Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In Latvia

We're here in Riga, comfortably ensconced in our hotel room at the Baltpark (breakfast included!), which is decorated in a pseudo-Chinese style, I would say. Very red and gold and textured. We're back to being 10 hours away from Seattle, so think about that if you're trying to call us.

Our trip here was lengthy, and relatively uneventful. We took a bus then the Tube to Heathrow and waited in a line to drop off our bags (once we'd checked in) that would undoubtedly have been included in the Inferno if Dante were to write it today, but still made it to our flight on time. And then the flight was late, but only 30 minutes (whereas our flight to Lisbon earlier in the summer took off at the time it was supposed to be landing). We still had enough time in Stockholm to enter the country, collect our bags, then walk the mile and a half through eerily empty Arlanda (we were, literally, one of three flights taking off from the 56 gates in terminal five) to check in at the opposite end of the opposite end of the airport for our flight to here, even notwithstanding this flight was late too. Ian had to check his rucksack in at a different counter than me because of the straps . . . and herein lies the event. When we made it through customs (last in line, somehow) here in Riga, my bag was waiting for us, but his was not.

The lady at lost luggage was very helpful, and very organized, and although there was no sign of the lost bag in the system (i.e. it certainly didn't board the plane in Stockholm . . . because there was so much traffic, I'm sure. It must just have gotten lost in the shuffle.), she promised to find it and deliver it to our hotel. And she handed us two night packs as a consolation prize, each of which has a large T-shirt in it, so Ian now has 3 times as many as before, which is nice, actually.

The only thing we're really missing is our power adapters . . . I've got some 55 minutes left on my computer, but Ian's down to a mere 7.

But, warnings from the Lonely Planet proved, at least for us, unfounded--the taxi driver immediately turned the meter on upon entering and we had a wild ride (not a CHANCE I am renting a car here) in the 11:30pm ends-of-sunset-and-full-moon light into town, without being cheated.

Overall, thumbs up on Latvia so far.

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