Today we got to Riga, the capital of Latvia, and after parking at the campground we walked into the old city for a look around. While it was another of those old cities decked out with wall to wall bars and restaurants for tourists it was still interesting and impressive. More churches was the order of the day.
Perhaps the most novel sights were in the square in front of Blackheads House. The first item of note is Blackhead house itself was built in 1344 as a club house for unmarried German merchants it has the most amazing facade which has been dutifully restored to its original grandure.
Set into the cobbles stones of the very same square is a plaque commemorating the first recorded decorating of a christmas tree, although the plaque calls it a New Years tree. The tree was put in place for Christmas 1510 by those very same Blackheads, decorated with flowers and when it was all over burned to the ground.
The third interesting item, also close by the Blackheads square, was a private museum recording the occupation of Lativia. It is called The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and it details the military, political, and social aspects of the three successive and continuous occupations of Latvia. The first by the Russians immediately after the Bolshovik revolution in 1918, the second by the Germans during WWII, and the reoccupation by the Russians after the German defeat in 1945. Finally of course there was the end of these occupations with Gorbechov, Yeltsin and perestoica. Staggeringly these events resulted in the death or dissapearance of approximately 550,000 people - a quarter of the countries current population.
Riga City Camping was easy to find on the island in the river just near the old city. Though as usual we had to drive down a number of streets with posted no truck signs. The place is right next to the Exhibition Center. Today it was quite full. Like the Vilnius campground the facilities are all housed in shipping containers fitted out for toilets, showers and other facilities - it does not look as bad as that sounds. the facilities are clean and functional.
There is another campground in the same area called Riverside Camping Riga but we did not check that one out