There's no denying it - the old part of Riga is a pretty little capital. It seems there's always something new to look at around each turn of the cobbled streets.
I decided to climb to the top of St. Peter's spire, but I had a pleasant surprise. Instead of the usual claustrophobic spiral staircase there was a lift - that was just as claustrophobic, but the views at the top were well worth the effort! I did feel rather sorry for the bloke who has to ride up and down in the lift, but he did have an iTouch with a snooker game to take his mind off it.
In the main square of the city is the House of the Blackheads - no not a skin treatment, but a rather beautiful gothic building dating back to 1580. But in fact the original building was destroyed during World War II and what's here today is a duplicate that was rebuilt using documents that did survive the war.
I stayed in the Hotel Ekes Konvent which is right in the centre of the old city, and first opened its doors to visitors back in 1435. The only disadvantage of the location was that it appeared to be in Buskers central - with a guy on a set of bongo drums on one side, pan pipes on another, and a guitar player on the other. I now know the true meaning of cacophony!
Riga tourist office in the railway station is small but very good. They have laminated sheets on the desk giving all the details that you need to visit the local attractions, and are more than happy to help out with brochures for other places in Latvia.