On Sunday morning, a group of us went for an early walk (Joanne disputes that it was early- we left the hostel at 8:30…) and explored the Freedom Monument and the park alongside the canal. We then headed to the supermarket to grab some food for train journey and the day in Sigulda. The food in the supermarket was all either completely normal stuff or things that we had no idea what it was – so there were a mixture of purchases among us along the scale of 0 – exciting. One of the more risqué purchases in the group was Sam buying something from the confectionery aisle which Google translated to him as Groundhog. It turned out to be something made with peanut butter, which Joanne reckons is similar to North African halva.

The train journey was another intriguing experience. It looked ancient, and yet there were signs everywhere declaring the existence of free wifi. This was mirrored across the country; even on the beaches of Jurmala and on the streets of Riga we had the option to browse the internet for free! This time, when the ticket conductor (whose name just happened to be Voldemars) checked our tickets, no-one got dragged off and fined (*cough*Joanne*cough*).

 

 
 
 

Once we arrived at the bobsleigh track, we were surprised at how big it looked. For 10€ pp, the soft-bob ride at speeds of over 80kph on the Olympic ice-track was absolutely worth it. 
The force when you fly round the corners is pretty spectacular and the front people get a fantastic view (it pays to be small sometimes). After filling up with adrenaline for the day, we went to catch a bus to Turaida where we were to be cultured whilst exploring the castle and then going for a walk through the National Park via the caves and across the River Dauga. Great views and a LOT of steps! We got back to Sigulda too early for our train so we headed to a cafe to warm up. The cakes started at 10 cents apiece, so we all enjoyed pre-dinner! 

 


 
In the evening we went to dinner in a cafeteria style restaurant called Lido; we didn’t get back to Riga till fairly late and we only just got there in time. Half-way through our meal the waitresses began hinting we should leave, and by the time we were finishing they had turned most of the lights off! We responded by continued joking around and finished on our own terms, albeit with Ally stacking the dirty crockery neatly.
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