|First day of fall, on Gertrudes Iela (Street)|
|Tired and full and, what? There's cake!?*|
That first morning of freedom in Riga, Jon and I got up and walked down the street toward some shops we remembered from the night before. Just over a block away we found a small coffee shop with beautiful pastries in its window. We stepped in, looked at the menu, relieved that cappuccino is a universal term. We ordered two. Pointed at two pastries for breakfast. Meanwhile, another customer who was standing at the counter drinking a glass of wine tried to speak to us in German (I don't know why) while the shopkeeper scolded her to leave us alone. When it was time to pay, I pulled out my credit card and the shopkeeper shook her head. I pulled out my cash. And although her prices were listed in both Euros and Lats, she would only accept Lats. (Latvia will finally adopt the Euro next January.) I still didn't have any. She pointed across the street and told me: "Bancomat." Yes! I hurried out to get Lats from the cash machine while Jon waited.
|How freedom feels!|
|Jon, with Old St Gertrude's church in the background.|
We strolled through the narrow, cobbled streets of Old Riga, which was nearly empty of other tourists, craning our necks as we admired the roof lines of the centuries-old buildings. We endured the rain until the chill and our appetites sent us into the interesting-looking Restorans Dārzs (garden). A paper-mache sculpture of a man seemed to fly overhead in the main dining area. We sat at a table by the window and ordered beers. The food orders seemed slow to arrive, especially since we were quite hungry, but once they began...
|What could be inside those barrels?|
|What do you think? Could it be...|
|Most interesting restroom I've ever been in!|
It was good to be tired out from all the walking, but eventually we needed to get our sleep, for the next day was Monday. Embassy day, when we would get our new passports.
*Photo taken by Jānis.