Beautiful Latvia

“Sveiki!” – it means, ‘hello’ in Latvian.

I’m back from another exhibition trip with Elaine. This time we went to Riga. The capital city and also one of the largest cities in Latvia. Latvia is situated in the Baltic Region of Northern Europe.

To know more, CLICK HERE and wiki will tell you all you want to know about Beautiful Latvia!

To get to Riga, we did this:

  • Flight from KLIA to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam (via KLM) ->12 hours 40 minutes (not including plane taxiing)
  • Flight from Schiphol Airport to Riga (via AirBaltic) -> 2 hours 30 minutes

(TO) In between connecting flights, we had 5 hours to spare. Therefore, instead of rotting at the airport specially when it’s only half past six in the morning, we took the train to Amsterdam Central where we took the streets and revisit the city.


Amsterdam, Tuesday, 6.30am, 15°C (minor drizzle)

Schiphol Airport

The Famous ‘I amsterdam’ Monument

Our hearty breakfast (the jumbo size bread filled with mushrooms and capsicums) just behind The Red Light District. The hot chocolate has got to be the yummiest one I’ve ever sipped!

In Amsterdam, everything that starts with the letter F are ALL SO COLORFUL!

Joyce, since when you open this Indonesian Cuisine eatery place?

The famous canals… Once, used to be a busy place for traders and residential purposes.

Psst! When you see this beautiful painted kiosk, turn left, squeeze into the lanes and there you’ll find the many lanes of ‘Red Light District’!

—-

We were back at Schiphol Airport by 9.30am. We checked ourselves in and waited for our next flight via AirBaltic to Riga.

FYI, AirBaltic is similar to AirAsia where food and beverages are charged upon ordering.

This was one weird Latvian delicacy. Dried sausages filled with cheese. It was very smelly and chewy. GELI!

—-

Riga,Tuesday, 2.45pm, 8°C – 12°C (raining)

SOB SOB.. don’t rain! But… good news was it rained the day we arrived and never rained till the day we left!

—-

ISLANDE HOTEL – home for the week

Our room was comfy! TV channels were mostly dubbed in Latvian. MTV is in Latvian and the worse thing was ‘Family Guy’ speaks Latvian!

My poor skin.. scaling like fish’ scales. Already slathered mountains of oil and nothing changes. Latvia’s weather is cold and dry.

The hotel didn’t have any international adapter. Elaine forgot to bring hers therefore, we went over to the supermarket and got one but it didn’t really work because the head was lose. After trying pushing and pulling, I wrap both the adapter and connector with the cling wrap we brought for exhibition and TADA it works.

… every morning, we check for good weather

Beautiful!

Clear Day Ahead!

Foggy Day Ahead!

Scary weather

….. and, we start the day with buffet breakfast at the hotel’s cafeteria (same food everyday!) – JELAK!

I made sure my breakfast was packed with proteins whenever I’m travelling.

WORK – Exhibition Centre

This is the exhibition center.. it’s not as big as PWTC though. The hall that we exhibited is the one on the left. One look view all. Get what I mean?

Even the entrance is tiny!

This time, we got a super big booth which we don’t even know what to do with the extra space. This is double of what we usually have. I, actually can twirl and hop during this exhibition.

Made in Malaysia!

My fugly ‘exhibitor tag’. This picture was taken on the day we did the set up. Such short notice! Should have brought my makeup bag along!

Ms Elaine is checking her email via BFri (We got ourselves a prepaid Latvia number so that we can surf and make calls whenever necessary)

And when Elaine isn’t busy checking her mails, she takes time out having her back taken care of by having a back massage… see she ULAR there!

FOOD @ THE EXHIBITION

Presenting Elena’s ‘exhibition comfort pack’. Hehe.. banana, cookies, bread, chocolates, chips and water!

Vegetables with Macaroni

Beef in Mustard Sauce with big grain rice

Warm Mushroom & Cold Prawn Salad

Potatoes with Breadcrumbs Chicken

Vegetarian Couscous

Baked Pork with Egg and Potatoes

FOOD @ EVERY OTHER DAY


In Latvia, most Latvians feast on eggs, potatoes and dairies. Their food is either too dry or too wet. They are delicious but mostly creamy and definitely not spicy. I miss spicy food while I was in Latvia. I missed chili, rendang, sambal, curry and belacan!


SIGHTSEEING – Old Town Riga

Believe or not.. we actually crossed over on foot to the other side of the bridge to get to Riga Old Town.

The famous Swedbank

The Daugana River

So happy that the sun was shining brightly. But it was really windy. BRrrrrr..

DOM CATHEDRAL

—-

This Christmas tree is 500 years old.. oops sorry I meant this spot. They put up a Christmas tree at the same spot every year. How historical!

One of the many beer gardens available in Old Town Riga

A bakery in Riga. So many different kind of cakes. We bought one and it was one weird slice of cake.

Riga Radio and TV Tower

BLACKHEADS

The House of Blackheads lighting up behind us. We were so lucky! The lights and sounds were accompanied by orchestral music projecting at the historical building.

RIGA CENTRAL MARKET

Baltic’s largest market place. It’s been around since 1930. They are divided into 5 pavilions, each selling different specialty; dry, wet, meat, veges, fruits, bags, etc.

FOOD (lunch) – Rozengrals, Riga

The Rozengrals restaurant were once a wine vault and festival hall for Riga’s city councilors many moons ago in the 12th century. Waiters and waitress all dress up in medieval clothing which will actually look ridiculous if they went to town. But nevertheless, the service was great, food was mouth watering and the beer was

Medieval Period Themed Restaurant.. you won’t missed it as the flags will bring you there but it’s in a small lane though.


While at Rozengrals, Elaine found herself a new man. A super tall and strong blacksmith but so shy~

I wouldn’t mind this for a home but can I have my home, at least be powered by electricity?

He’s so warm and friendly but he can’t speak English. The only word he knows is English. Haha.

Entering the restaurant is already eerie. We were wondering what will be waiting for us down the steps.

It was really dark actually. No electricity whatsoever, only candles were lit. Lots of candles actually. The structure was medieval looking as the place has never been refurbished thou some decors were nicely implanted. Tables and benches were as old as Methuselah.

Even the loo uses the pulley ball system to open and close the door just like the old days. As the place was dark, the loo was pitch black so when Elaine went to take a visit, the ball gave her fright.

The menu was old and ripped.

Plates were made of clay, just like old times.

Our bread was wrapped in linen cloth. How authentic! It looks like a rock but it actually isn’t. Quite tasty for a medieval bread.

Rabbit meat stewed with prunes and cedar nuts

(this dish was served to the wedding feast of Isabella of Bavaria in the 14th century)

Mixed Vegetables with Mushroom

The lamp is our guide to see the digits on the bill :p

FOOD (dinner) – Lido Recreational Park, Riga

Lido Recreational Park was built especially for family retreats. There’s a mini theme park, playground, karaoke place, souvenir shop and restaurants which are similar to Marche’ at The Curve concept.

Free Shuttle Bus

Poultry, Fish, Beef, Pork, all-in-one in a pan

Desert Galore!

Carrot Juice! My favorite but cannot be savored by me. I feel so sad for myself.

The Night Scene

The Last Day of Exhibition & The Day Before We Leave Latvia

Riga Opera House

Locks of Love (I wished I brought one, Elena ♡ Jake + JAYs’

The building at the back with the cone shaped roof is the ‘Powder Tower’. This tower has been here since the 14th century and it was used to hold gun powders back in the days during the war.

Elaine seen here with the ‘Laima Tower’ where it’s the most popular place for rendezvous.

What is “Laima”? Laima refers to the chocolate company that was founded in 1870.


The 42 metres high ‘Freedom Monument’ which was unveiled in 1935 representing Latvia’s independence

Fancy some Russian cuisine?

Live violinist serenading us while we wait for our food

We got the best seat ever. Just beside the window where passers by walk back and forth.

Bread & Butter

On the right is Elaine’s, ‘horseradish vodka’.

To the left is my ‘sbiten’. Check out my facial expression below.

It was a very very weird feeling.. awhile I was hot and shivering then I am ok. It gave me hot flushes.. PHEW!

Blek! Dry red wine, cinnamon stick, clover, nutmeg, lemon and probably some honey.

That’s one Tsar’s fishy soup!

Our baked sturgeon with potatoes and cheese

Ooo.. how fancy. Bills in Riga comes in specific holders

Our plane left Riga airport at 11.15am so we arrived at Schiphol Airport at about 1 something. We’ve got more than 8 hours to our next flight home to Malaysia so, we decided to do some last minute window shopping and of course some shopping before booking ourselves for a cruise down the canals.

Amsterdam, Monday, 1.30pm, 19°C

Whoops! This is XXX! This is only appetizer, you haven’t seen the main course yet!

Marijuana anyone? The ‘COFFEE SHOPS’ in Amsterdam serves marijuana and cannabis inside cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. They’re better known as ‘Space Cakes’. I’ve never thought of trying one though unless Jake brings me. Haha. Some say, “Don’t leave Amsterdam without sampling a slice of their space cake!”

Our ‘pannekoek’ junction. Pannekoek is a Dutch pancake.

THE CRUISE

This is the tired face look that I’m carrying. JET-LAG + SLEEP-DEPRIVED

Spooky…..

Double spooky!!!

Hehe.. don’t worry. The captain has got his GPRS turned on. He can see any banks, obstructions, on-coming cruisers from a mile back! Cool huh!

THE PALACE. Must be a darn expensive floating Chinese serving cuisine restaurant. What a tongue-twister!

I would love to go on a cruise some time. Perhaps when the kids are a little older?

Instead of a car park, they have bicycle park and it’s 3 floors up!

I love these skinny buildings!

Check our the green door. Yes the one squished between the browns. Yeap. There’s actually a cafeteria in there somewhere and it’s 3 floors up. Kinda tight and narrow right? My luggage wouldn’t even fit in there!

What’s wrong with the pictures? See properly…

The buildings are slanted (senget). Can you see them?

Now, that I can call spooky!

Hmm.. no comments. Is that why DHL is so slow?

—-

Netherlands is beautiful but some things can be just the opposite just like the picture below. Eeeee.. this missy clearly was having a good time blocking our view with her rear-view. I’m not sure how she got those STRETCHED marks but I know for sure and I feel so much better because now the stretched marks on my arse doesn’t look so bad after all.

Ew…. yuck yuck yuck!

—-

Never leave Amsterdam without having a kroket. You don’t have to line up to buy a kroket. They’re all warmly sitting waiting for you inside the vending machine. Just choose your desired kroket (I particularly love the sate kroket), drop €1 or €1.40, then turn the knob to open the door and VOILA! kroket in your hands. And it comes with a tissue too!

Sate kroket- based on the peanut sauce served with Indonesian Sate (good for snacks only)

Bread

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Copyright Elenajake.com © 2014. Powered by WordPress & Theme Created by Meks