|My time in Riga was just one huge insane party. I went competely crazy, for some reason I dropped some of my inhibitions and had an absolutely fantastic time over the seven days I spent there.
I was staying at what was billed as the party hostel in Riga and it was. On arrival one of the beautiful barmaids asked me if I would I like my free beer and of course I said "yes". It went downhill from there. At this hostel they have a large bar area with three plasma screens showing sport or MTV and various other common rooms so it really was one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in. They also have a organised clubbing night every night where the barmaids take the guests out to the best nightclub for that particular night and get them discounted or free entry. Out of the seven nights I was there I went out clubbing six nights. The earliest I got home was at 3am and the latest was at 7am and I had a really good time each night.
On Monday and Wednesday nights we just went to a local club around the corner and a massive group from the hostel all went out together. On the Thursday daytime I went out with this group of Finnish lads to the "Skybar", a posh bar on the 26th storey of a hotel in central Riga with excellent views. When I arrived I realised I had made a mistake as they were already really drunk and were a complete nightmare. They were taking the concept of drinking to a whole new level. Anyway I managed to escape and went back to the hostel to chill out for a bit. The club that night though was excellent and a group of about five of us of various nationalities were up drinking until 7am. This English guy who was with us and was in my dorm had to get up at 8am to catch a plane back to London but he just did not get up. I was awake and at 8.30 tried to wake him up but he was still really drunk, so I ended up dragging him out of bed to the middle of the floor. He just crawled back into bed. There really is no helping some people!
Friday night was totally crazy. We were taken out to this Russian owned club called La Rocca and you could really tell that it was Russian. There were these large mafia types driving large expensive cars into the carpark with young beautiful women sitting in the passanger seat. Inside the club was a visual spectacular with various different rooms, impressive lighting displays, scantily clad female dancers and some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen wearing designer clothes. It was also quite expensive unfortunately - a small bottle of Carlsberg cost three quid.
I did not realise that everyone would be so dressed up so I was looking slightly scruffy in my washed too many times non designer t-shirt, but as I was also quite drunk I did not really care. Possibly one of the nicest people I chatted too in there was actually one of the dancers called Anastasia, who was also studying at the local university. She gave me her phone number but was then not able to meet up later on unfortunately.
The following night (Saturday night) was at La Rocca again and this time I wore the one piece of designer clothing that I had (I had bought it in Kiev) and ended up having a really good night. I did not get very far at all with any of the local women, but I still had a really good night running round the club talking to people, drinking loads and hanging out with the people from the hostel. On three seperate occasions when I was speaking to one of the local women her brother/male friends came over and just hung around being very intimidating until I went away. Mabey it was just as well as it was really hard to tell how old some of them were; one girl I was speaking to mentioned that she was still in school, while another was speaking about her job and her kid.
The Sunday night was a lot quieter. After playing card games with some friendly German people I had met for most of the evening, I ended up going out clubbing again to the local club. I had really intended not to go and so had not shaved and was wearing proper backpacking clothes, but I bumped into some Scottish people I had met that morning who persuaded me to come out. My heart was not really in it so much that evening and after chatting to the people from the hostel for a few hours I was back by 3am.
I did do other stuff in Riga other then partying, honestly! On the Friday (my 5th day there) I went for a walk around the old town as described in my guidebook. I soon discovered however, that I had already seen most of it and that was nothing inside any of the buildings. Quite a few of them were actually reproductions as the originals had been destroyed in the war. There was also a museum of the occupation, which I did not see as I had seen the one in Vilnius anyway. (The history of the three Baltic states for that time period is very similar) Interestingly about 40,000 Latvians actually joined the German army at the end of the second world war in an attempt to stop the Russians from coming back in.
When I had to set an alarm clock for Monday for midday to ensure I would get up in time for my bus I started to realise that my body clock had become slightly screwed up by the hours I had been awake. Also as I started to think about packing my stuff and anything I might leave be leaving behind I realised that my brain was starting to suffer the conscquences of my recent lifestyle. A relatively quiet time in Tallinn is definitely in store...