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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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

Welcome to Riga, Latvia – The European Capital of Culture 2014

Walking in Riga, Latvia

Each year the European Union selects two cities to share the title of capital of culture. The European Capitals of Culture in 2014 are Riga in Latvia and Umeå in Sweden. Riga is the Latvian capital and with its population of about 700,000 it’s the biggest city in the Baltic region. Riga was founded in 1201 and the oldest part of the city with its distinctive medieval influence has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Rīga’s 2014 European Capital of Culture program is called Force Majeure, affirming the positive impact of culture and the ability to swiftly bring positive changes to the city and its residents, at a time when many different forces majeures roam the world. Continue reading

The History of Riga Speaks Through the Streets

Freedom Street, Riga Latvia

Before visiting Latvia, I had little understanding of their turbulent history. I walked the streets when I arrived and found beauty around every corner. The varied architecture, stunning skyline, and mix between modern and old made we want to look deeper into the roots that created such a diverse setting. I asked tour guides and locals about the diversity and visited The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia to walk into Riga’s history and down the streets of the past.  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