Friday, June 5, 2015

Welcome to Riga and the Wishing Tree

arriving in Riga

I booked a shuttle to Krakow airport,  and checked in at 10 am for the noon flight to Warsaw and then I changed planes to fly to Riga. Upon arriving in Riga I was able to book a cab at the airport through Baltic Taxi I prepaid, it was a set price of 14 euro and received a voucher and walked outside and a cab was there so I handed my voucher to the driver. I gave my driver a young woman a good tip I think she was surprised I was just happy for a set price and not being ripped off.  It was a quick drive to the Hotel Roma which was right at the beginning of the city center and across from Kronvalda Park and Riga Canal.

After I checked in and rested a bit  decided to take a walk towards through Kronvalda Park which was right across the street from the hotel.  I saw a tree that was covered with ribbons after asking some people I found it was the wishing tree. 


Wishing Tree


ribbons blowing in the wind

Kronvalda Park
The Dance of Peace

Next up was the Freedom Monument which honors the Soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence 1918-1920. It was unveiled in 1935 symbol of freedom, independence and sovereignty of Latvia it is 138 feet high, affectionately known as "Milda".

(Surprisingly during the Soviet years The Freedom Monument was never demolished. The communist government reinterpreted the star toting Liberty as Mother Russia caring for its three newest members of the Union Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  "Milda" was strictly off limits, and anyone seen placing flowers at the base were promptly arrested and sent to Siberia-Lonely Planet)
Freedom Monument from hotel Roma



Tevzemei un Brivibai for Fatherland and Freedom

Lady Liberty
Honor Guard

Opera House



I was getting a bit hungry and decided to try Elkor Food and Wine they had various quiche and breads and pastry.  I had a broccoli quiche, with a glass of quince wine, something different that I enjoyed. Then it was off to my room. It stays light outside quite late this time of year and I was amazed looking out my window that it was almost 11.

quiche


Lovely big room