segunda-feira, 28 de julho de 2014

Day 4 - Lielvarde - Riga

Dear all,


The party yesterday was almost till the morning so, not surprisingly it was a bit of hangover in the morning! Nothings that loads of water does not solve! Cider is indeed a very nice drink!

Lielvarde is a small town close to Daugava river, which is the river that crosses all Latvia (passing in the "distant" Daugavpils and flowing into the see in Riga).

As the weather great, nothing better than a swim in the river (lets call it going to the beach, ok?).

Problem is tha Mr. lamb did not take his swimming suit for the vacations. Well, found a very fashional one, at a local shop for 7€ :)

Marta chatting with (imaginary?) friend
Peter Lamb, stop taking pictures of me!

Well, you know how it looks like everywhere in the world: girls take aaaages to get ready! But soon enough, time to head to the beach :)

Shadows going to the beach

When there is not other option, taking a walk is simply the way to go! Afterall it is just about 1h30 :)

At the park we were partying yesterday
Countryside house with Latvian flag
Walk baby, walk!

We went to a viewpoint before going to the beach. There is a legend about this place, where a battle had happenned in here. Cool place :)

Daugava river
Yes, Lamb over a crocodile!
Peter Lamb and the girls (one is missing, someone has to take the shot!)
A little bit before falling :)
Peter lamb :)

Of course no pictures of the beach! What is interesting about a lamb without t-shirt? ;p

We needed to start thinking about coming back to Riga. Marta has to work on Monday morning. We could come by train, but then we decided to hitchhike! I have never done that before, but it is somehow common in here, so I really wanted to try it! Marta has come from Italy back to Latvia on a hitchhiking trip with a friend of her! Brilliant :)

Cool shot! Two lambs!! :)

Riga (and thank you) signal done, then is a question of time and luck till someone stops! :) we decided to make a bet: to guess the number of cars that would pass till someone finally stops! Marta said 13, i gambled on 23! We could not be more mistaken... Well, we did not count it all, but I guess it was close to 100 cars! :)

Hitchhiking is actually a lot of fun! You can stand there bored, or you can actually smile and wave at people, which certainly will increase your odds of someone picking you!

Well, we got super lucky, as Ina, a teacher in a grwmmas school in Riga decided to stop and give us a ride to Riga! First we sat in the back, but as soon as we stop ina red sign, I passed to the front seat. Afterall this is not a taxi ride! Ahahah

Well, the ride with Ina was great, we were chatting all the way :) Ina is on her holidays (the joy of being a teacher, as there are looooong holidays), and she is not that used to pick up hitchhickers, but because of the smiles and waves, why not? :) i guess we were good company as well, so in the end she gave us a jar of home made cherry jam, delicious!! There are really outstanding people around, thank a lot Ina!! Cheers :)

Ina, Marta & Peter Lamb


Ina left us close to a tram stop, then we took a tram to the city center and a long walk home! After a 6 storey walk up, it is nice to be back at home, where I have been almost one year ago!


That's all for now folks!!





domingo, 27 de julho de 2014

Day 3 - Paris - Riga

Dear all,


I am writting this post on the Wizzair flight, somewhere between Paris and Riga. It is not everyday that I have the chance to fly, but if I could I would make it every single day of my (long hopefully!) life!

The day did not start that early in the morning, afterall night yesterday was quite long and due to the fact it is Saturday, should taste good for Isabelle to sleep longer on the weekend!

A bit more time chatting, while preparing to leave the flat (this time for good), and I must say that was an absolute joy to have met her in Paris! Isabelle, thank you so much for everything. I guess we will see each other again, somewhere, somehow! Cheers!


I thought I would meet Nicolas today, a friend of a friend of mine that would host me if I could not find a hostin Paris. In fact we did not meet, as being online is not that easy when you are travelling and when I called he and his surfer were somewhere in the museum and could not pick up.

I seized the hint of Jean Phillippe and went to the Sacre-Coeur. I took the metro, but surprisingly for me, it is not underground but a line above surface.

Le Metro à Paris!

On the street from the metro stationto the Sacre-Coeur there are a lot of people trying to cheat (I guess!) the tourists. The scheme is something like this: they have a table and three black disks on top of it. Then, the "dealer" shows the under part of each disk (one at a time) and 2 of them are black, and one has a white mark. After showing it a few times, they spin the table not that fast, so it seems easy to know where the white mark is. Around the dealer there are 3 guys and girls betting, showing how profitable can be that street game. You have to bet 50Euro and if you win you get 100 back. The catch is that they are "working" together and when the tourist gambles, all the disks are only black (the speed of them changing the disks is really impressive). I was making a video of it, but one guy approached me from my right side and told me (no videos, just pictures). As I did not want to get any troubles, I just left.

As soon as the police arrived into the street, you see loads of them running :)

Well, the Sacre-coeur is a church built on the top of a hill, so the view over there is quite nice.

Peter Lamb @ Sacre Coeur

No way I was going to climb all those stairs with my bag. They have a funicular, a APM (Automated People Mover) that takes people up and down.

The APM @ Sacre Coeur

I spent some time at the top, just enjoying the view and talking to the girl who was playing some music there, but I totally forgot to take a picture (amateur blogger!).

At the top of the hill
Sorry for low quality, but it is just to show how Pompidou center was / is a out-of-the-box architecture

Well, time flies when you are having fun, so soon it was time to head to the Metro, go out at the Arc du Triomphe and walk down to Porte Mailot, where the buses to Beauvais aiport departs.

Peter Lamb @ the congress center, Paris

The bus ride towards Beauvais airport takes about 1h15 and costs 17 Euro (15,90€ if you buy it online)! The buses are comfy and quite new, so if you find a fare that is coming to BVA at decent time, go for it!

My ride towards Beauvais Airport

It was my first time in that airport and I was surprised how small it is! Anyway, it was by far the cheapest f

Ight I could take from Paris to Riga and I had the chance of flying from a different airport and a different airline for my count! :)

The flight is operated by Wizzair, the largest low cost carrier of the central and eastern Europe. Well, it is basically a Bus, they have a quite large feet of modern A320 aircrafts and loads of destinations, so probably I will fly with them somewhen in the future!

My ride to Riga
Peter Lamb boarding th aircraft


The flight was smooth and I've landed in Riga just on time. Actually Wizzair has an option while booking your flights that you can pay 10€ extra and if they are late (I guess that is over 1 hour) you get 100€ back. I did not use this option this time though :)

Arriving into Riga airport on a summer night feels great! Last time I have been here was in winter and I must say that the summer heat tastes very good!

Riga - European culture capital

As soon as I went out of the airport, Marta was waiting for me and some of her friends gave us a ride to Lielvarde (a rather small city about 50km SouthEast of Riga). There is a huge party going on in there, that happens once a year. Basically there are some bands playing latvian and international music and some DJ's all night long.

The atmosphere is really cool there, nice food and booze :)

Party time!

What is strange is thst the light comes up at around 3AM, so the party goes on during "the day" (which is very strange for us Portuguese).

We came home at about 4:30AM and yes, it will be a bit of hangover tomorrow.

We were hosted by Marta's friend, Gunta! Cheers!

Going home, after some heavy party, at 4:30AM! Morning already!!

That is all for now folks!





sábado, 26 de julho de 2014

Day 2 - Paris

Dear all,


The day started not so late, around 8h30. Isabelle was a bit late to go to work and as for me I find it pointless to be resting while there is a great city out there to explore.

However, blogging and editong pictures took me longer than I thought, so I was only out of home close to 13h.

There is a velib station right at Isabelle's door (that somehow I haven't noticed yesterday!), so finding my first ride of the day was simple.

I decided to head to the Louvre and the Champs Elises, and I stopped somewhere in the middle to swap bike and avoid the cost of rental. The only thing was that close to the Louvre all docks were taken so I needed to wait for someone to take a bike and I was late to return it for a few minutes, so here there are not excuses. Anyway, 1€ from la vilette till the louvre and not walking it is really a bargain :)

Taking the underground? Not this time!

On my way I found out that they have a car sharing system. It is called Autolib. It is a bit more complex, as you need to go to a main station to validate your driving licence and I do not know if it is that easy. Anyway, the cars are electric ones and I am willing to google it later one and maybe tomorrow I will try that!

Autolib in Paris!

At the gardens close to the louvre it is not allowed to cycle, so I took a walk.

Scared Peter Lamb?
Peter Lamb @ Hotel du Louvre! I do prefer couchsurfing!

In front of the louvre it is a lot of people, all trying to get the best shot. Due to the intespnse heat there is a lot of people seizing the fountains to cool down!

Same place, different shot

It is a long walk till the Arc de Triomphe, but lets give it a try:

Arc de Triomphe really far away
PeterLamb is ready for a big walk!

On the way to the champs elises I found a nice car to be rented!

Unfortunatly you cannot drive it till Portugal! :)

I planned to walk all the way up to arc du triomphe, but then I thought: "there are a bunch of guys cycling around France to cycle on the chapns elises, and I will take a walk? No way!!

PeterLamb & Tour de France
Velib on champs elises

On the way towards the arc du triomphe, I found a quite nice small garden!

The arc du triomphe is something quite impressive, as its size is quite massive!

PeterLamb @ Arc du Triomphe
Monument to the unknown soldier
PeterLamb. @ Champs Elises

I decided to take a walk from that point towards Trocadero, where you have a great view towards Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel tower seen from Trocadero

I just needed to take my typical flying picture from this spot. Not ao easy, as the amount of people in here is impressive!

Peter Lamb flying
Peter Lamb flying
PeterLamb @ the Eiffel Tower

When crossing the road, I saw a chance of a good photo! Like it?

Hopefully one day it will be true! :)

At this moment I decided to head slowly home, as Isabelle should be out of her work soon and we settled to meet and have dinner with her friend Jean Phillippe.

I have seen a lot of live shows and street music, but ai guess it was the first time to see one guy plaing his piano on the street!

Street music with piano! :)

After I left my bike at the closest station, i walked till the restaurant they had chosen. Impressive how many people comes to this place with food to share amoung friends! Super cool!

La Villette

Dinner was very very nice, in a place that is called Camarade Boris, a comuniste inspired restaurant, but really cool atmosphere! To be honest, when I was going towards the restaurant, I was feeling somehow "aprehensive" lets say. Afterall, I was joining Isabelle and Jean Phillippe for a dinner, and it could be just akward, if the conversation was going to be something that could make any of us unconfortable, or a huge silent would come up. Basically, what a stupid feeling!! Some minutes were enough to see that would be a very relaxed evening with two great people, who was so easy to talk to.

It turned out to be pretty nice, as Jean Phillippe is a truly Parisien, and Isabelle is not. Anyway, no hard feeliengs, Jean, but If time would go back again, I would choose Isabelle to host me! :)

Food was good, french wine even better, but company was just great. Once more, the same feeling: "yeah, good to be in the city, sightseeing (and biking!!) and so on, bit nothing beats the company of this nice people to share this evening with". Thanks a million guys!

Jean Phillippe, Isabelle and Peter Lamb :)

What is great tends to make the time to shrink, so after one more drink in a bar (Porto, of course!!), there was time to go "Home".

Still some nice talk with Isabelle, but 3:30 AM came too quickly and that is more than time to sleep!


That is all for now folks!