VÄ“rmanes Garden
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Take a stroll through Riga's city garden
Riga's city centre is beautifully designed, with a gorgeous park at its centre. The first evening I arrived I was, naturally, a little cautious about walking through a large open area on my own at night but as the days progressed I realised that ultimately the quickest way to get anywhere in Riga is through the park - and it's a very pleasant walk. With its meandering canal, its open air stage, its many sculptural tributes to Latvia's history of independence and resistance - not least the powerful Freedom monument at its centre - this is not so much a park as a living community, and a vital part of the Latvian psyche. Wander through it at leisure, enjoy the flowers and the many quirks (I found what looked like a duck house, but only if the ducks were a royal family with an entourage of servants). And make sure to read the plaques on the memorials. Even if you can't translate the Latvian, I promise they'll leave you moved.
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