To get to the wonderful Rundale Palace from Riga, travellers should go via public transport. The first leg is from Riga to a place called Bauska and then the next leg is from Bauska to Pilsrundale. The currency in Latvia is the lats with the plural lati.
The Bus station (autoosta) in Riga is to the south-east of the Old Town. I obtained a ticket from the ticket office (kasse) at a cost of 2 lati and waited at Platform 6 for the bus to Bauska. The bus left on time and the journey took 70 minutes through very flat countryside.
Then I bought a ticket at the Bauska bus station for a bus to Pilsrundale (final destination Jegvala). This bus left from Platform 2 at Bauska bus station and the ticket cost 0.8 lats. The journey took 20 minutes and the destination Pilsrundale was clearly marked on the bus stop. There were also large signs indicating Rundale Palace to the left. The bus driver also indicated that I should get off – I made sure he understood that I was going to the palace when I boarded the bus. I checked the return times of the bus before heading into the palace grounds. There seemed to be two different bus companies offering a service back to Bauska from Pilesrundale. It was 11:25 and I decided to aim for the 14:34 bus.
I returned to the stop at 14:30 and the 14:34 bus was already there, so I ran towards the vehicle and luckily the driver waited for me. This time the fare was 0.5 lats – a different bus company. It didn’t matter though as the destination was still the same bus station where the 15:oo bus to Riga was waiting at Platform 1. I paid the driver 2 lati and we returned to Riga arriving at 16:05.
If you are at the bus station in Riga, be sure to visit the vast market just over the waterway – it is the building with the hexagonal arches and is seriously interesting.
Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734