If someone waved a magic wand so I could go back and spend longer travelling through an area than I got to the first time, the area I'd pick for sure would be the Baltic states. Although I've seen a reasonable amount of Estonia, I love it and want to go back for a third look, and both Latvia and Lithuania went past too quickly for my liking - I'm sure there's heaps more to explore.
|View over Riga from St Peter's|
Riga was already then - this is about eight years ago - an enormously attractive town, with plenty of attention having been paid to the town centre, as you can see in the photo above. I stayed in a huge hostel on the outskirts of town which was certainly a lot less pretty, but it was cheap and cheerful and gave me a place to stay the night. I wish I'd kept a record of all the costs to compare to Aussie Nomad's current day costings - he suggested it's getting more expensive since a lot of British stag nights head there now (I'm glad they didn't back then).
|Freedom Monument and House of Blackheads, Riga|
The way the Freedom Monument (above) had managed to survive the Soviet era seemed particularly inspiring in Riga. I'm also a big advocate of visiting the Museum of Occupation - a free and fascinating museum housed in a distinctive "black box" building in the centre of the city. And other than that, just wandering the city centre with your camera ready, or taking a cruise on the Daugava River right past the centre of Riga. Oh yes, I'll do that again one day ...