Riga, Latvia – First Winter Day

My favourite picture of the trip

The most beautiful winter morning

I landed in Latvia on its first winter day.

I love landing in cities not being quite sure where to go. I could do anything – wander around, sleepover in the airport if I like, get lost in the snow.

Felt a general calmness washing over me as i happily kicked the snow with my boots, and was vaguely surprised my 5 pound boots from Primark kept my feet warm.

I love snow for the refreshing sense its whiteness brings about to me. I know it gets annoyingly mushy after awhile, but I still feel a certain fondness and fascination with it (that hopefully stays, because I want to be kept in wonderment always)

My 30 pounds, 60sgd, was reduced to a measley 22 Latvian dollars (lats). Bought a bus ticket and my 5lats notes was reduced to a few measley coins. (updated: 1jan 2013, Latvia has joined the Eurozone, replaced its lats! I’m happy I got some leftover lats hehehe)

By the time I reached the city centre it was 11pm. I wasn’t fazed, for some reason. I knew my past self afew months ago would have been so paranoid, so worried. But I thought about my time in Rome, wandering the streets at night and I just didn’t feel so scared anymore. No city feels so foreign now, and I must say it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to say that. 

(also, the city felt safe I suppose. I wonder why though, I’m trying hard to compare and understand why certain cities give off such a dodgy vibe and Riga just felt so… safe. is it the buildings? the lighting? the snow?)

A girl led me the way and we chatted for abit. It started snowing only this morning, she said. This means that today was the first winter day. I landed in Latvia on its first winter day. This explained the fine snow that felt so soft to the touch, the freshly fallen flakes that made it look so much like Christmas. I knew the fineness and freshness of it would disappear over the next few days, and I took note to thank my lucky stars. Fresh snow! I landed in Latvia on its first winter day. This made it feel even more magical.

How the signs reveal the history behind a place

Reached my hostel. For 5 pounds it’s really cheap, and it’s one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in – Friendly Fun Franks in Riga. Stayed up till 4am to finish my project work. 😦 I know I got off easy though, and my group mates have been really nice. Emma pecked me on the cheek before I left, as a form of goodbye because we might not meet in January. How sweet is that?! Everyone likes to think they’ll be missed, even for a little. I rarely made people feel that way, mostly opting to keep these emotions to myself. I know (now) I shouldn’t.

// when I left Loughborough: I actually felt a pang in my heart as I left Loughborough today, knowing that the next time I’m back in my little Loughborough again, I’ll only be left with a week or two.


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