eurotrippin’

Alright.. I’m back. So… it’s been a long trip and I don’t even know where to begin! So.. I’ll start with Riga, since it’s freshest in my mind. I was only there from 6:30PM onwards, and because it was so stormy, it was really dark out too. (Not to mention FREEZING! Literally! Below zero!) The plane had so much turbulence on the way down that people clapped when we landed. It was a little scary, not gonna lie, and I have to admit I briefly toyed with the idea of just not leaving the airport because the weather seriously sucked balls outside (and who was I to argue with the weather in my sweater and jeans?) It was kind of hilarious because as soon as we touched down everyone on the plane pulled out massive knee-length parkas and I had .. well, nothing. And these people were Latvian so they were used to the bitter cold! I’d just returned from Madrid/Rome where it’s warm! Oh well. Latvia seems to be all cute and charming like Copenhagen except the shops don’t close til 9 and everything is super super cheap (for Europe anyway!) I’d say prices were comparable to or less than those in the US, which is pretty amazing seeing as I have grown accustomed to 4-dollar-hotdogs and such. Also, people in Riga are so sweet and adorable. I took the airport shuttle and it picks people up from hotels. I was in Riga from 6:30PM until my flight the next morning at 7AM, but since I’m poor/broke/both, I couldn’t exactly afford a hotel. So… I decided to take the airport shuttle back to the airport at 10-ish. Of course, all I had was my sweater so I sure as heck wasn’t going to stand outside popsicle-stylez waiting for a potentially-late shuttle bus, so I waited in the safety of the lobby. The people there were super helpful even though I obviously didn’t pay for their services, and the concierge watched for the shuttle for me (bless him!) He saw the shuttle and was like go go go! and I ran out of there but by then the shuttle already pulled away! So.. what did they do? These people called the shuttle company and told them to come back!!! May I repeat.. I didn’t have a hotel room or anything. I didn’t pay for their services. I was bumming in their hotel lobby. So.. shameless plug for Hotel Riga and Ilya and the other dude! THANK YOU!!!! The shuttle bus came back and it was all good. …I feel like I’m skipping  a lot of parts of my jaunt into Riga. I walked around some, shopped some, and ate dinner.

Will update with photos and such after I finish with finicky ol’ Facebook.

What I first saw upon exiting the airport. Not promising, not gonna lie. Dark, rainy, cold.
What I first saw upon exiting the airport. Not promising, not gonna lie. Dark, rainy, cold.
Somebody dropped a pair of glasses on the ground. Oops.
Somebody dropped a pair of glasses on the ground. Oops.
Why is there a TGI Friday's in Latvia? Just wondering.
Why is there a TGI Friday’s in Latvia? Just wondering.
STEIKE HAOSSSSSSSS

STEIKE HAOSSSSSSSS

Bread with butter with stuff in the butter that made it taste really good. No idea what it was.

Bread with butter with stuff in the butter that made it taste really good. No idea what it was.

Green pea soup with salmon! They fried the salmon before they put it in, yum yum. 2 Lats = 4 USD.

Green pea soup with salmon! They fried the salmon before they put it in, yum yum. 2 Lats = 4 USD.

Water, the most expensive part of my meal. They don't do tap in Latvia, apparently :( 1.2 Lats = 2.4 USD. Also if you look through the water there's a drunken sketchymcsketch who kept talking to the waitresses and then came up to my table and grabbed my shoulder and gave me a weird look which I returned and then he ran away.

Water, the most expensive part of my meal. They don't do tap in Latvia, apparently 😦 1.2 Lats = 2.4 USD. Also if you look through the water there's a drunken sketchymcsketch who kept talking to the waitresses and then came up to my table and grabbed my shoulder and gave me a weird look which I returned and then he ran away.

Pumpkin risotto with bacon! 3 Lats = 6 USD.

Pumpkin risotto with bacon! 3 Lats = 6 USD.

Latvian coins!

Latvian coins!

Sparkling water from Georgia, so naturally I had to have it. 0.5 Lats = 1 USD.

Sparkling water from Georgia, so naturally I had to have it. 0.5 Lats = 1 USD.

Apple lime juice carton! I didn't have scissors so I kind of had to rip it open. I know, I know, there was no way I could finish a litre of it, but I simply had to try it! 0.5 Lats = 1 USD.

Apple lime juice carton! I didn't have scissors so I kind of had to rip it open. I know, I know, there was no way I could finish a litre of it, but I simply had to try it! 0.5 Lats = 1 USD.

Super glam halfway through my 8-hour airport stay.

Super glam halfway through my 8-hour airport stay.

I was parched so I indulged in airport-priced water. See that one red bottle? That's the only one that's NOT carbonated. Apparently all the bottled water in Riga is carbonated unless you look for one that isn't..

I was parched so I indulged in airport-priced water. See that one red bottle? That's the only one that's NOT carbonated. Apparently all the bottled water in Riga is carbonated unless you look for one that isn't..

Yeah, um, so there was like, nobody in the airport. And nothing to do. Great.

Yeah, um, so there was like, nobody in the airport. And nothing to do. Great.

My temporary home for 8 hours. I parked myself by the vending machine because there was a power cord and I could plug my phone in there. I know, what a fab way to spend eight hours! This is what I get for being broke.

My temporary home for 8 hours. I parked myself by the vending machine because there was a power cord and I could plug my phone in there. I know, what a fab way to spend eight hours! This is what I get for being broke.

Oh, and I was by myself because I left Rome first. Because I’m poor.

LOWDOWN ON RIGA FOR SINGLE FEMALE TRAVELLERS: (Writing this because… when I google “single female tourist” I get singles ads. So *not* what I’m looking for.)

1. Safety – A: The streets aren’t dead empty but they’re not crowded either, everyone is very helpful and friendly. I asked around and all the locals agree it is very safe. In fact, the woman at the counter assumed I’d be wandering around alone until 1AM and was like, hmm, maybe you should taxi it back to the airport.. Don’t buy a two-way, I don’t want to cheat you out of your money.. And I was like, dude, I am most certainly not wandering around alone in a completely foreign city by myself until 1AM! (My fears were unwarranted, it really *is* that safe.)

2. Ease of navigation – A: The old town is small and pretty easy to get through with a map, and nearly everyone speaks some English anyway (UNLIKE Madrid.)

3. Cost – A: Super reasonable for Europe.

4. Excitement – B: I saw it in the dark. It was cute, but I didn’t see much. Again, it was dark, so I don’t actually know.

5. Airport – C: Clean, cute, pretty, BUT no internet facilities and is completely barren at night! Very safe, but I feel better seeing other people around… Wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to schlep it here again but would do it again because it’s safe and clean. But cold. I’d bring a jacket. And something to do.

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