RSS Feed
Dec 11

Back from Riga, Latvia

Posted on Friday, December 11, 2015 in My life

I just got back from Riga (in Latvia). In a way, the trip was a success or at least seems to be so far, but in a way, it was not as much fun as the last time.

The weather was as good as could be expected for December, that is completely calm, which made sure I didn’t get seasick and that’s always good.

Mum came along on this trip which, to be honest wasn’t all that much fun for us. In her defense I have to say that she was in pain (she’s twisted her ankle) and had a bad cough (which she still does). But she kept complaining about everything, including the food, which my sister and I quite liked. We are quite thrilled that there was so much that happened to be vegan.

Something was wrong with the subway in Stockholm, but that didn’t affect us very much, because we were on a bus (once we found a way of buying tickets), but so many people chose to go by bus instead of by subway which made it a bit crowded. Plus for some reason, some of the bus stops were just canceled (if that’s the word – a decision was made to just ignore them and people had to walk a lot further).

On the train, on the way back, we saw a cute little boy. He showed me how to open a door (which was very nice of him). That door had almost squeezed me moments earlier and a moment later, it almost crushed my hand. Fortunately, there was a much older guy (thirties maybe) who knew of a switch that could keep the door open for much longer):

We also ran into two nice older ladies who talked to us on the bus from the ferry terminal to the Central Station and two quite nice younger women who also talked to us while we were waiting or on the train.

To end the evening, we also had a bit of adult entertainment at the railway station while waiting for the bus back to the house. I had no trouble ignoring those high school kids, but it was quite embarrassing to sit next to my mum while they were up to their antics.

Jun 5

Went on a cruise

Posted on Friday, June 5, 2015 in My life

The other day, I returned from my trip to Riga, Latvia (where I’d gone for my big project). I’m so relieved to be home again, and very tired. In most ways, the trip was a success, at least so far.

There were also some things I didn’t really like. Riga had a number of fine but very run-down buildings, with many interesting architectural details. In places there was a bad smell. Someone I know told me that when he was in Riga, maybe twenty years ago, there was this bad smell too so obviously they haven’t managed to fix that problem.

It was a bit hard to find the way to where I would have my appointment. Also, the traffic was bad. I found it odd that there were so many men and boys around, but only a few women, mainly elderly ladies and a few young mothers. I can’t say that the Latvians and Russians in Riga looked particularly nice though two relatively young women (early 30’s maybe?) who tried to help us find the way, were an exception.

The weather was also great – sunny, warm, but not too hot. It was alright in the east of Sweden too, but just when we entered the west of Sweden, it started to rain and got colder. The clinic was fine (if a little cramped, compared the other one) but the staff made me so nervous by running late with the treatment. In the end, we had to take a taxi to the ferry terminal, even though it would have taken ten minutes to walk at most – if there hadn’t been any traffic, and it had been as straightforward to find the way as the natives seemed to think. Even then I got there with only five minutes to spare. Never again.

The cruise was a pleasant experience. Since we didn’t dare to fly again, this time, we decided to wait for this time of year to go by a big passenger ferry. It was a lot cheaper than flying so we got a ‘luxury’ cabin. The price for that included two ‘special breakfasts’. On the first morning, I think we arrived too late to go into the ‘special’ dining room so we got the usual breakfast buffet, which was actually quite nice, even for us vegans. There were plenty of fresh vegetables (cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes), baked beans and some fruit salad. We also got a fruit basket and some complimentary drinks in a little fridge.

Riga bag

Tax free shopping

Other than a visit to the ‘supermarket’ for some tax free shopping and eating breakfast, we mainly stayed in our cabin. Some of the male passengers were very rowdy and rude to the female passengers. Another reason we didn’t particularly like the Latvians and Russians. The majority were either one of those nationalities. However, the internet didn’t work in our cabin so we had to go out, preferably one or two decks down to get online. While we were in Swedish waters, we were at least able to phone home.

Just one more complaint – we weren’t let off the boat in Stockholm until 20 minutes after arrival. That meant we missed our train and lost quite a bit of money, because we couldn’t re-book the ticket over the phone. We’ll try to get some of that money back from the ferry company, but I’m sure they won’t see things our way. Fortunately, we were at least able to book tickets for a high speed train that left about an hour later but arrived just half an hour later. When we got off the train here, we had missed our bus home, or so we thought, but when we got outside, to the ‘bus station’ part of what’s called ‘the travel center’, the bus was still there. It started rolling, but the driver saw us and stopped and waited, which was a bit of luck.

Now I just need to remember to relax, make sure I don’t get angry, not carry anything heavy and avoid crowds, so I won’t catch an infection the next couple of days.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: