Posted by: commapen | March 8, 2011

Flinging down an ice chute in Latvia

All ready to fling myself down an ice chute.

In February of 2007, I spent 3 nights in Riga, Latvia and had a great time.  One of the surprise experiences I had, was that I got to go down a real-life bobsled!  I took a bus to the nearby town of Sigulda, paid my money, sat between the driver and another tourist, and had the ride of my life.  What was it like?  What can you expect?  Here are some bits of advice.

1.  I did not pay a tour company for the journey.  Diga and Ric, owners of Homestay, a brilliant bed and breakfast in the Mezaparks neighborhood, arranged the trip for me.

2. The person driving the sled is a member of the Latvian Bobsled Team.  Don’t be surprised if the other passenger riding with you is wearing a Christmas Tree costume.  Latvia is known as a stag party destination for British tourists.  I was at a casino later that evening talking with an English chap who was part of a large stag group.  As he left the blackjack table, I said to him “Have a great trip!”  He said that he planned to not remember much.  Riga is trying to move away from this party reputation and appeal to a broader audience.

3.  Be ready for a short, very bumpy trip.  Some people compare it to a roller coaster ride.  When I am on an actual roller coaster, the ride is smooth and I know there is no chance that I am going to fall out.  My bobsled ride, however, was quick and bumpy, and I always had the thought in the back of my mind that I could crash.  It was the best thrills I was looking for, and it was the best thrills that I got.

More information about my Latvia visit is coming soon.

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Responses

  1. That sounds awesome. Definitely adding to my bucket list!

  2. Brave of you.

  3. That sounds amazing! Whenever I’ve seen bobsledding in the winter Olympics It always kind of scares me how fast they go!

  4. I’d like to try that!

  5. this sounds AWESOME. after watching cool runnings as a kid, i was a little obsessed with bobsleding for a while. we began our practice pushing each-other around in shopping karts, and then later billy-carts. it was all part of the progression to an eventual planned olympic moment of glory. the passion eventually died when a big crash resulted in some of my finger getting cut-off in the wheel spokes. maybe i can revive my never existent career as a bobsled powerhouse, in latvia.

  6. How amazing! Bobsledding is something that I never would have thought about doing a trip, but now that I know it can be done you better believe I’ll be on the lookout!

  7. That one goes on the life list!


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