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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.


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