I took the train around the beachtown of Jurmala, a busy beachtown. Then I onto Tukums another town of old streets

316 Western Latvia
Wednesday - I hitched onto Kandava and then to Kuldiga ..more old streets, a wide waterfall and museum.. no buses so hitched to the coast a nice beach at Jurkalne

Thursday - I went down to Pavilosta and then to Liepaja .. the museum of the occupation was even better than in Riga cos of the English explanantions. Half of the town called Karosta was an old Soviet navy base ..so I walked around and visited the old prison etc. Later I met up with Jana from HC ..we walked with her co-singer to the old bridge which had been hit by a ship the day before... and then to old air film show at night.
Friday - Time had gone so quickly - had to rush off back to UK - I had to get up at 5.15am to get the train to Riga - used my remaining Latvian money to buy a few packets of cigarettes to give away cos they cost 40p.

Latvia Conclusions - Russia is a good country to visit cos it's exotic. But Latvia is much easier..it's a definite step up from Russia. it's civilised and European much less of a challenge. Of course it has a tinge of Russian culture. At the moment it's quite cheap and 30% speak good English. It's like visiting Scandinavia, safe, lakes walks, historic towns etc. A lot of evening mosquitoes. In fact public transport is incredibly cheap about 1 Euro for 50Km. I could have stayed longer, but the English summer is short so I had to move on. Latvia must have changed so much during the last 15 years on the surface it looks like Sweden, everybody wears a seatbelt etc, maybe just underneath things are different, many people don't trust the tap water etc or governemnt pollution controls.. Also bubbling under the surface maybe racial problems.. Now the government operates entirely in Latvian, but more than 30% of people are ethnic speaking Russians, many schools are Russian speaking, also there are other minorities like Roma. Normal family cars are luxury brands like BMW or Audi, why ?

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