Jul. 7th, 2005 10:40 pm
unallersimple: (hectopus)

hey hey

Most of this afternoon was spent in the tv room at the hostel watching the news about the bombings unfold, got talking to a few people there about my president sightings and found out a funny story about Mr Bush. Apparently he was in the capital last month, except while the security for the two presidents I saw was pretty relaxed, good old George had all of the old town closed off, and locals were told not to make sudden movements by their windows or they would get shot by snipers protecting the president of america. nice.

It's been an enjoyable but really sad day, went to a museum about Latvia's tragic past, the horrors of the occupation and second world war left me feeling weird all day. Lunch was in a vegetarian Indian restuarant then I stumbled upon all the monuments I couldn't find yesterday whilst running back to the hostel avoiding a thunderstorm. doh!

Decided to stay in Latvia until Monday due to transport and accomodation problems, a blessing in disguise perhaps as now I can take a few day trips and explore the city further.

Tomorow I plan to look round Riga castle, then catch up on all my diary writing whilst enjoying meals in the Japanese restaurant I found... Mmm life is bizare so good, yet so sad at the same time. My thoughts are constantly of London (whose arn't?) though I am pleased to discover that while traveling is nothing like I thought it would be, it is everything I wanted it to be. :)

*Random facts*
- Inflation in Latvia is over 6%
- In the capital years of occupation have left Latvians as a minority group, 56% of people here are Russian.
unallersimple: (hectopus)

hey hey,

Came out of gift shop today and walked into the sqaure next to the musuem I planned to visit, only to find myself being escorted out the way by two policemen, I was worried that they were going to arrest me or something, but I was left outside the area that had been closed off to the public. Feeling very baffled I then saw about 30 people walk into the sqaure, mostly black suits and a few official looking people. Asked a couple nearby what was going on and apparently I'd just seen the president of Poland and Latvia walk past! Love random mmoments like these, things you just can't plan.

latvian police

ahh no time again...

Lizzie xXx
unallersimple: (hectopus)

hey hey

Life seems to be turning more and more like Frodo the hobit as I get into *siesta sightseeing* mode, as the weather here is really hot and I am really tired, I go for a walk, get something to eat, walk a bit more then go for a sleep to avoid midday heat. Had a bit of a shitty start to the day so far, got up really early all excited with plans of seeing some churches and monuments, and I know this sounds really lame but I can't find anything! Streets are rarely labeled, and if you are looking for a street number then you have no idea whether to go up or down so the day becomes very frustrating. When I finally found St Peters church you couldn't even look inside it anyway - arghhh! I've walked 6 bloody km and it's only 12.30. Bof! The locals were also very lost by the sound of it, one person pointed in two directions when asked saying it was either this way or over there!
And now someone in the youth hostel is even mopping the carpet in the corridor, I feel so out of place here sometimes... English speaking people seem to be as bad as the monuments. So far have not found any, but I know they exist as when I was in the shower I heard an Aussie and kid yelling at her dad that she'd lost her shoes. I miss talking to people, and as I'm sharing my dorm with 3 spanish ladies, conversation is a bit limited there, *sigh*

But aside from that I did enjoy looking at the city, especially *Old Riga*, where the older building are., They are so beautiful and I loved just walking round down the streets. The city looks like any other in Europe, wide, tree lined streets, more public transport than cars. But a little below the surface hints of the soviet occupation begin to show. Some buildings are cracked, plaster peeling off or even left abanded with smashed windows or in a half-demolished state, even right in the middle of the main street. Newer, soviet built buildings seem cold and oppressive as they are such a contrast to the Latvian ones. Prices seem to reflect this too. Basic things like food and bus tickets are very cheap, but a luxury item is very expensive.
Wondering round is especially nice as there are no skyscrapers, buildings are only 5/6 floors high so all the light streams in.

Yesterday I went for a meal and was delighted to find it cost only 1.20, bargain, and it was a proper meal as well not a fast food one or anything. Then went to watch Mr and Mrs Smith at the cinema. I have this thing where when I go abroad I always try to go to hte cinema as I'm trying to find the best one ever to sit back and enjoy my film addiction. Previously Amsterdam ruled but I've found an amazing one here which deserves its own entry later!

Decided to take it easy today, still exhausted from the night at the airport and too annoyed to try and find anything, will sleep and read this afternoon, then go to the cinema again tonight! (it really is an amazing cinema!) And I know this isn't really *real* traveling as its not the local theatre or something, but I'm tired and dont care!

Tomorow will take a boat ride to view the city and then go to look round a museum about Latvia, try and find out how to get a bus to Tartu, Estonia and try and fit all my rubbish in my backpack again...

lol traveling is so great, but never ever what you imagine it to be, I decided to cut back on my sightseeing so I don't turn my holiday into a chore like schedule - it's good to chill out!


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