27 June 2011

KIWI BAR! [Latvia]

Wandering through the old cobbled streets of Riga, what are the chances of coming across a place called 'Kiwi Bar', filled with awesome New Zealand memorabilia and even more awesome staff (even though they weren't kiwis)? ... slim to none? Yeah I thought so too...

OK, lets calm down and start at the beginning... I arrived in Riga around two hours late as the bus broke down just over the Latvian border. But the wait was worth it... Riga is a beautiful city. I know it seems like that is my standard line, but it really is! Filled with massive cathedrals, old winding streets, colourful buildings, and a bar dedicated to Kiwis!! How can you top that?

My host in Riga was the amazing, knowledgeable, friendly Elina. She actually works at a hostel, and must love travellers that much that she surrounds herself with them at home too. Elina was really great; helping me navigate the city and taking me out for some good Latvian food and beer.

Highlights? The whole city is a highlight! From any point in the city you can see massive spires from the huge number of cathedrals pointing toward the sky. I didn't really stick to the 'tourist trail' while in Riga, I just kinda of wandered around the Old Town, enjoying the atmosphere and bumping into interesting buildings. Worthy of mention - the Black Market, situated in the 'Little Moscow' district, is a market mostly filled with... well, junk. It was interesting to see just what people can recycle. There was also a lot of old Soviet and Nazi paraphernalia - badges, soldiers jackets, hats, medals, coins etc. Worth a visit.

I did a free walking tour in Riga, run by these guys. It is a bit of an alternative tour, as it does not take you through the Old Town, but rather the surrounding, often less appreciated suburbs. It was quite good and worth checking out if you are in town.

And finally, the piece de resistance, KIWI BAR! This place was super cool, filled with all sorts of Kiwi bits and pieces. I saw a NZ $5 note for the first time in about three years and felt a bit home-sick. The place has a cool atmosphere and amazing bar staff. If in Riga, go and check it out, whatever nationality you are (it is actually owned by an Aussi guy!). And they aren't even paying me to say this (although I think they should!)

OK so this is short and sweet, but I gotta keep moving... time is ticking. Next stop; Tallinn in Estonia.
(A few 'interesting' photos I snapped along the way...)


  1. Glad to hear you have the *odd* pang of homesickness... we are looking forward to your arrival back in good ol NZ [eventually]! xx

  2. Great story :)
    greetings from Riga


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