Riga: Day 3. We didn’t have a full day since our flight left at 6 pm, but we had a few ideas of what to do. The free walking tour was a firm maybe. It starts at noon everyday and is two and a half hours long. The maybe comes in the form of the small person in the pram who needs to eat and sleep sometime around noon. We decided to start with the botanical gardens and go from there.
We took a tram to the gardens. We had purchased a three day pass for public transit at the airport for 10€ each. (Little Man was free.) There are two types of trams in Riga: the really nice new trams, and the old Soviet-style trams that make me nervous. The Soviet-style only have steps to get inside.
It’s a good thing there were two of us! They were pretty cool, once I got used to them. Not literally, it was baking inside. But they’re very clean and well-kept. They even play cartoons!
The botanical garden cost 4,90€ per adult, but was 30% off because it was Monday. At first, it didn’t look like much. As we kept walking, I was struck by the magnificent colours and variety of flowers. (Be prepared for pictures.)
There were random statutes through the gardens. They were part of an “art in public” project.
There was an old building that looked like it could be a cafe, but it also looked deserted.
We wound our way to the hot house and saw even more beauty. And a cat, living the good life while having a nap on a wicker bench.
Then there was the butterfly pavilion.
The grounds were gorgeous as well.
Another amazing building,
some beautiful water plants,
and the desert plants and we were done.
We got back on the tram, which I haven’t gone into detail about. The tram tracks are mostly in the middle of the road, with car traffic on either side. This means you’re crossing in front of cars to board the tram. Everyone knows to stop when the tram does, but when you’re not used to it, it can be a bit unnerving. Especially while pushing a pram!
Another pram struggle is those pesky underground street crossings. You actually have to go downstairs to cross the street in certain places. If there’s no lift (or when it’s not working), you use the ramps.
Great for all those four-wheeled prams, not so easy with our three wheeler. With some excellent team work, we safely navigated these ramps on many occasions.
We’d spent about two hours at the gardens, which meant we’d missed the start of the walking tour. Instead, we headed for lunch. As much as Riga was not very crowded, I opted for the completely vacant Jamaican restaurant.It was decent, with an excellent tequila sunrise. It was the only restaurant we’d gone to that didn’t have a high chair available; at least they didn’t think they did, until someone found it. Little Man was a little too tired and restless to put up with it though, so he spent most of the time in his pram.
We walked through some more parks after lunch, mostly hoping to get the little one to nap, then realized that it would take an hour to get to the airport. Luckily, we had plenty of time, and checking in with Finnair was quick and painless. I grabbed some last minute souvenirs, and before you know it, we were back on a plane.