13-15Jul1004 I found an urban campground right across the river from the old town of Riga. I'm happy to report the rain has slacked off although the clouds are still threatening.
I had a wonderful day exploring the city. The Occupation museum was very good. I picked a corner near the park and put my bike on the sidewalk under a tree. There was a college student selling flowers and I was amazed by the number of people meeting up and exchanging flowers. Later I found out that this corner by the clock is one of the most famous meeting places in Riga.
Lassi was right. The Latvian women are spectacular. Long legs. Stylish clothes. It was not a wasted afternoon.
The next day I visited the castle in Cesis. Built in the 1200s by the Knights of the Sword it was finally destroyed by Ivan the Terrible. I was given a hard hat and a candle to tour the west tower. Good thing too because the spiral stone staircase was really dark.
One of the guides, Edgars, talked with me quite awhile about what's going on in Latvia and told me some great stories about the old castle. I watched a team of archaeologists working in one corner of the courtyard. Edgar said this is where 300 survivors of the seige went to blow themselves up rather than become torture victims of Ivan's troops.
The roadsigns in Latvia are even more rare than Lithuania. And the Latvian detour with loose stones was an exciting adventure on the motorcycle.
17-19JUL2004 Back in Latvia this time I visited Urmala, a beachside resort. I camped at Nemo's and had a peaceful day of laundry and reading by the beach.