Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Its Dull, Its Raining, Its Ligo !!

Well its that time of the year once again, when the vast majority of Latvians head for the countryside, for beer, homemade cheese and of course leaping over bonfires as midnight approaches. Riga is deserted and even the beer gardens are bereft, except for the odd tourist, and given the weather, sitting outside is only done by the brave.

Its a while since I have updated the blog, as believe it or not have I been somewhat busy, so a little catching up.

Anybody who has spent any amount of time in Riga knows that the place is continually changing and once again change is afoot - well not exactly change more an update at one of our frequented watering holes - Paddy Whelans. I learned today that in the not so distant future we be able to dine on Britains finest - a real roast carvery.

A former chef from the British embassy ( and Scottish to boot) is about to return to Riga and lend his skills to said establishment -We were given a sample of the delight and I have to say it was one of the best meals ever, before the roast we were treated to a real Scottish delight Lentil soup - wonderful - so if and when you get into town I strongly recommend indulging.

Now this is real food

Speaking of returns a young R.. ( English - with historical mythical pig connections) is apparently set to return to our shores to set up a new business - we can but wish him all the best.

Finally on the subject of returns I was visited by my youngest daughter A... ( English - with financial connections) and her husband M... (English - helps you see better) . Her last visit was over 10 years ago, so things had changed just a bit - but we were blessed with reasonable weather, so we did the tourist bit with visits to Jurmala, Sigulda, Rundale Palace and of course Riga Zoo.

Of course we also took in Paddies, Kiwi Bar the No Problem deck and for the first time this year the Thirteen Chairs outdoor bar and in the course of the latter I managed my latest night out, for many a year - actually twice !! - even managed to overdo my usual maximum of 3/4 beers - ah the influence of the younger generation - but for me a wonderful few days and I hope for them also.

Riga is about to be treated to some new trams, courtesy of Skoda, they look stunning and will allow for the first time the old and infirmed to get on without the need of helping hands, apparently by the end of the year some 14 of them will be trundling around Riga

Pretty spiffy Huh !!

And just to help the drink driving campaign over Ligo all public transport is free for 23rd and 24th June.

Of course I cannot go without mentioning the football world cup - and of course the performance todate of England - sorry performance is not the right word, as it implies some degree of enjoyment or excitement. However as the games so far have been played at 9.30pm local time I have found it be the best way to fall asleep, so far I have not made it beyond half time. Of course today is their (final ??) moment of destiny as they face Slovakia - a country which has a population smaller than Latvia. A win and they will be heroes - lose - well just speak to the French.

For those of you who would like to keep uptodate with what is going on in Riga a good place to start is - and finally our New Zealand oriented bar has now got a web site up and running -

Update at 21.30 on Wednesday - ignore my Title - the sun is shining and looks like a beautiful night in Riga - I am off to watch the Ligo celebrations at the riverside - goes on too 4.00 am, suspect I will not make that it far - will update on Thursday !!