Trip to 100 Cities Around the World with Gallery Park Hotel

Old Town, Riga, Latvia

Recently I visited Riga, Latvia and thousands followed along as I explored this year’s European Capital of Culture. It was even better than I imagined.Careful observation and unhurried recreation in Latvia allowed me to unveil a multi-cultural gem with locals, much like Canadians, who enjoy life and appreciate their cultural roots steeped in traditions and values. From Air Baltic’s CEO to the staff at the hotels to the locals in the streets, the people in Latvia are down-to-earth, friendly, and appreciative. It is a country that reflects its entire history. From the diverse architecture to the performances, Latvia is as diverse in its offerings as its people. Do you want to see for yourself? I’ve found a way that could make that a possibility. Continue reading

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Did You Ever Consider Latvia as a Beach Destination?

Jūrmala Beach, Latvia

I wanted to visit Latvia since I learned about its strategic war location in high school. I figured as the heart of Europe, it would have a diverse culture with even more diverse architecture. It wasn’t a wrong assumption and Riga’s role as the European Capital of Culture this year is proof. What I didn’t realize is that it’s home to great adventures in Sigulda, including bobsledding, rock climbing, bungee jumping, and a Tarzan park, and the town of Jurmala is an extremely popular beach destination. With therapeutic thermal waters, peat mud, pine forests, healthy maritime climate, dunes, and beaches covering 32.8 kilometres, Jurmala is the largest resort city in the Baltic States. Since it’s too cold for swimming , I wasn’t exactly looking to get in the water but seeing the Baltic Sea was on my list this year so I made the short drive from Riga to Jurmala to check another item off of my 2014 list. What I found was more than a check mark; it was magnificent! Continue reading

Extreme Bucket List Item: Bobsledding – ✓

Bobsledding, Latvia

The thought of actually accomplishing some items on my bucket list scares me to my very core. One of them is bobsledding. In Sigulda, Latvia the track is 1420 m; it features 16 curves and allows for a maximum speed of 125 km/h. That’s insane. Who says, “I want to get into an open-aired vehicle and zoom down an ice track at 125km/h?” I couldn’t leave it to the unknown though. I had to give it a try and see how intense it was for myself. Now I can say with firsthand experience it actually is insane. What a rush! Continue reading

Turned On by a Woman at the ESPA, Riga

ESPA Riga, Latvia

I’m no stranger to massages. I’ve had more than a handful in the last two years. Normally, I lay on the table wondering if I should have established a safe word. The answer is usually “yes.” No need this time; she knew exactly the way I like it… maybe even a little too much. Admittedly, I was turned on by the female masseuse at ESPA, Riga. I left thinking if this is what massages are suppose to feel like, Darren is not allowed to go anymore.  Continue reading

5 Best Tourist Sights in Old Town Riga, Latvia

Old Town, Riga, Latvia Top Sights

Today, I got lost in the labyrinth of narrow, cobblestone streets of Old Town Riga, Latvia. Luckily, I had a guide to lead the way when I got turned around. I can imagine, as a tourist without a local guide, it could be a bit frustrating visiting the town. With so many sightseeing opportunities and so many activities, it would be really difficult to choose only a few. After spending the entire day exploring the best that Old Town has to offer, I’ve chosen my top five tourist sights. Maybe you have additions to the list, but it’s a great starting point.  Continue reading

24 Hours of Flights & Layovers

Radisson Blu - Riga, Latvia

After 24 hours of flights and layovers, I’ve arrived in Riga, Latvia. My first stop is the Radisson Blue Elizabete Hotel and a bed near looked so good. Continue reading