My Christmas in Riga

Dessert on the cruise ship (Nokia Lumia 820)

My father and I went on a cruise to Riga, Latvia. This was the 2nd time without mother. It’s much easier to go somewhere where you don’t have to stress about Christmas. The food and entertainment are offered on a plate. You don’t have to do anything but relax. We’ve been on this cruise about 5 times. I’ve lost count. You also get to go on shore see Riga for 4,5 hours. This time I’ve had to go alone since dad was stupid enough to forget his passport. Misinformed, he said.

Tip! Always have your passport with you
even if you think you won’t need it

I was very disappointed but then in a way it was good. I could walk further without having to wait for another person. Since we’ve been there before, I knew where to go.

What I like about Riga is the walking distance to the Old Town from the harbour. The best sights are near by. That’s something you don’t find everywhere. In other places you have to go by bus or another transport.
When we arrived to the country the weather was cloudy but an hour later the sun came up. Even if it was windy in some places, it was nice to walk around.

My first destination was the Stone Bridge (Akmens tilts). I walked to the other side of the Daugava river and continued to the Railway Bridge. It wasn’t far away. You see photos of it from the other side but not that often from the side I was on. I didn’t know if you could walk over the bridge or not (and no you can’t)

The Railway Bridge, Riga, Latvia (on the right, Latvian Academy of Science a.k.a. “Stalin’s birthday cake”)
The Railway Bridge from the other side

I walked back to the Stone Bridge and over it to the Old Town. I was heading to Vērmanes Garden. I haven’t been there before but I looked on the internet before the trip and I also had a map with me. On the way there, I stopped by the Freedom Monument. I’ve taken photos of it before but this time I got a bit closer to it.


Statues around the Freedom Monument

The public garden wasn’t far away from it. The place was quite big. In the summer it’s more lively and there’s more colour. Now it was bland and greyish but still it was a nice place to spend the time.

Fountain in Vermanes Garden
Vermanes Garden
On stage

It was already getting a bit darker and I had a few more places to go. I walked to Esplanade park where they have a Christmas market on the edge of it. I was just walking through it but I stopped by to look at the bunnies inside a fenced area. There are quite a lot of them. There are small houses and the bunnies can run around. Some of them chased other bunnies which looked so cute. Bunnies are the only animals I’ve never been scared of.
There’s a few markets across the city. Two of them are in the Old Town. One is close to the Riga Cathedral.

Market square

It was closer to 4 pm so I walked back to the harbour to get back to the cruise ship. Even if I was on shore alone, I had a nice time. It was nice to hear some other language than Finnish for a change.

The trip home it was quite windy on the sea. You could hardly walk straight on the ship. It was quite funny. You weren’t drunk but still it felt like you were. After shopping and eating dinner (and we ate quite a lot) we decided to stay in the cabin the rest of the evening. Laying down felt much better. The Titanic movie was shown on TV so why go somewhere when you could hardly walk anyway.

So that was my Christmas in Riga. I really recommend to visit the place. Even if it’s only for a few hours. It would be nice to see it in the summer too. But that’s a trip for another day.

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