Here it is: the final part of my weekend trip to Riga, Latvia. After having published my
and my pictures of
(not to forget the
): today it's all about waterfront and aerial views of Riga and I'll tell you more about the Latvians.
Last week I told you that I climbed took the lift to the top of St. Peter's Church in the Old Town. The church is right opposite of the Museum of Occupation and in the heart of Riga - you can't miss it! Our tour guide told us that you can get to the Church's top and as soon as our guided walk was over, I headed over there. You have to pay an entrance fee (I think I payed 5€) and the usual waiting time at the lift is 10min.
As it's naturally very windy up there, you normally also don't stay there for longer than 10min. But even though it's a rather short entertainment, the view is unbelievably stunning and it was my personal highlight of the day. Of course you can also go on top of Riga's TV tower but that one is located outside the beautiful Old Town and you have to pay more to get in. So the church definitely is the better alternative!
St. Peter's Church
You'd think it couldn't even get better. But afterwards when I had seen enough of the town I went to the river Daugava and simply enjoyed the beautiful spring day. Riga is amazing even without the river but the Daugava is the little piece that makes the city even more wonderful!
The National Library
The city? YES! The country? The small part that I've seen: YES! The people? Well.....NO! I don't know why but Latvians just don't smile. Never ever. I felt so incredibly unwelcome ordering tea and cake at Costa Coffee and buying postcards in a souvenir shop. They treated me like I was a burden when buying things even though I ensured them their salaries that way. It was super annoying. When the first person behaved like this, I just thought she had a bad day. But when everyone else behaved in exactly the same way, I knew it got something to do with Latvian culture. And back on the cruise I finally had an answer to the question why the cashier in the cafeteria never spoke a word.
I've heard of a Russian proverb saying that you should only smile when there's a reason because otherwise you're an idiot (or something like that). And Karl Pilkington said that Russians only smile when with friends and family. But then again that's said about Russians. No idea if that also applies to this non-smiling culture in Latvia but I found it extremely stupid. Of course, except from feeling unwelcome, I liked the city of Riga so much and I would like to visit Latvia and the Baltics again (maybe on a mini-cruise from Helsinki to Tallin?).
And maybe it was a bad weekend for the Latvians and in reality they smile every day (doubt that). Or they just didn't like me (how could they?!). Anyway I'm so glad I did this trip and can only warmly recommend you to go to Riga on your next city trip!
Have you ever been to a country or city where you felt incredibly unwelcome?Happy Travel Tuesday!!
Also linking up with Megan for #TravelTuesdayWithSemiCharmedKindOfLife.