What can I say about Riga other than GO! I think it takes its place at the top of my favourite cities list. I had rad so many conflicting reports about Latvia's capital and some do have some truth to them, for example, beware of paying more in some taxies than others, try and avoid the moronic groups of tourists all staring at the same thing at the same time etc but to be honest if you have any nounce (common sense) about you at all you will find your own way around, do some research about great places to go and you will probably like us, have a wonderful time here. The Musuem of occupation should be on your list even if just to be aware of what the people here have been through and of course you have to indulge in a little cafe culture too. The people we encountered were very freindly and helpful (contrary to what we had read), our hotel (The Nordic Bellevue) was a pure delight and Bjørk in concert at Riga Arena was really special.
In terms of being vegan in the city, well, really it wasn't a problem. I contacted the hotel by email in advance and explained we were vegan. We were given our own soya milk each morning and tratedby the chef to a mixture of vegan breakfasts including baked mixed beans and olive oil toast, fried mushroom, potatoes and broccoli which did sound odd fro breakfast but I really enjoyed it and fresh fruit salads. Out in the town we found a lovely pizza place called Il Patio where they were only too happy to make cheeseless pizzas, a japanese restaurant which I cannot recall the name of but it was opposite the hotel had a heap of vegan food on the menu. I sampled around 4 dishes there during our stay including potatoes in black bean sauce and vegetable singapore noodles and all were delicious. Where we could not find vegan dishes we simply asked the waiter and they spoke with the chef and prepared us something with no trouble at all. Indeed on our first night we arrived at 11pm. It was past 12 when we went in search of food having not had a vegan option on the flight. The 4 rooms restaurant in the main square happily made us a fresh vegetable pasta with olive oil and potato wedges with a salad. What more could you ask for?
So all in all this was a wonderful trip. We will certainly return. Next time we will take the children rather than leaving them at home with the folks. There is a beach resort near the town which we did not have time to get to but we will perhaps stay there on our return.
Now it is back to work and play!
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Monday, 7 July 2008
These adorable cows have been moved into the field opposite our house. Yesterday Heidi and Miller were playing in the paddling pool on our small balcony and were overjoyed to see the cows and spent the first ten minutes mooing at them from across the road. The cows are so friendly and come down to see what you are upto when you go to collect the post. I am not going to spend this post talking about what may or may not happen to them later, I guess I will leave that upto you. What I will say is that Heidi and Miller are becoming even fonder of animals.
The other day I was looking in a dog manual to see if I needed to take Paris, our black 11 year old Labrador to the vet about a sore she has on her leg and Miller was fascinated by the book which has pictures of all different dogs in it. It has since become his favourite thing ever (apart from potato & veggie cakes and dark chocolate rice crackers - much to my sofa's dismay!) he carries it around everywhere, cries if Heidi takes it off him and points at the dogs and says 'der'.
I also now have acquired some bumper stickers for our cars and I put one on my old beat up volve that says 'Love animals, don't eat them'. Matthew (my husband) says it makes me look like a drifter but frankly I don't care. I am feeling rebellious!
My parents arrive on Thursday so I must have a clean up soon, considering my mum once said I was the messiest person she knew! Oh well, you can't have everything! x
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
This is an Arctic Fox. Isn't is just beautiful!
We took a trip to the Polar Zoo recently. Yes, as a rule I don't agree with Zoo's unless they are for conservation but this zoo is pretty good as zoo's go, the animals have so much natural space and a lot of attention. It is like being out walking in the mountains. What a gorgeous animal this is. I was hypnotized by it. The kids loved the trip which we took with Grandma after I had returned from the yoga holiday. Heidi in particular fell in love with the Reindeer.....which people eat as you know...
Miller loved the wolverine, which I had never seen before and is possibly one of the most amusing animals around, with the biggest claws I might add!
So just wanted to share these lovely pics, have a nice day x