Riga

Hidden gem of eastern Europe.

Shy

Overall Latvia was quite a surprise and significantly more enjoyable than other eastern European cities i’ve visited in the past. Possibly because it’s much more low key, or its Russian influence, but it was quite the surprise of travels this time around. Now its left me with a craving to explore more of the east and Scandinavian countries. Plus quite affordable.

Cost

Dwelling$334.97
Food$140.50
Entertainment$0
Transportation$40
Total$515.47 ($73.67 per day)

Days

August 10 2019 – August 17 2019
7 Days


dwelled

We stayed at an Airbnb:
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/27499742


ate

We ate quite often at a place called “Lido”. Self service local Latvian food and quite cheap, excellent eats.

DateNameTypeGoogle Maps
8/10BentoJapanesehttps://goo.gl/maps/aMMxamJ86NNS65Kt6
8/11Lido Origo
Meet Point Pizza
Latvian
Pizza
8/12Lido
Pasedet
Latvian
Modern Latvian
https://g.page/Pasedet?share
8/13Riga Central Market
Lido
Latvian
8/14Stock PotLatvian
8/15LidoLatvian
8/16Tavs Bahn MiBahn Mi
8/17Travel Junk Food

did

Explore the city

Riga is a very beautiful city with major Russian influence. Particularly they are known for their art nouveau influence which is evident in many parts of the city. Walking tour covered majority of the city and highly recommended. The history museum also worth the visit along with the casual strolls ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day trip to Sigulda

Recommend by a few locals and well worth the visit to get away from the city and easily accessibly by the train. Quite a big castle there to keep you busy.

Day trip to Jurmala

Another local recommendation to chill near the beach, and DAMN it was awesome. Food and drinks right on the beach and an amazing way to chill or read a book while taking in the ocean sounds and waves.


Transport

Use europe’s uber (Bolt) equivalent and trains! Very easy to get around and quite walkable.


Recs.

As I mentioned at the beginning, to me, this was an unexpected highlight of the trip. Completely surpassed my expectations right from the beginning.

Two daytrips along with local food!

Scotland & Dublin

It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world, the history is fascinating and the whisky is delicious. But don’t eat the macaroni pies.

J.K. Rowling

Cost

This was also not the most cost friendly visit … and I had planned to spend more here because it was actually a vacation. Stuff is just more expensive in the UK.

Dwelling$738
Food$521.50
Entertainment$360
Transportation$403
Total$2022.50
($144 / day)

Days

July 20 2019 – August 3 2019
14 Days


dwelled

Varied between airbnbs and hotels since I covered quite a bit of ground here. Majority of it were bnbs.


ate

Quite a bit of seafood, starch, and potatoes ๐Ÿ™‚

DateNameTypeGoogle Maps
7/20Happy Bean Cafe
Gon
Cafe
Vietnamese
https://goo.gl/maps/MvqEBoyqRbDSTjxo7
https://goo.gl/maps/23wLWejjnti26pLp7
7/21Polenti
The Last Word
Bells Diner
Cafe
Cocktails
Diner

https://goo.gl/maps/vqJVdRYccVCCCK646
https://goo.gl/maps/798c4T6Fo6UUiZdd6
https://g.page/bellsdineredinburgh?share
7/22Lobster Shack
Safari Lounge
Seafood
Pub
https://goo.gl/maps/1ZqPMAU1kWbwMu5bA
https://goo.gl/maps/H4BdZZ4mBk9WpcQx7
7/23Polenti
Aldente
Cafe
Italian
https://goo.gl/maps/H5qLHk46WfBGvuAr5
7/24Transit Junk Food
7/25Glenfiddich Cafe
Bandstand
Cafe
Pub

https://goo.gl/maps/2LHB9NoktunvvjBn9
7/26CoastGastropubhttps://goo.gl/maps/Do541in8GgH6u6MS6
7/27Cafe Harris
Anchorage
Cafe
Seafood
https://goo.gl/maps/G3bii3ojk9eRLcef8
https://goo.gl/maps/Aq6Yvwfc43RHoxV26
7/28Seasalt
An Tigh Sense
Cafe
Pub
https://goo.gl/maps/2cJLybHdhA2pb8Vm7
https://goo.gl/maps/sDKpCjM19UkRJbXUA
7/29Kilchoman CafeCafe
7/30Kimchi CultKorean Fusionhttps://goo.gl/maps/BHaCjvCFJfHsj5RLA
7/31MusahiJapanesehttps://goo.gl/maps/1Nf3AYuK2dbAJXcS8
8/1The Ramen Bar
Kebab House
Ramen
Turkish
https://goo.gl/maps/Xa8n4pFnayBL3SLdA
https://goo.gl/maps/pedPwC3WoSuTGYeD7
8/2Mr. FoxGastropubhttps://goo.gl/maps/f4cSjhPv8C1LSBUa7

did

Edinburgh

Leaving London for Edinburgh was a great decision. It was less hectic with significantly lesser crowds. People also in general were much nicer, and the cars would occasionally even give the right of way to pedestrians … unlike London where cars rule the roads. Food was also fantastic. Great historically preserved and dense city. The view from atop a short hike to Arthur’s seat was excellent.

North Berwick

This little town by the waterfront was recommend by a tour guide and it was well worth the day trip. Less people, nice little beach, great seafood … what else could you want ๐Ÿ˜‰

Train from Edinburgh to North Berwick

Inverness / Highlands / Islay

Speyside and Highland whiskeys are some of the best in the world imo. Tbh, it was why I chose Scotland to begin with. We visited: Glen Moray, Glenfiddich, Dalwhinnie, Oban, Laguvalin, ‘Laddie’, Kilchoman, Ardenhoe, and Bunnahabain. Every single one was excellent and well worth a visit to check out their distilling process and history.

The ferries to Islay were also fantastic, probably the best boat I’ve ever been on :).

Ferry to Islay

Random Castles

We stopped at a bunch of castles all over our drive. Highly recommended!

Dublin

Overall, I didn’t like Dublin that much … reminded me a bit of London. Crowded, expensive, and quite touristy. Food however was fantastic. Also learned quite a bit about North Ireland, EU, and the opinions around Brexit.


Transport

Best way to get around is just renting a car if you want to see Scotland properly. Some trains and buses, but having a car gives you much more flexibility that makes it totally worth it. (Driving on the left side with stick was alot of fun ;))

Also screw European airlines … most of them are low budget with random charges!! I thought US based airlines sucked, Europeans take it to a whole other level.


Recs.

Get away from the big cities! That’s the real UK ๐Ÿ˜‰

Distilleries, small cafes, walk and drive around to see all types of different architecture styles.

Go towards cliffs and nature.