#throwback to this day last year, at the covered Central market in Riga, a UNESCO world heritage site and also Europe’s largest bazaar. The market is made of 5 repurposed zeppelin hangars — there are only four more in the world — and was finished in 1930 at the same riverside site where an open produce market has existed since the mid 16th century. We loved it. We browsed through clothes, purses, a meat section, household stuff, flowers, a very meaty food court, cheeses, and much produce. We finally bought cherries and plums, but not much else, eventually finding a bistro in the style of a Polish “bar mleczny” with the most amazing rye bread and kotlety close by after working up quite an appetite.
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Latvia was lovely to us and we wished we’d had a little more time. Our Riga apartment couldn’t have been in a better location (though google maps deserves two slaps for bringing us to it the long, long way around) and Sigulda was splendid. We loved walking around Riga and cycling around the tiny, flowery Sigulda with it’s astonishingly good bakery cafe and peach railway station. I don’t know if I’ll be back, but life is long…
At the UNESCO heritage village of SukhoThai, the seated Buddha in bhoomisparsh mudra. Elegant, graceful, serene. Nina and I got there early is, on a scooter (with helmets, thank you very much) and explored much of the old ruins on foot. A lot of people had the same idea though. We saved the best for last and although it got hot, at least the crowds had thinned. We got a private audience with many Bodhisattvas and Buddhas.
The audio guide was useful, but the site map was confusing. And no one told us there was a separate entry fee for the other older park, but we snuck into a section of the old kilns anyway. I think two nights in the city were plenty, and we stayed in such a fantastic Ruen Thai hotel, made in the old Lanna style with solid teak, structured around a swimming pool. Great breakfast, helpful staff, free bicycles, sturdy tree furniture. And a bus stand pickup we somehow missed. Oh well. Still a superlative layover.