Sunday, December 13, 2009

Riga, Latvia

3 weeks ago we were a party of 31 going to Riga, Latvia for a weekend trip.
Latvia is one of the Baltic states and shows very well that it has been under Russian influence and on the other side of the iron curtain.
We lived in the old part of town, right behind the Riga Dome.

P1040615   

Riga is a strange town, where you can see how powerful this town has been, with its rich architecture, and how poor it is now, worn down and with few people in the streets.
Latvia is very bad off from the economical crisis, worse than Island, but we do not hear much about it in the papers, and it came as sort of a cultural chock to us.
P1040587P1040588

Food are cheap, but all other goods are not, and there were sales in all the shops. I have never seen empty malls right before Christmas either. I guess many will be out of work there soon.
P1040592P1040589

My husband and I walked around a lot, wearing good shoes, with camera in hand.
We had sugar cakes from a local bakery as a snack :-)
P1040593  

New and old architecture mixed randomly.
P1040596 

A great mural by the old town square.
P1040598

Russian eggs - lovely hand work, but nothing to bring home to this house.
P1040599  P1040601
A lot of spectacular facades.
P1040606

P1040608

P1040603 

   P1040610 
We had a lovely lunch with local vegetable soup and a glass of wine for next to no money.
The restaurant was very simple, up very steep stairs, but the food was plenty and delicious.

P1040611 
Notice the lovely glass art window in the restaurant - the building was from 1700-something     
P1040613   
Even the most worn buildings could have beautiful doors

P1040618  

P1040617
or statues…..

P1040605
This is what I call a tall coffee :-)
P1040621  
DH had hot chocolate - the real thing - oh is was rich indeed!
P1040624

Check those windows, a gazillion small pieces in each.
P1040625
There are churches on "every corner"

Riga was an experience, in many ways, and I even was very close to get robbed, but I do not keep my valuables in my rucksack, thank you.

The local market was spectacular though, but we did not take out the cameras - to many people.

P1040822
Here is what I bought in Riga - linen tea towels, zippers (cheap!), embroidery floss (half price) and some silver goods. Some other goods will be found in someone's Christmas gifts too :-)

P1040824

This owl needle keeper is soooo cool :-)

P1040827
I lost one of my earrings on my way to Riga, so DH bought me a new pair.  I like them very much :-)

Will we go there again ?……. well…….. it looks like many of the party of 31 want to  go back next year, but I am not sure if I will join or not - time will tell.

Hanne

7 comments:

May Britt said...

Looks like a nice trip to Riga. Love the photos of the houses. And love the things you bought.

Miriam said...

Thank you for the "virtual tour" of Riga. Great photographs too.

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for sharing your trip, Hanne! I'm always amazed at all the different cultures you can encounter on just one continent!

Nancy in Norway said...

Looks like you had a great time in Riga.

bathmate said...

thank you for your nice posting


Bathmate

Grete Knudsen said...

Where is the markedsplace? Is it every day or just once a week? I am inRiga now :-)))))

Hanne said...

Grete Knutsen :-)

Det er lenge siden jeg har vært i Riga nå og jeg husker ikke helt hvordan det var med det markedet.
Håper du fant ut av det :-)
Hilsen Hanne