Riga, Latvia Information?? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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FullClip
10-14-2012, 15:12
Not exactly a prime tourist destination this time of year, but looks like I'm headed to Riga for an 'extended stay' deal for work. Far from my adventures in the warmer climes of Spain. Has anyone ever been there recently? From what little I have gathered from some other folks I know it isn't too bad and has come a long way since the break-up of the old Soviet Empire.
Any pointers welcome..and yes, I am packing a few pairs of wooly underwear for the trip.:supergrin:

Deanster
10-14-2012, 15:44
Haven't been to Riga, but have been to Talinn, which I understand is somewhat similar.

Overall, pretty pleasant smaller European cities. All the basics are available, if not always in the forms you'd expect. Good people in general, who have accomplished a truly tremendous amount to get their countries so far in just a couple decades after generations of Soviet rule.

I'd say that the chances you have an overall positive experience are pretty high.

Now, for the negatives: I find the hardest thing in Eastern Europe these days is the air quality. Old, dirty diesel trucks and cars everywhere, spewing dark-roast fumes and soot, lots of people chain-smoking, etc. It's a very powerful advertisement for the Clean Air Act, let me tell you.

Next on the list is that while the Baltic countries are cleaning things up, there's still some old-school corruption and influence by 'russian mafia' (they may or may not be russian, or traditional organized crime, but it's a good functional description). I've never had a significant hassle, but others have reported shakedowns, or just a refusal to to basic work without a little extra payment, or police turning a blind eye, etc.

There's regular ferries to Sweden and Denmark - if you get a chance, go to a 'proper' european country for a couple weekends... both are great countries, full of amazingly attractive women. Just wandering downtown is a treat.

Take good shoes. You'll walk more than you can imagine, and Europeans don't wear sneakers or similar unless they're actively running. Dark, solid, all-leather shoes are a basic requirement of life.

This time of year, it's going to be raining. And raining. With some more rain. Europeans tend to wear heavy wool or leather coats, and sometimes use umbrellas, depending a bit on country.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, where we all live in gore-tex and polarfleece, and these are shockingly uncommon in Europe, despite a climate that screams for it. I finally decided i'd rather wear Gore-tex and soft-shell jackets or Polar-tec, and be warm and dry over looking local.

good luck!

Reissman
10-14-2012, 17:13
I just got back from there a month ago.. You will be pleasantly happy bring there.. We stayed right downtown in the tourist district, Lots of things to see and do. Great places to eat. the locals speak very good english. The exchange rate favors them so it seems cheap. 1$ lat is 1.85$ US. Like any big city the father away from downtown the cheaper it will be. We paid anywhere from 1.80 Lat to 2.50 Lat a beer. An average dinner was about 5-6 Lat. I was on military Per Diem getting 129$ a day so I was liven it up! LOL. Ate and drank like a king and still came home with $700. When we ventured outside of downtown we were driven by the Latvian Army so our time away was at old Russian bases which were pretty run down.

How long are you there for? if you want any specifics PM me and I will help with what I can.

jeager
10-14-2012, 17:46
Be sure to check-out the Minox factory.
Optics and those spy cameras!
Try to mix with some of the older folks and learn
what is was like to be invaded by the Germans once,
and the Soviets twice.

Reissman
10-14-2012, 18:26
Be sure to check-out the Minox factory.
Optics and those spy cameras!
Try to mix with some of the older folks and learn
what is was like to be invaded by the Germans once,
and the Soviets twice.

Oh yeah, there is a museum downtown called the Occupy Museum, very surreal. Gave me a healthy appreciation of my freedom and being an american. Its a must see