Shooting on a Friday afternoon
We meet Ivan and Anita at the Latvian National Opera House on a Friday afternoon to go shooting in Riga. The two Norwegians - a young, pretty girl and a tall, respectable guy of most certainly Viking origins are ready to do some alternative Riga sightseeing. Anita gave this citybreak in Riga to Ivan as a birthday present and shooting in Riga has to be in the package.
The Riga shooting-gallery is located next to a Riga sports stadium right outside the centre of Riga, there is even an opportunity to combine a football match in Riga with shooting....if you cannot shoot on the pitch why not try shooting off it? The door of the Riga shooting-gallery is opened by a nice lady, who might very well be your caring auntie Margaret. We are about to find out that this lady, Ludmila, is a manifold shooting champion. She used to be a part of the USSR national shooting team. After a break of 23 years she has now made a comeback to the sport as an experienced shooting veteran from Riga, winning a silver medal at the Latvian shooting championships. We are definitely in good hands.
Ivan lights up a cigarette nervously before going in. Bursting with anticipation, Ivan tells us he has shot just about everything in his life and obviously hunting in the Norwegian woods is the place to do it. Ludmila kindly invites us to smoke inside the Riga shooting-gallery.
As we descent in to the Riga shooting-gallery, it is dark and slightly chilly which makes the whole thing seem a little surreal, even spooky. It’s a hot day and cooling down at the basement seems quite pleasant after a morning at the beach in Jurmala. Plus shooting in Riga is the best way to kick start your active weekend in Riga or fire away a hangover. I feel my adrenaline levels climbing up already.
“How are you, Anita? Are you excited?” I ask the Norwegian girl.
“Terrified...” she sighs.
Once Austin has given us the instructions and safety rules in English we are handed the safety equipment. This is certainly not the first time our RigaOutThere veteran takes someone shooting. Riga shooting has been one of RigaOutThere’s most wanted activities for quite a while.
And out comes the Arsenal: The Glock 17, the AK47, the Pump Action, and the Magnum Revolver. Now it’s the time to choose a dominant eye. How would I know which one it is? Oh well, any will do for the practice shots. Not to forget we will be doing it for real afterwards. Ludmila shows us the bullets to make us aware of the power of each weapon. Ivan grins while Anita is trying to hide her nerves. We all explore the guns with great interest.
Practice is over, it’s time to shoot. Austin fires out 5 bullets at the James Bond figure positioned 15 meters from us in the Riga shooting-gallery. The first shot indicates that this is not an activity for the faint hearted.
Ludmila handles the Glock to Ivan and says in a motherly voice:”This is easy. Push slowly and only look at the sight - not the target..”
5 bullets of Glock 17 and James Bond is heavily injured. Ivan turns around with a huge smile on his face. That’s well done. All eyes are now on Anita, expectations are high. 5 shots later we find out that Anita has done surprisingly well. Ivan gets 3 hits, Anita gets 4 exceptionally good ones. Ivan assures us it will all change once the AK47 is in his hands with a competitive look in his eyes.
The AK47 seems like a much tougher gun to handle but a lot easier to shoot accurately. Ludmila indicates the power of this gun with some graphic stories of the gun being used in conflict situations....fortunately the only damage being done today is to the mutilated target at the end of the shooting range.
Then comes the “Big Daddy” of the Riga shooting experience – the Pump Action shot gun. It is fun to load yourself, even better to pump. Spent rounds of ammunition are flying in all directions. Anita kicks ass again! She and Ludmila should become the new avatars on Mortal Combat!
The Magnum Revolver comes as a dessert. Revolver is hot, sexy and glistens like a star in the dark shooting gallery. The two Norwegian snipers have now had a confidence boost, it’s almost scary. They seem fully relaxed, confident and satisfied, which has a really good effect on their shooting skills in Riga.
A few minutes later James Bond waves the white flag. We are ready to head back to Riga centre and celebrate our victory. Austin advises the two sharp shooters where to sink a few beers and shoot a few balzams for a fun night in Riga.
Ten years ago very few people had heard about Riga and Latvia. Nowadays, Riga is regarded as being one of the most exciting cities in Europe - a city that never sleeps and also boasts some amazing things to do and cultural highlights that even the most travel weary will appreciate.
For everything you need to know about Riga we have put together a detailed guide, which will inform you and give you advices about Riga Bars and Clubs and where to find the very best Restaurants in Riga. Riga is certainly a fantastic destination for incentives and corporate events.
Riga Useful Info is a section dedicated to the fine details of getting to and being in Latvia including information about such things as direct flights and Latvian phrases, an article on when is the best time to visit Latvia, as well as the information about how to travel to Riga on a budget. When is the Best Time to Visit Latvia?
For a quick overview of where is Riga and what there is to do and see in Riga be sure to check out our interactive Riga Travel Map. You can view the listed restaurants, hotels, event venues, bars, clubs, museums and points of interest by selecting them on drop down menu bar.
Should you want to print a simpler map to take to Riga with you we have created a TOT TOP rated Map that you can download. This map lists Riga Out There's top rated restaurants, bars, hotels and points of interests. You cannot afford to leave home without it.