel Sanders for giving us the strength to get home safely.
So there we are. Riga is a proper city with some of the best architecture and the most Range Rovers you will ever see. We kind of liked it, a lot and if the weather had have been better I think we might of loved it.
Love to All