Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Riga! the city of...

...nothing much, as it turns out! Except for the weirdest thing I've eaten in a while masquerading as a 'hamburger'. The story goes like this: we stepped off the cruise ship at 11am Riga time, and hopped on a tram into town. We disembarked at the 'largest indoor food market in Europe', which was pretty impressive, and checked out all the Latvians doing their everyday shopping wearing those big fur coats (stereotypically Russian, but apparently under no circumstances do they enjoy being reminded of that Soviet era). Next we walked into the Old Town, expecting to see stuff. We didn't. There was nothing to see! Sure, a few cutesie buildings here and there, but seemingly no shops and nowhere to eat. And it was freeeeeezing. We headed for New Town, expecting to find more variety, but no, and by now our stomachs were grumbling.

Eventually we found a Starbucks/Costa lookalike which we settled for out of pure desperation, and the fact I was ready to eat my own shoe. We ordered the best hot chocs ever, so far so good, and I decided to go for a burger and chips. Normally when one orders a 'cheese burger' one might expect a bun filled with a round piece of beef, a layer of processed cheese and some salady stuff. Well not in Riga! When my 'burger' arrived it contained a golden fillet-type specimen where the meat would normally be. On closer inspection (was this fish? chicken?) and some cautious tasting, I discovered it was literally a wedge of deep-fried cheese! In a bun! Needless to say I ate the whole thing without much complaint, but really, Latvia, what are you thinking!?

Another highlight of the trip was the boat's 'entertainment' (apologies for the number of inverted commas, they're necessary). A band was playing well-known tunes to a deserted dance floor whilst John and I played 4-in-a-row. I made the mistake of saying "I dare you to go and dance"...which he promptly did, on his own, in front of most of the passengers on the boat! I was ready with the camera, but not so ready for him grabbing me and dragging me onto the dance floor of doom...dear...god. Well, in the face of embarassment sometimes you just have to smile and go with it, so we boogied away showing no shame! Well...almost no shame :).

J strutting his stuff
Me being cold
Cool church
Cool side of a building
Us standing under the Swedish Gate...which was more of a hole in the wall hehe

Friday, 2 January 2009

Gott Nytt År!!!

In other words, Happy New Year! Check out my new Blah Blah video feature on the right - there's a special happy new year message from ABBA for you all! haha! I had a very Swedish time on the 31st, beginning with a meal at Oscar's followed by a rather well-to-do house party for the stroke of 12. Most of us managed to remain conscious for the whole night *cough cough*!