This weekend Adam and I will fly to Latvia for our next mini-break of 2017. Latvia is one of the Baltic states in Eastern Europe and has a long and conflicted history, including being invaded by Nazi Germany and occupied by the Soviet Union in the last 100 years. Part of the capital Riga has a UNESCO World Heritage listing and close to half the country, which is part of the European Union, is forested – a unique mix that allows for varied holiday experiences.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Eastern Europe was a region we started investigating after returning from Gibraltar last month, due to its easy accessibility from the U.K., the exchange rate and the fact it was a little ‘off the radar’. When well priced flights to Riga came up at reasonable times on the dates we wanted from our first choice airport, Adam and I decided Latvia needed to be explored.
We’re splitting our six days in Latvia between Riga and the town of Cesis in the Gauja River Valley. We’re planning on doing a mixture of sight-seeing around the capital and outdoors activities, like skiing or hiking in the snow, in Cesis. Although it’s now spring in the northern hemisphere, the weather is still chilly (especially for an Australian!) and we’re expecting temperatures between about one and four degrees Celsius (between about 31 and 41 Fahrenheit) with a combination of snow, showers and cloudy conditions. Adam and I are also only taking hand luggage on the trip – so it makes for an interesting packing challenge!
My Latvian holiday wardrobe is all about keeping warm, but somewhat put together, at the same time.
It consists of two pairs of jeans (one denim, one navy), three longer length thin jumpers (grey, navy and olive green), waterproof pants + jacket, a soft shelf jacket, a long sleeve merino tee, a pair of leggings, thermal long-johns, two thermal long sleeve tops, a beanie + gloves (polar fleeced lined), scarf (merino), plus underwear, socks, and toiletries.
My one pair of shoes will be my L.L. Bean Boots – waterproof with good grip, yet smart enough for a casual dinner out.
I’ll be wearing my big winter coat (purchased in England last November) on the plane and I suspect most days. It’s waterproof, has a hood and is super warm.
I plan on wearing my jeans and jumpers for both the plane ride to and from Latvia and for the Riga portion of our trip. I can tuck my jeans into boots and wear long-johns underneath if need be. I’ve chosen looser fitting thinner knit jumpers so that I can comfortably layer a thermal top underneath. A thinner knit will also hopefully mean I won’t get too warm when we’re inside of buildings.
When we’re outdoors in the Gauja River Valley, I’ll wear my long-johns and leggings underneath my waterproof pants, a thermal top, my merino tee, softshell jacket and waterproof jacket. I know when I’ve skied or been out in the snow in Australia, I’ve often worn too much (which sounds silly), but you warm up so quickly on the slopes. There is nothing worse being outside for the day and feeling all clammy and sticky with nowhere to discard of your layers.
Adam and I are quite excited for the trip. We’re hoping it’ll be a visual feast with a good dose of culture and history. Looking forward to sharing our experience with you when we return :).