So finally, after 5 and a half months, I’ve reached the halfway point of my Riga wanderings. District 29 of 58 was Pleskodale, completing a double header for the weekend.
Zanda had challenged me to a game of bowling at Pleskodale’s “main visitor attraction”, the Spice shopping centre. Determined to show that Ireland could do it best, I was keen to take her up on the offer.
It was a washout.
Zanda scored strike after strike, while my bowls wandered aimlessly off the track.
Do Latvians learn 10 pin bowling in kindergarten? It looked that way. I did win the last game of three, but I think that was just through tiredness and luck.
Spice as a whole isn’t anything to get overly excited about. It’s a large shopping centre, such as you’d find in most other European cities, with lots of multinational brand chains.
It was time to see what Pleskodale as a whole was made of and the answer, sadly, is not very much. It’s mostly a bland residential area full of private housing but little in the way of leisure or other attractions.
So we headed for the main nature part, the Šampēteris wood, which isn’t actually in Šampēteris district. As we were walking there, a motorcyclist zoomed past us at top speed with a police car in hot pursuit. A real life car chase! It made it into the local news today (story here in Latvian.) We were almost feeling a little sorry for the guy until we saw photo 13 of the report
What a classy guy!
We headed on to the wood, probably the most unique bit of Pleskodale, containing a monument to the formation of the Latvian Independence movement in the late 80s. If you’re into walking in the forests though, it’s not worth going out of the way for. It’s small and there is much better woodland elsewhere in Riga.
The third and final reason anyone would probably be in Pleskodale (aside from driving through it to the airport) is that The American Embassy is here. It used to be in the centre, but a few years ago, they purchased land here and built it there. It actually looks more like a prison than the Brasa prison does!
By now colder and tired, it was coffee time, so we headed to Index Cafe, a much smaller chain than the Double Coffees or Costa Coffees which dominate Riga, it was a comfortable enough place to sit.
So while the company was good and it was a nice Sunday out, Pleskodale as a whole isn’t going to be in my top 10 districts of Riga to visit. At the halfway point here’s how it stands