Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
We are in Riga, Latvia for my 40th birthday as a long weekend getaway from Trondheim, Norway. An acquaintance walked part of the way to the bus stop with me in Trondheim. When she caught up to me she said aha, I figured you were foreign from the way you walk on the ice. (I was rushing down a steep hill without spikes and no gravel had been spread. I very nearly fell with my two suitcases). When she found out where we were going she said ‘Ha! Do you think it will be warmer or lighter than Trondheim?’ I figured that it was a rhetorical question. She’s right that it’s the same temperature and a bit slippery here but there’s very little ice here and the old town is flat so I’m not slipping and sliding down steep hills like in Trondheim.
Riga is a type of cool, hip place that Trondheim is not. I like the hipster bars, barber shops, cafés, folk music, traditional food with a modern twist. I also like the glamour of the Latvian and Russian women. It’s nice living somewhere as laid back as Trondheim, Norway where it’s acceptable to wear ski gear everywhere but I miss the eastern European chic and Riga has that. Some Latvian women totter along on stiletto boots and presumably wouldn’t be seen dead in winter boots, unlike Norway. So, living in Trondheim and having a getaway in Riga suits me on many levels.
As part of my birthday celebrations I took my 9 year old daughter with me to see the Latvian National Ballet perform Giselle. The dancers were highly skilled, fit, slender and disciplined and it was delightful to watch them, especially the pas de deux in the final act. The sets for the first and second acts were very good. The costuming was great. The venue is beautiful and grand. The audience was respectful, appreciative and nicely dressed. The orchestra played wonderfully well. It was a great experience for me and I’m hoping it was a special experience for my daughter.
In the 20 minute intermission we went to the elegant café under the concert hall. For just €12 we had 2 slices of fancy cakes and a glass a French bubbly. We were among the first to arrive so we were fortunate to get a table and then we invited two families to share our table with us. It’s a great and affordable place to spend the break.
I also wanted to mention that the Internet ticket portal is impressive. Not only does it offer an English language option but for every seat it offers a photo of the view of the stage! Astounding! It allowed us to choose our seats, knowing what visibility would be like.
I can highly recommend that you catch a show at the Latvian National Opera House!