Riga

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Riga is an amazing city. It is a lot bigger than Tallinn. You need to walk around looking up to appreciate it’s charms,as it is full of art-deco buildings, some better preserved than others.

The black Cat Building

The black Cat Building

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We visited the Museum of Occupation to find out more about it’s history. Being invaded 3 times during the second world war, initially by the Russians then the Germans and finally the Russians again. It had to contend with mass deportations and pogroms, the forests were used as killing grounds. Very few Jews survived the German occupation. Stalin’s rule of terror lead to mass deportations, families being split up and sent to Gulags, to be replaced by an influx of Russians.

This beautiful building was used by the Russian Checas for torturing and killing.

This beautiful building was used by the Russian Checas for torturing and killing.

Over the last 20 yrs since independence Latvia has done an amazing job rebuilding itself. It is an affluent city with most of the shops in a few fairly tasteful shopping malls and plenty of good cafes and restaurants. It is not for cycling , but a wandering around  cafe society city.

The Freedom Monument

The Freedom Monument

We decided to take the train to Duagavpils in the south-eastern part of Latvia so that we could cycle through the national parks in Lithuania. It was a case of carrying the bikes onto the train and putting them between the seats. Five and a half hours and 225km later we arrived in Duagavpils.
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