My initial intention for food on my first day in Riga was to go to the country’s national library, have a look round their exhibition and then go to their restaurant. Anyway, that didn’t work out, because the library was shut. They said in signage that it was a diplomatic day, although I’d be horrified if I were a politician and had managed to make a visit which shut off access to the country’s main library for two days.
But I only realised that the library was shut when I got to the front door. And I noticed that there were a lot of security staff, all dressed very professionally, and there were some cars that looked like protection officers might have. And a car with little flags at the front. So, I realised at this stage that I was in the middle of a security detail.
This isn’t an ideal situation to be in, but then I realised I had my hand in my pocket with a wire sticking out of it. That was my very bulky power charger linked by a long wire to my mobile phone, it was just charging. But I was slightly nervous that the security staff might wonder what I was doing. So I did what I thought best, looked calm, looked at my phone and meandered off. No-one seemed concerned and so all was well. Although I was still hungry.
To get a suitable snack, and to get out of the rain, I just went into a shopping centre near to my hotel. The coffee outlet there is Caffeine Roasters, who are a chain in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, and they also have one random shop in the United States, in Tampa.
The staff member was on her own and was trying to serve a number of customers whilst also making the coffees. She did well, batching up some payments and then making that batch of coffee, before starting on the next set of customers. All very efficient, and my latte and caramel brownie were both delicious. They cost around £3.50 for the two and although the surroundings weren’t as nice as I hoped from my planned library visit, it was all clean and comfortable. And dry.