The bike ride from Riga to Jūrmala is filled with all kinds of visual delights: trees decorated with red and white ribbons, berry pickers, severed heads, yarn bombs, old wooden holiday houses, gardens in full bloom, tranquil green forests… And then… the beach! “The Baltic’s version of the French Riviera,” back in the Communist era Jūrmula was a favorite holiday hangout of Soviet bigwigs including Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. Today it’s in full-on summertime mode with all kinds of folks frolicking in the (chilly!) ocean, playing soccer, suntanning,  building sand castles, pushing baby carriages, eating ice cream and jumping around in giant bouncy castles. Paradise!