So we pass unhindered straight into Latvia as it’s part of the European Union, the Union us Brits are about to leave. What a shame and, more to the point, what a pain. Ah well.

Our first tourist spot is Cēsis where Latvia’s largest medieval, the aptly named Cēsis Castle, stands majestic. Built in the 13th century by German crusaders that went by the name of The Livonia Brothers Of The Sword. 

You can still climb the tight stone spiral stair cases to get to the top of the main tower. It’s quite amazing to think that you are climbing the same stairs as medieval people did hundreds of years ago when they were under siege thinking if these minutes are their last whilst we think; what’s for lunch?

Time to move on to Riga, the capital of Latvia. A beautiful city with the Daugava River running through it and the City Canal lined with parks and walking paths that you can go along by boat to get a better feeling of the place. So that’s just what we did, who doesn’t love a little boat trip?

But first the Riga Central Market. The largest market and bazaar in Europe.

Right, where’s our boat:

You would notice the large statue under renovation. That’s the statue of independence, presumably as it’s a big year here too next year having become independent in1918. It’s definitely going to be a party year in the Baltics next year. Hmmm, wonder if we’ll still be between jobs then 🤔 

Finish the day with a little wander around the Old Town where we learn an interesting little story about a black cat that has since become an emblem of Riga. Apparently a rich merchant wanted to join the Tradesman Guild but was refused so he had a house built and put 2 angry cats on the turrets with their arses pointing at the guild house. Apparently a deal was struck where the merchant could Join the guild and the cats direction was changed.

Next day and, ahhhh, the sun’s out. Smashing. We have planned to do the Retro Tram ride this morning followed by a wander around the amazing art nouveau buildings. A little wander through the Kronvalda Park first whilst we wait for the tram:

The Tram has arrived:

What a great week but sadly we have to say goodbye to Thomas and Sue and move onto Lithuania. Life is tough.


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