Rainy Riga, Latvia

Unfortunately weather doesn’t always go your way.  This time of year Riga’s weather is volatile and quick.  It’s cold, it’s hot, it’s rainy, it’s sunny;  is not an unusual five minute span of weather.  This resulted in a little less exploring than typical, but enough to realize why Riga came so highly recommend.

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Riga’s location on the Baltic sea, has made it an important strategic economic and naval location which resulted in several different occupying countries throughout the centuries.  Unfortunately, during the World Wars this strength resulted in the loss of about every historic building while Allies and Axis battled for it’s control.

When the Estonian people freed themselves from the Soviet Union, proclaiming model tactic in peaceful protest, they not only spared themselves from Soviet oppression but also from horrific soviet architecture.  What you see today is largely reconstructions of what Estonia looked liked prior to the Wars.  Not original, but still beautiful.

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Like any former soviet power you can also find interesting soviet memorabilia in the Black Market behind four large hangers that were used by Germany to build zeppelins during WWI.

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Why does “Friendly Fun Franks Hostel” fill up?  The night.  Riga is renowned for its night life and Frank’s knows how to do it right;  Have a 24 hour bar in the hostel, own another bar just outside, have daily pub crawls and include daily activities for history geeks to adrenaline junkies.

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If you do find your self lucky enough to find a date during a wild night out, you’ll be happy to know the hot date spot (Well, in the early 90′s after breaking from the Soviet Union) is Riga’s first McDonald’s, welcoming celebrities and politicians alike.  So, kiss your date good morning, put on last nights clothes and treat them to a romantic Big Mac.

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