Being a woman, it was always a daunting task to travel alone. But I am a passionate solo traveler who would love to travel across the world. So, the challenges didn't hold me back, I decided to continue the pursuit.
I have traveled only a handful of countries like Norway, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries which are considered as one of the most advanced and safest countries to travel and live. So, it was easy for me to get a nod from my mom for the travel. But things took a turn when I told my mom I want to visit Eastern Europe.
Being a Spanish born British woman, my family members are very skeptical about Eastern Europe, especially when it comes to safety. I had to convince them that apart from what the press and media talk about, Eastern Europe is a safe place to travel with a lot of popular destinations.
My next agenda was to convince them by explaining some statistics. I relied on some tools which assess the safety data of a particular locality. GeoSure Global's Safety Scores for Individual Travelers helped me to assess the safety of the places. According to their location safety score, Riga had a score of 32, which means it is a safer place comparatively. What surprises me was they have this personalized score setting which let people get a score based on whether they are solo travelers, or traveling in a group, whether you are man or woman etc. Accordingly, we will get a score, for any a male traveler the score was 28, it means, the place is more dangerous for a woman compared to man.
I also checked tools like Areavibes, Neighborhood scout etc. which all said the same story. Somehow, I convinced my parents, on an assurance that I will cut short my trip. I decided to limit my journey to Riga only, something is better than nothing. Now the next step of the journey is to pack the bags and set off the voyage.
It was really surprising to know that Riga was chosen as last year’s European Capital of Culture, and it’s not hard to see why. Aside from a stunning medieval Old Town filled with winding alleyways and charming squares, the city is world famous for its art nouveau district called Quiet Center.
The Famous Cat House
The famous cat house, which has now become a symbol for the city is a treat to watch. One irritation which I have found there was the group of people who are photographing it. It is basically a mustard-colored building in Old Town adorned with two black cats atop its roof. A question popped up in my mind, out of all the statues the owner could have chosen, why black cats? I got the answer! Interesting indeed.
The Taste of Black Balsam
No fun without a little alcohol! Black Balsam is a 90 proof Latvian alcohol which is made with 24 ingredients, including oak bark, wormwood and linden blossoms. I must say you all should try it, very different and strong feeling.
I am a vivid love of history and it’s my habit wherever I go, I try to learn and understand the history of that country and locality. So, Latvia Museum was my best choice. Was shocked when I came to know that Latvia got independence in 1991 only, till then under foreign rule. Anyways, for a country to come this far in just 2 decades is a commendable achievement.
No cruise, No Fun! Without a cruise, I always feel my journey would be boring. I would highly recommend that you take a canal cruise if you happen to visit Riga during nice weather. The city is surrounded by water, so not only is the cruise a pleasant, relaxing experience, it also offers unique views of the city’s skylines.
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