Saturday May 17th ~ Riga, Latvia
One of the most famous people born in Riga is the brilliant dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Old Town Riga is all about the architecture, and the style is mostly Art Nouveau. The majority are dated from the late 19th or early 20th century. One of the most famous architect/engineer here was Mikhail Eisenstein.
“Forty per cent of buildings in the centre of Riga belong to art nouveau, which is more than in other European cities. Moreover, art and architecture connoisseurs believe that it is in Riga that art nouveau found especially powerful and sweeping expression.” ~ http://www.latvia.travel
In fact Riga has over 800 Art Nouveau buildings!
Local lore says that the bell tower in the central church has the inscription asking for protection from “the Russians, the floods and the plague”. Supposedly the bell also was rung to warn of any potential invaders or whenever a woman walked by that had been unfaithful to their husband.
Lucky for all of us, the bell did not ring as we walked by…
Snails are part of a local art project. They are found all over the old town in many different colors. We saw green, red, black, purple and blue. They will be painted with patterns and designs next month.
We saw an exhibit of painted full size elephants last year in Dana Point, California. I wonder if this will turn out to be a similar project. You can see my post on the elephants here.
Tim, Dick, Karen and I spent part of the afternoon roaming around at the huge marketplace. The main structures of the market are five pavilions constructed by reusing old German Zeppelin hangars.
The outside portion was like a grand farmer’s market on steroids. That was topped off by an inside marketplace where we spent over an hour sampling some of the best cheeses I have had the pleasure of tasting.
We loaded up on fresh strawberries, cherries, an amazing blue cheese, a soft creamy white (similar to a feta) and a firm yellow (possibly a cheddar). We already had the wine back at the hotel, so after a quick stop at a grocery store for a couple of types of crackers, we were set.
Happy hour here we come!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for Skype. We are able to stay in touch with family back home quite reasonably.