Lads weekend in Riga, Latvia: A bloody lucky escape
It’s 5am and I’ve just got off the phone to the hotel receptionist, who assures me the paramedics are on the way.
I look over at Rory, his hands are red, there’s blood all over the bed, walls and carpet.
Jimmy is sitting upright on the stained mattress, completely oblivious to the fact he’d just collapsed backwards and head-butted the curb.
It’s what you can expect when challenging a feisty Russian guide to take you to as many bars as possible – necking potent shots at each and every stop. It was utter carnage!
Combining buckets of booze and cobble streets was never going to end well. Mark and Luke – in the hunt for more booze – took an alternative route back to our brand new hotel, while jelly-legged Jimmy, Rory and myself stumbled back via the treacherous tracks which lead Jimmy to A&E.
Thirty minutes after Rory left with Jimmy and the ambulance crew, I get a call from my younger brother, Mark: “WE’VE JUST BEEN ATTACKED!!!”
F*** me, welcome to Riga!
Before it was bedtime, my morning alarm was going off. We’re only here for two days and our schedule’s tighter than a virgin.
In most instances, I’d have just stayed in bed all day (like Rory and Luke) – but the Wellton Hotel’s Spa was too tempting.
So after a naughty KFC brekkie, Me, Mark and a stitched up Jimmy spent a couple of hours chilling in the sauna, steam-room and jacuzzi – trying to piece together what happened the night before – Jimmy couldn’t remember much.
Turns out the boys weren’t actually attacked. Luke mistakenly jumped on some guy he thought was me during their detour – only to have the crazed Latvian windmill him a few times before chasing them down the street screaming foreign crap. Nobody was hurt.
Shooting is fun, especially when it’s just you and your brother taking turns at blasting the s*** out of an AK-47, shotgun and glock!
It was clear by the bullet holes that one of us has spent way to much time playing Call of Duty… The f****** geek!
We later met up with Graham from Maximise (the company that pieced together our banging itinerary), for dinner at a place called Ribs and Rock – which served meat platters and cocktails – kind of like the TGI Fridays, directly opposite.
We’d discussed what we wanted to do during our last night and agreed the Radisson Blu, Skyline Bar and a strip club.
With the exception of Jimmy – we’re all still tender from the night before, so decided to go easy on the booze.
I was more than happy to sip cocktails on the 26th floor while taking in the best views in the city all night long. It was lovely here.
It’s not quite Dubai’s Burj’s, Skyview Bar – but for Riga, this is by far the swankiest place in town.
And depending on your taste in drinks, a Strawberry Caipiroska only set me back €7… I’d have been happy to pay almost twice that!
Unfortunately, the only fit women in the room were either taken or paid for. And by that, I mean escorts. Some drunk oriental fella walked in with two babes on his arm, reminding me of a scene from one of the Batman movies.
He wasn’t cool like Bruce Wayne though. He was a chubby chap, early 50s – but clearly rich.
Guests watched in shock, as the girls tried avoiding his rogue tongue – which on occasion launched towards their unwilling throats.
It’s time to go now.
After loading into the glass lift, Jimmy pointed out one of the lankiest guys I’ve ever seen. “Wow, you’re almost as tall as this building” he said to the unimpressed giant.
Fortunately, his mates found it funny and we got talking about a hidden gem, called the Victory Pub – which hosted a cosy strip joint underground.
A private dance cost €30, which was the fastest money I’ve ever spent. Fortunately though, the memory of Luke getting stripped off to his boxers and having his belt wrapped round is neck will provide happy memories for much longer than the pleasures offered by my dancer.
I’ve never been a fan of strip clubs.
Our last stop of the evening was the Rock Cafe, not to be confused with Hard Rock Cafe.
It was one of the places Graham recommended and if you’re looking for women – this is where you want to be.
This year, Latvia was ranked number two in the world for being the world’s easiest place to get women into bed – beaten only by the cheeky Colombians.
Jimmy had a worldy lined up, but when it came to crunch time he opted for pizza instead – or so he said 😉
Rory was convinced he’d blown it with some cheese ball line – but wouldn’t tell us what is was.
A good tip for pulling is to get them to teach you how to say stuff in Latvian. Not too sure how and why this works so well, but it does.
And if you’re anything like me and love a lady with a little frame, then you’ll LOVE Eastern Europeans!
Woke up the next morning with my brother grinning at me like a psycho… Think he was excited to see his missus.
But before our short, two hour flight back to London Luton, we had to find our way out of one of Riga’s biggest attractions, the ‘Escape Room‘.
You’ve seen Crystal Maze, right? Well, it’s similar to that really.
You get locked in a room and given exactly 60 minutes to work your way out using lateral thinking and solving cryptic clues.
I’d recommend doing this at the start of the weekend though, as when it come to problem solving and riddles, we were all pretty useless by this stage.
Fortunately, we wasn’t stuck forever, as the games master come and let us out. We failed.
Personally, I blame Luke for making a mess of the access code combinations and Rory’s dodgy adding up.
Jimmy wasn’t much help either, but then again half of his brain was still splattered in some random street so I’m not surprised he wasn’t thinking straight.
Our final experience was easily the best.
If there’s one thing you MUST do when visiting Riga, it’s the bobsleigh ride. There’s not many places in the world you’ll get to do this.
We played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who gets front seat (I won, obviously).
It’s a very short adrenaline rush for the €50 price tag, but you won’t regret it – well unless you strain your back, like Rory did.
If I had to summarise Riga in a sentence…
I’d say the trip was explosive! Some of us had more of a headbanging time than others, though. Ooops.