The world is an amazing place

So many places, so many places.
So many places to go to,
to discover, enjoy, revisit.
So many places I’ve never been
even though there are
so many places I’ve already seen.

The Eiffel tower, Empire State building,
Lady liberty big and small,
Petronas Towers, Burj al Arab,
Taj Mahal, the Great Wall.

The National Gallery, Hermitage,
Louvre, Stedelijk, Prado.
San Siro, Wembley, Camp Nou
Football temples, Greek temples,
Hindu temples and Buddhist temples,
Temple of Heavenly Peace
Watching the sun rise on Macchu Picchu.

So many places, so many places
I can go on forever listing
things I’ve seen or want to see
Yes, so many places
I want to see again.
Because places I haven’t been
with you, I haven’t really seen.

But even so many places
we’ve enjoyed together,
are worth going to again.

The world is an amazing place,
isn’t it?
With so many places to enjoy.
So grab your bag and let’s go
see so many places more.

Possible Icy Roads – a winter driving short film

As Latvia is waking up from the long winter, this clip looks back to the icy roads. With temperatures well below zero, and heaps of snow both on the road and next to it, the car system warning ‘Possible Icy Roads’ seemed to be stating the obvious.

Atmosphere and good food at Fish restaurant Le Dome

Tapas @ Zivju Restorans

On a recent event, I had the opportunity to sample the dishes of chef Alex Ziluks of the Fish restaurant at the Dome hotel in Riga. And it gave me reason to come back for a full dinner. So, on a celebratory Saturday, we made our reservations in this relatively small, but atmospheric restaurant. The furniture is of a light wood color; and combined with the large black and white photos of Baltic fishermen on the walls it gives the place a modern classic atmosphere, very consistent with the boutique hotel it is part of.

I had previewed the menu on the website, but still it was hard to choose. On paper, everything looks nice, plus there is a list of chef’s recommendations that are all also very tempting.

We decided to start with the full set of tapas. The five choices combined are a good starter for two, and consist of crunchy won-ton dumplings with goat’s cheese, plums and cedar nuts; camembert in spicy breading with cranberry-apple jam; bruschetta with mozzarella, fig jam and prosciutto chips; pumpernickel with lobster tails, avocado an trout caviar and ciabatta toast with spice humus and smoked eel fillet. It was a great choice. All five tapas are prepared and presented with care and the tastes are all perfectly combined. Five pearls to get your taste buds going.

Our mains were the fried Baltic herring and a beef fillet medallion with fried egg. In Latvia, you have to be sure to mention you want your meat rare, because it’s just not customary in the country. I like my meat rare, with a nice brown crusty outside and a pinkish red on the inside. And even though it’s not how most people here want it, it was exactly how I got it. The fried herring also looked fantastic. Both mains were well prepared, although the sauce with my medallion gave away that my main course had been waiting a little before being served. This could have been due to the fact that we stepped outside after the starters. In any case, the combination of a good steak with a fried egg on top is a bit rustic, but it just tastes fine. As for the fried herring, it was very good as well, although if you like your herring fatty and fresh (as we are used to in the Netherlands), this might not be the right choice for you.

To accompany our dinner, and because we had something to celebrate other than that it was a Saturday, we chose two champagnes from the well selected wine list. A Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut to start wit, and a Pol Roger Rosé 2002 after that. The wines are reasonably priced and the selection looks attractive and balanced. However, the champagnes both were slightly past their prime. Still good and surely drinkable, but just not on their tops anymore. The Grand Brut had a bit too much of an alcohol taste, and the 2002 rosé was watering down already. Obviously, we have mentioned it to the restaurant staff, and they have promised to review their wine collection accordingly. If you want to splash out, you could consider taking one of the two 1998 millesimés, because that was a good year for champagne, or simply try a prosecco. The private label sekt is also a good choice.

All in all, we had a lovely evening, in a beautiful restaurant, with good food and very friendly and correct staff. If you’re in town, this is certainly a good place to spend an evening dining.

Fish restaurant Le Dome
Mesnieku iela 4
tel: +371 67559884

Don’t always trust your travel guide

Obviously her travel guide book told her to be careful with Parisian cabbies. Negotiate, stand her ground and most of all: don’t be overcharged. Not knowing that the taxis at the official stands at CDG operate on a meter, under strict rules, and that breaking these rules means hefty fines or loss of license. Also not knowing that a trip from the airport to the city can cost you 60 Euros, depending on where you go and the traffic on the périph, and that the taxi driver probably said the trip would cost 60 Euros to not disappoint the lady when arriving at destination. Better to say a higher price with the end result on the meter being slightly lower, than the other way around.
And so she negotiated, stood her ground and tried to tell the taxiste that 60 Euros was too much. She offended the first Parisian she encountered and started her stay in the city of lights on the wrong foot.