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Latvia (Travellers) Paperback – 13 Apr 2006

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My love of travelling first distilled within me before I had never even left my native Scotland. My Dad used to take me down to Princes Street Gardens where I would gaze at the trains rumbling in and out of Edinburgh Waverley. During school holidays I was spirited off to the Scottish islands and weaned on stories of my Dad's adventures in the yacht he built himself: Sisu. It was not until 1986 that I made it abroad and until 1992 that I flew for the first time, but since then I have made up for it with 500+ trips to over 80 countries.

My travel-writing career kicked off in 1997 when, with the help of a local enterprise grant, I started my business. In 1999 I moved to London where for four years I built up my contacts and markets in a city that quickly became one giant departure lounge for me with 20+ trips a year to destinations all over the world. In 2003 I moved back north and set-up a new base on the outskirts of Edinburgh, handy for both international forays and domestic trips around Scotland, a country that still remains my favourite on the planet.

In over a decade of travels I have savoured many of those 'once in a lifetime' trips - from snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and walking on safari with big game in South Africa, through to riding the legendary Trans-Siberian Express across Asia and circling the globe in one trip, but I still enjoy every new experience with the same passion and sense of romance I used to watch those trains with as a boy.

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"Travellers Latvia" takes you to the second largest of the Baltic States. Latvia is opening up its attractive lowlands and lakes to tourism, and its historic cities to business. The highlights include: In the capital, Riga, Swedish 17th century architecture vies for prominence with communist tower blocks; Latvian beer (the most drunk is Aldaris) is good; owing to the large numbers of Russians in Riga, so is the vodka; June Midsummer festivals throughout Latvia. You can head to the country for all-night revels involving bonfires, specially made cheeses and beers. Amber is a relatively good buy in any of the Baltics. The former Soviet outpost of Latvia is now a budget flight away, with direct flights to Riga International Airport from 47 UK and Ireland airports.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
Great Pictures, Good Information on Each Town 15 May 2010
By James N Simpson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I looked at a heap of books on Latvia and the other Baltic countries to plan my backpacking trip there and well to be frank, most aren't very good at all. The best one out there is Estonia Latvia & Lithuania but that lacks photographs of most towns, so you can make up your mind if you want to go there and see say a castle or something. This book has a lot more photographs and to be honest a little bit less useful information than that book. The two books complement each other though and are really all you need in to plan your trip, at least as far as Latvia is concerned.

There is a newer edition than this 2006 published version but this is the one I came across so it's the one I'm reviewing. Pretty much every town or national park that you're going to be interested in exploring on your first ever visit to Latvia is included inside. There's also historical information on each listing as well as what you'll see there. Some places have basic maps as well. There's also an overview introduction of the whole of Latvia as well a directory in the back that gives basic (not individual listings though) information on things in general like banks, credit cards, post offices, buses, climate and the like. I guess the only critical aspect of this guide is that it doesn't provide any information whatsoever on how to get to each town as it pretty much assumes you have hired a car or something. This is what you'll need the other book I mentioned, as well you'll have to do a bit of research on the net transport options, hostels/hotel bookings and the like. I like how this book doesn't waste any pages whatsoever on listing accommodation and just sticks to promoting Latvia and its destinations themselves.
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