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Walking out of Riga International Airport on Sunday evening was like walking right into Christmas! There’s no other way to describe it; there was snow on the ground, twinkling lights scattered all across the city in the distance and it was cold. Oh, it was cold!
But it was the nice kind of cold. You know, crisp and refreshing, the kind of cold that makes you want to don your bobble hat, grab a hot chocolate and listen to carol singers in the street. Not the type that makes your feet fall off and your personality resemble the Grinch.
I hadn’t anticipated snow at all (Apple Weather missed a trick there!) so it was a lovely surprise to see a seemingly fresh dusting of the white stuff all over the ground especially after having the spent the last eight months almost consistently baking like a potato in various spots across the globe.
This time of year in Latvia the sun sets before 4pm which to be honest I still can’t get my head around given that Latvia kind of looks in line with Scotland on a map. Does the sun really set this early in Scotland?!
As a result of darkness falling early (that sounds a lot more sinister than intended!) it’s currently 9:30pm and I’m typing this from the bed in my hotel room, having excused myself from the bar an hour ago because my eyes kept involuntarily closing and I couldn’t stop yawning. There’s honestly no reason I should be tired! I slept a solid eight and a half hours last night, didn’t do anything particularly strenuous today and haven’t eaten enough to cause a food coma. But I think my body and brain and everything in between see the dark sky and the twinkly stars and think “a-ha, bed time!” and go into Sleep Mode. Evidently I’m not sleeping though, I’m typing, but it’s only a matter of time…
Moving away from my sleeping pattern and back to Riga…
It. Is. Beautiful.
Cobbled streets, Art Nouveau architecture and people who walk through the streets smiling to themselves; it really wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney film!
In fact, a lot of the buildings remind me of the structures at Disneyland California’s Main Street!
Even though the snow stopped falling pretty much as soon as we arrived, had all but melted by the next morning and been replaced with rain and grey skies, there’s just something about Riga that makes me not even care that I’m getting soaked to the skin and may or may not contract pneumonia by the end of the trip.
It’s a city where you don’t have to do anything; you can just wander around aimlessly for hours on end and not even get bored! Definitely
my bank account’s my favourite type of place!
Although it’s only been two days so far, what I appreciate the most about Riga is that it’s made me realise something, and that is that stepping out of your comfort zone really isn’t so bad!
I don’t bode well with cold. Never have and don’t think I ever will.
Consequently I’ve always found myself drawn to warmer, more tropical climates, although admittedly there are some places I’ve always wanted to visit (hey Iceland you icy thing, you!) that can only be described as the colder side of cold. So booking a trip to a Baltic country during winter was most certainly out of sorts for me!
But despite inwardly cursing myself for only bringing one pair of fluffy socks, and even though I genuinely thought I was going to lose all my fingers standing on top of a church tower in the wind, I don’t regret booking this trip.
It turns out that cold countries aren’t so bad after all. In fact, they’re rather bloody fantastic!
Are you more of a summer or winter holiday kind of person?!
If you’d like to see more of Riga’s superb infrastructure, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! I really am outdoing myself with the building photography this trip…