A Travellerspoint blog

Day 13

Riga to Daugavpils

sunny 4 °C
View Anniversary expedition on nanny0gg's travel map.

Another disturbed night for Keith due to lovely Latvian beer which makes my snoring worse ( so I’m told...I wouldn’t know, I’m asleep!). We’d walked past the Latvian Railways Museum yesterday, so as we only had half a day left before the train to Daugavpils ( a staging post for one of the few trains to Vilnius), it seemed a good place to visit. It was brilliant...lots of lovely old trains, many of the Soviet built...looking like something from “Dr. Zhivago” plus some interesting indoor exhibits. Lovely place to visit...and with sunshine, the photos look good.
Big Russian Locomotive (4-10-0)

Big Russian Locomotive (4-10-0)

Keith ‘driving’ train

Keith ‘driving’ train

Having collected our bags from the hotel and got to the station, found the platform and train, we were off on the busy fast train to Daugavpils. We were booked into a 4* hotels ( for €36 for both of us...which says it all)...but it was only a short walk from the station. The town seemed so dead on a Friday night apart from gangs of bored teenagers, we were glad to get in and settle. Probably not a place to put on a scenic tour of Latvia, but necessary in the big scheme of the trip!
I can’t explain why ( and Keith thinks I’m mad) but I really didn’t enjoy Latvia! There were great things to see, but I found the people so unfriendly...even their appearance was hostile - with the exception of the staff in Thursday night’s restaurant. I think it is that they are predominantly Russians but without the pre-World Cup training that made them at least appear more friendly. The taxi drivers were dour (and that’s being charitable) and fellow train passengers scowled most of the time -not just as us, but at their compatriots. Russian peasant faces predominate...think of Yeltsin and Brezhnev and that’s the standard male physiognomy. I just felt very uncomfortable both in Riga and Daugavpils. However, I’m now in Lithuania writing this and already feel more comfortable. It’s just gut feelings, but it matters!

Posted by nanny0gg 04:45 Archived in Latvia

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