Latvia greeted us with a terrible road and then about 20kilometrs of roadworks.  Health and safety in Australia would have a fit if they saw the set up. Previously we had been stopped with red lights in order for one way traffic to proceed along for the length of the roadworks but not here! For many kilometres the road had been cut away on both sides leaving a drop of about half a metre. There was not much room for error when large trucks came the other way and we had to pass each other.  The car and truck and bus in front of us were doing 90kms in a 30km zone so we followed them without any problems.

Just over  the border  there were a few of the abandoned and vandalised buildings near the border and we had seen the same in Lithuania.

We always calculated the time it took  to get to our next city or stop but I always added about an hour because every country we have visited have had roadworks or detours in place.
We reached Riga in the early evening and after missing the off ramp and driving around a bit we found our way to the campsite where there were the largest number of campers and caravans we had come across since we left Italy.  It had been a beautiful sunny but cold day so we were glad we had been in the van for most of it.
The pattern of one day sun and one day rain was kept up with us waking the next day to a miserable cool drizzly day. We wanted to go into the old town and explore the city so we walked to the main road and caught a trolley bus (much more modern here and in better condition than those in Lithuania) into town.
There were many modern trams as well but they still had a “points man” along the way who waited by the tram tracks and then ventured over to where a tram had been to change the points for another tram going in a different direction.  In Vilnius we had seen this but they economised with the tram drivers having to get out and change the points before continuing on their way.

Two tall round appartment buildings were well underway and a few innovative new office blocks were also under construction.  The city didn’t have as many high rise appartment blocks old or new as we had seen in Vilnius.

We waited out the rain in a art deco cafe from 1910 and when the sun came out we too ventured out onto the mainly cobbled streets to see the lovely old town and the vast indoor markets (which were located in several old buildings used previously for Zeppelins). One entire shed was for fish and one for cheeses and sausages, another for meat and another for breads,
biscuits and sweets.

Outside these was another vast open market where in the main enormous amounts of cherries and strawberries were on sale. I did wonder what they did with all the unsold fruit as there were so many stalls there was no way they could sell all the produce within a few days.   On the way on the backsteets we found a funky men’s clothing shop with armchairs in the window and a cafe counter in the middle so we sat and after tea and
a wifi break we trekked back to the trolley bus and on the way back to the campsite met a lovely English couple.  We joined them after dinner in their camper for drinks and a chat.
Most people assumed that we were British given our British numberplates.
There were more Russian numberplates on cars and more Russian tourists than we had seen previously in Riga.
I found that if the some of the locals in shops could not speak English they tended to just rattle away in their own language as though you we understood.   I got used to to chatting back to them in English.  It was most annoying!

The camping place was busier than any other we had experienced with most campers from Germany, a few from France and Finland and a few Brits.

We left Riga and drove north towards Estonia.

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