We were lucky enough to have spent a couple of days of the Easter weekend in Riga, capital of Latvia. The city has a great collection of Jugendstil (German Art Noveau) buildings from the 1930’s and it was very nice to walk in its cobbled streets, even if the weather was not much better than Finland. It was very interesting to see how much investment has come from the Nordic countries, with a large amount of Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian companies present in the country and a partly-renovated airport that looks decidedly similar to those of Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm & Helsinki with its use of wood, glass and iron.
The country has a long history of foreign occupations from Germany, Sweden and Russia, so a visit to its museums is definitely recommended to get some background information on the way the country came to be what it is. Furthermore, it currently tries to recover from the after-effects of the global financial crisis, when it’s economy pretty much collapsed. Not surprisingly, travelling here is relatively cheap, but due to inflation consumer prices are almost at Scandinavian levels.
The break was very welcome indeed and I’m happy to have crossed out the last of the Baltic countries I was missing.