Friday, 17 July 2015
Liepaja to Riga
Biking through the rain, walking round the art nouveau in Riga
Drove across the countryside into the national park where we took out the bikes. We then set off in a heavy thunderstorm with lightening cracking to one side. We were soon soaked and took shelter under the trees. After the storm as we rode there was a beautiful forest with the light coming off the trees. We biked along the beach; I loved being right next to the waves crashing on the edge. We reached Jūrmala in the rain and it continued to rain heavily and intermittently. Lunched off herring and fish cakes in a cafe. There was a very new police station and modern railway station where an art exhibit was taking place and huge papier-mâché machine figures with long dresses made of pictures from colour magazines filled the hall.
Riga was full of traffic and our hotel was far from the centre. Maureen and I took the trolley bus into Riga and did an art nouveau walking tour following the Lonely Planet guide. The art nouveau was amazing with heavily decorated figures holding up buildings. The light was beautiful, a bright clear evening light. We had supper in a square in the old town and chatted. Maureen has written a book about her family’s journey to Australia in1964 when they went as £10 Pommies and the boys were left in a farm school as their start to Australian life.
Today the best aspect amazing art nouveau architecture, and the light in forest most surprising.
I chatted to Waldis our guide about Latvian politics, coalition of conservative. Health fee paying but very low fees, drugs cheaper from family doctor, contraception expensive.
Pop Latvians 60, Russians 25, others 15