We got on a bus this morning at 10:00 and arrived in Riga at 3:00 PM. It was a great bus ride and the sun showed up for a great deal of it, which is nice. We met a really cool German guy by the name of Markus, with whom we talked for almost the entire 5 hour bus ride. We talked about politics, Canada, Germany, the Nazis, and David Beckham's recent move to LA.
I had read about Friendly Fun Frank's Hostel in Riga, which was voted on Hostelworld.com as the best hostel in Europe. We trekked up and down the street it was supposed to be on and couldn't find it. We finally got to the correct number and there was no sign. We walked in the door and an unfriendly security guard told us to go around the other side of the building. I was beginning to question the quality of this hostel. We walked around the back of the building and saw the door. We rang the doorbell and a voice from the intercom asked why we were here. We proceeded to tell them we required a place to sleep. They let us in and we walked up two flights of extremely steep stairs. There was a second security door which we had to be buzzed into. When we got to the top the lady at the desk was smiling and we felt a little better. We talked to her about our bookings and such, and then she said to sit down and she would bring us a beer on the house. We walked into the lounge and sat down, and had a lovely Aldaris beer with our new German friend.
After this, we went to the Latvian National Opera house and watched a ballet rendition of Cinderella. In short, it was a very different from the story from what I'm used to. It took place in a brothel for starters and was quite strange. It being my first ballet, I really enjoyed the movements of the dancers. It was quite remarkable.
After that we had a coffee at a Cuban themed cafe and headed back to our hostel. Our locker, which was opened fine before we left, decided not to work, so for tonight we cannot get out our stuff. To the credit of the hostel, the girls tried for at least a half hour to get it open. They really are dedicated to the service here at Friendly Franks. Tomorrow they will get someone to break it open for us or a locksmith or something.
Tomorrow we explore Riga...