After the stops at Stockholm and Tallin during The Baltic Trip, now it was time for Riga , where, as we did in the previous cities, we stood only for one day. We arrived really early (around 4 in the morning) and we left by midnight towards Warsaw . On the way to Poland we stopped by Kaunas , but unfortunately, only for 10 minutes :S
The city is placed in the north coast of Latvia, but inside the Gulf of Riga, in the mouth of the Daugava River. It has a population of around 730,000 inhabitants, what makes it the largest city of the Baltic countries.
Riga was founded in the second half of 12th century, but it didn’t get city rights until 1225, when Bishop Albert of Buxhoeveden granted it those rights. Soon after that, it got into the Hanseatic League, increasing its importance all along the Baltic countries.
Sincerely, I really loved this city because it gave me a really good feeling, as it perfectly mixes traditional buildings with opulent monuments from the communism, as well as some really nice examples of contemporary architecture. Also, there’s to note that the Historic Center of the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the extensive use of Art Nouveau.
Also it’s full of open spaces, as well as green areas, and the banks of the river are the perfect area to relax after a nice walk, specially in the area close to the Freedom Monument.
The center of the city and part of the outskirts is really nice, but the truth is that if you go a little bit farther away, you can feel insecure, as you enter some parts with a really strong depressed feeling and begin to attract some looks just for being a foreigner.
I know I repeat myself a lot, but… I’d really love the chance to come back to this city, as it really impressed me a lot, and I think that is worth more than one day to visit and fully enjoy it. The city I liked more from the trip, together with Stockholm.
The Baltic Trip:
mrithail.com: The Baltic Trip.
mrithail.com: Stockholm: Impressions.
mrithail.com: Tallin: Impressions.
mrithail.com videolog: A Little Bit of Tallin.
mrithail.com: Riga: Impressions.
mrithail.com videolog: Falling From Riga’s Sky.
mrithail.com: Warsaw: Impressions.
mrithail.com videolog: In the Middle of the Baltic Sea.