We decided to get to Bergen, the starting point of the route, via Latvia. There are no direct flights from Moscow to get there, and the most convenient and cheap way (only 4000 rubles - near 73 dollars) turned out to be a variant of the Latvian AirBaltic airline flight with a stopover in
. We had about 6 hours in Riga before the next flight, and as Latvia is now part of the Schengen Area, you can open a Norwegian visa in the Riga airport, go for a walk in the city, and then, without any further customs and cordons, fly on to Norway.
So, Sheremetyevo-2, the long-awaited meeting, a short wait (by the way, you can exchange Norwegian kroner very conveniently and profitably just in the airport), and at half past 4 pm Boeing-737 YL-BBP takes off the ground and goes to Riga. It takes a night to get to Riga by train, and less than two hours by plane. The weather was gloomy in Moscow, and over Latvia the clouds cleared away. Our plane is descending, at the bottom you can see the tape of the Daugava River with a cascades of hydroelectric stations on it. Windows from the other side offer a beautiful view of Riga, and soon the Boeing touches the runway.
At the Riga airport we passed the border control. Despite the fact that we have Norwegian Schengen visas, they can be opened in Latvia - it is quite legitimately and possible: you just have to explain the border guards that you fly in transit to Norway, and if asked, show them tickets, confirming your itinerary. Border control took a little time, and with light baggage (baggage, which we checked in Moscow, we will take back in Bergen) we go for a walk in Riga - we have about 4 hours before the next plane. We take a minibus at the airport - and go to the city. I was in Latvia just two months earlier (during February holidays), and I was very happy to visit it again: Riga is a very beautiful and charming city. And now, in the spring, immersing in the sun and greenery Riga makes a special impression! It's especially nice to walk around the city, when you know it and orient in it freely.
Here are the pictures of my walk through Riga. This is the Town Hall Square of Old Riga. Here you can see
This is one of the streets of the Old Town near the walls of St. Peter's Cathedral:
Here's one of the most classical perspectives of the Old Town:
During the fine days a lot of summer cafes with live music open in Riga. Here is one of them - on the Dome Square:
Here are happy enthusiasts in the city center...
Jauniela Street - or the "Baker Street" - or the "Flower Street": this is where many famous movies were filmed.
And here is my favorite house with cows:
Well, what a walk in Riga can be completed without visiting this remarkable creature?
Such a contrast... Old and new - Powder Tower and sport "Aston Martin":
Here's the old cannon on the Torna Street.
And here is St. Jacob's Church:
Towards evening the company of enthusiasts moored in the cozy Hanseatic restaurant in the Old Town where they refreshed from their heart and had a great time. And about 10 pm we returned on the same minibus to the Riga airport, from where we were going to start a long journey to Norway. There is already no border control (only the usual preflight inspection). And here is our next Latvian Boeing 737 - this time YL-BBM.
At several minutes past 11 pm on the local time (by the way, time in Riga is minus 1 hour from Moscow, and in Norway - minus 2 hours from Moscow) plane flew into the night sky, and two hours later through the window we saw a lot of lights reflecting in the smooth surface of water, shining everywhere. Finally, we are in Norway!
When we reached the city on the bus, at 1 am we were placed in the "Hotel Grand Terminus", located in the heart of Bergen, just 50 meters from the train station. Behind was an interesting and busy day, and ahead - an exciting journey!