Latvia's remote north-west coast is a natural haven of forests and pristine beaches. It's also the traditional home of the Livs, one of the world's tinniest nations. Throw in some bizarre Soviet military relics and you have a road trip like no other in Europe.
Riga's elegant boulevard district was in large part designed by the brilliant architect Jānis Frīdrihs Baumanis. Rising from humble origins, he not only built a new city, he set the Latvian nation on the path to independence by starting the Song Festival tradition. Latvia's parliament, the music academy, the circus and dozens of other lovely structures created by him still grace Riga today.