This is the last in a series of articles from our #ePicLatvia trip very kindly organised by Hotel.info , LiveRiga and the Latvian Tourist Association. This is our photographic journey through beautiful Latvia, starting in the capital Riga, driving through the Latvian countryside (via the Milk Manor in Skrunda) and then ending in the beach-side city of Leipaja and the former military town Karosta.
Riga is filled with extremely photogenic architecture, especially in the Old Town. These former residential buildings are affectionately known as the ‘Three Brothers’ and are superb examples of medieval architecture. Built in the 15th century they are the oldest stone houses still standing in Riga.
Head to the main park in Riga (near the Freedom Monument and Bastejkalns) to see the attractive Padlock Bridge. The tradition in Riga is to put a padlock on the bridge on a couple’s wedding day. After locking it and then throwing the key in the water, the padlock cannot be opened so it is thought the couple won’t get divorced!
This is the mural looking down on the people drinking and eating in Dome Square – the main hub of activity in the city.
The first photo is the Riga ‘Christmas tree monument’ (it’s believed that Riga hosted the very first Christmas Tree over 500 years ago). The second is another example of medieval architecture in Riga’s Old Town.
When visiting the Latvian capital I recommend taking the canal boat trip starting from the main park in Riga. It takes you out to see the Railway bridge which is beautiful – especially when the sun is setting.
Also make sure you go shopping. The craft shops are some of the best I’ve seen in Europe, especially the knitting! This is the Hobby Wool Shop in Riga’s Old Town.
Unfortunate fish (dried) in the Riga Central market. The market is the largest market in Europe and is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We left Riga and drove through the Latvian countryside, our first stop was the gorgeous ‘Milk Manor’ in Skrunda. It’s a boutique hotel/chateau offering traditional treatments (milk baths, saunas etc.) and organic food in peaceful rural surroundings. A Dairy museum is also located here.
We passed this old farm building on our journey to Leipaja.
…and this one!
…and this nesting stork! Stork nests are a common site throughout the Latvian countryside. They are huge and are often precariously balanced on high telegraph poles.
We eventually reached the seaside city of Liepaja – a laid back place with plenty of bars and a collection of very cool hotels/apartments to choose from.
Liepaja beach is a long stretch of beautiful white sand surrounded by the ice-blue Baltic sea (and as you can see they take pride in their tidiness!)
Old communist-style flats in the former military town of Karosta (a district of Liepaja). The eerie Karosta prison hotel is also located here.
A typical Liepaja/Karosta welcome!
We wish to thank you all the organisers for inviting us to such amazing country. After spending time in Latvia I can’t think of many countries which have been through so much and yet still retains such a serene charm. The people are welcoming and the landscapes range from the idyllically beautiful to the strangely surreal. It’s a travel destination still undiscovered by the tourist masses but I would urge you to go before the rest of the world really does catch on!