Before heading back to Tallinn, Reinhard and I made a quick stop in Riga. We were supposed to get into town in the early afternoon, but with a delay in our flight, we missed all daylight. Considering how the sunsets at like 3:30, though, we still had all of the evening to explore. After checking into our wonderful hotel (I’d totally recommend the Hotel Centra Riga), we headed quickly to find some food. We stopped at a café and really enjoyed our food (it helped that we were starving). Reini got a delicious pasta dish and I scarfed down some potato pancakes (popular in Latvia) with a chicken fillet. With full bellies, we went out to search for the beautiful sights of Riga and to do some Christmas shopping.
Riga seemed to have multiple Christmas markets. We found at least one open one and another one that was being set up. I learned from my last trip to Riga (January 2011) that the popular thing to buy in Riga is amber. This time I sought out to get some nice amber things that I had been wishing for since my last visit, and some of you might find some little amber things from me under your Christmas tree 🙂 But there were quite a few shops open, and Reini and I picked up a few things. We warmed up with a couple glasses of glühwein at the Christmas market, too.
The night was really cold and rainy, so after regrouping in the hotel to mark the map for with things we missed, we went back out to find a place for dinner and to check off our remaining must-see buildings. We got a bit lost trying to find the I Love You bar (recommended on the internet for having tasty, inexpensive food), but we eventually found it and munched on a pizza while drying off and warming up. The cold weather had gotten the best of us, however, and we made our way back trough the town to get to our hotel. Riga was a quick trip, but I’m really glad I got to go for a visit. If nothing else, I was able to get a good part of my Christmas shopping done!