I didn’t dare to wish for it but during our time in Riga, it snowed every night. The snow transformed our walk along the Daugava in Riga and we were walking in a winter wonderland. A dream!
The Daugava is a river over 1000 km in length that flows into the Baltic Sea. Big parts of the river are accessible for ships. Trade in Riga benefitted from the river for a long time. The sea port is now frequented by cruise ships and is an important hub for connections to Scandinavia.
Besides the sea port that is still in use today, there used to be an inner city bay, too. As little attention was paid to the height of newly constructed bridges across the Daugava it became impossible for bigger cargo ships to come through to the bay. The bay’s importance for the city declined and it was shut down. Some old warehouses can still be seen there on the banks of the Daugava.
The starting point of our walk was the old inner city bay. On the new promenade we started walking upstream. Our destination was already visible from afar, the TV Tower of Riga. Its 360 meters make it the tallest building in Riga. Weather permitting, visitors can take a lift up to a viewing platform. The view is supposed to be fantastic. We decided not to walk all the way to the tower (since it was really quite far) and risk being denied access because of the new snow that had fallen the night before. We admired the tower from the riverbanks.
A lovely view!
We turned around and walked downstream towards the sea port. A bridge spans the Daugava near the City Hall. From here we got some great pictures of the Market Hall and of Stalin’s Birthday Cake, the Latvian Academy of Science.
But our destination was on the other side of the river. I was really keen on seeing the Latvian National Library. Pictures of the wave-like shaped building had fascinated me even before our trip.
We were lucky and got the chance to go inside the building. We accessed it through a giant entrance hall with groups of very cosy chairs and passages to the event venues and the main library part. An information panel told us that visitors are invited to leave their favourite books in this area for other users to read. A splendid idea!
A little further down the Daugava we saw some office buildings of bigger companies. If they keep building those at their current rate this area will soon look like London or an Asian metropolis.
After about three hours we were a little cold and returned to the Old Town of Riga.