We intended to spend Monday in Riga, so we began the day with breakfast at a pancake café. It was somewhat surreal to eat meat-filled pancakes alongside apple and potato pancakes, and a few people asked for coffee and received a strange buttermilk drink, but for 60 cents pp it was a fairly good deal.
At the Tourist Information, we discovered that most things seemed to be closed on a Monday in Old Town Riga, so we asked about transport to Jurmala and were somewhat surprised when the staff didn’t know the answers to our questions, but it is possibly just a cultural difference. They gave us a train timetable and within the hour we were wandering along the Baltic seashore. It was quite brisk weather, and it snowed whilst we were eating our picnic! We played beach games to keep warm and headed back to Majori through the suburbs. It was interesting to see the different building work underway, and how there appeared to be no planning permission whatsoever; everyone built their house on their land how they wanted it, so the streets were filled with bizarre styles!

In the evening, we went to the Mezaparks which was a forest area with a tall view tower and a lot of play equipment. This entertained us easily for a couple of hours until it was dinner time. Dinner was yet again interesting, with many of us ordering things that we didn’t know what they would be exactly; however, that is indeed one attraction of a foreign country!

Once back, some of us went out to find somewhere to grab a drink and explore the city further. This turned into a bus hopping experience with our 5 day passes. We also tried to get on one of the microbuses, but the machine beeped angrily and we were rejected. When we looked up where it was going to when we got home, we found out that it was driving all the way to the Belarusian border! We stuck with the trams, the local buses and the bus-trams (which connected and disconnected to the trams as they wished!) To mix things up a bit, we introduced a #threestops #bushopping rule which meant that we really did get to explore a bit and mainly led us to cross the river back and forth a couple of times. When we got back to the hostel, we still hadn’t found a drink so we warily entered the Kafejunca under our hostel. Apart from a man in the corner, we were the only guests and upon asking when it closed, we were given the answer, ‘never’. We were amazed, but went to bed.