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Insider: Andris Vītoliņš« BACK « TO BEGINNING

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Insider's view · Europe · latvia · Liepaja

Insider: Andris Vītoliņš

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Insider: Andris Vītoliņš

Even though Riga citizens may consider Liepāja to be a remote place far away from the capital, it is situated 220 km closer to Western Europe than Riga itself. It has been under European cultural impact for at least 2 centuries longer period of time, too. 70km separate Liepāja center from Palanga Airport, and it takes about 45 minutes by car to cover this distance. On average, it's about the same amount of time that one needs to reach Riga Airport from any place of the Latvian capital. In Palanga, however, check-in functions much faster and airport parking is for free (www.palanga-airport.lt/en).

Yet someone living in Riga may still enquire - "Do they have electricity and running tap water there?" That is why I will start this article with information about more exotic spots in Liepāja.

Liepāja has its own Chinese restaurant with real Chinese cooks working there and an authentic Chinese stove. You wouldn't be able to find such a stove anywhere in Riga, and it's an essential precondition for cooking authentic Chinese food. I sincerely advise you to visit Ginger restaurant and taste its Peking soup, both spicy and sour, or savor beef on a hot plank along with some Chinese Thinthao beer (54 Peldu Str., T.: 00371 6342029

In Liepāja you can get some food all around the clock thanks to Fontaine Palace. Such service is particularly important if you have reached the City of Winds only after midnight. Don't despair - a Fotaine burger will save you from starving! In spite of my personal skeptical attitude towards fast-food industry, Liepāja is one of the rare spots in the world where I do eat hamburgers. They are really made of meat there and quality is very good (www.delisnack.lv).

My other favorite eating place in Liepāja is Vecais Kapteinis (Old Captain). Housed in an 18th century building in the very heart of Liepāja Old City, it exudes ancient charm and is just perfect for a quiet and cozy lunch or dinner. On working days, one can relish a business lunch cooked on an open top grill with a variety of delicious options available for friendly prices.
(14 Dubelšteina Str., T.: 00371 63425522)

When hunger is appeased, one can consider other activities, too. One option is a boat trip aboard a little ship called Četri vēji (Four Winds). Seasoned sailors at its helm, who have built the vessel with their own hands can fulfill almost any whim of its passengers - even take you to Sweden, if that's what you wish. Search for them at the Hotel Promenāde or visit a website http://fourwinds.lv/

Turning to more spiritual entertainment, it's worthwhile remembering that a cozy wine bar chain, Vīna Studija (Wine Studio), very popular in Riga, has arrived in the capital of Latvia from Liepāja. A well-known Latvian architect Uldis Pīlēns is the man behind this brand, and, aside from Wine Studio, he has established UPB Gallery in Liepāja - a unique place where one can savor art even on Sunday evenings. If the door is opened and you can see light inside, just step in and greet a security guard, telling that you would like to see some art. Due to its location near to the seaside, it is particularly convenient for guests from Riga in summertime. (17 Dzintaru Str., Liepāja, www.upb.lv).

Searching for quality lodging in Liepāja, it's advisable to opt for TheLuxPod High-tech luxury apartments, established there by Londoners. www.theluxpod.com

07/2012

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