Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Skyline Bar

The Skyline Bar, Hotel Latvia, Riga

The Hotel Latvia is a modern high quality tourist hotel but has a sinister and secretive past.  It was built by the previous communist regime and was one of the few State approved tourist hotels run by the Russian travel Agency, Intourist.  Intourist was founded in 1929 by the dictator Joseph Stalin and was staffed almost exclusively by the KGB secret police. It was responsible for managing the great majority of travellers access to, and travel within, the Soviet Union and it grew into one of the largest tourism organisations in the world, with a network embracing banks, hotels, and bureaux de change.

Read the full story…

2 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

  1. Great photo for the challenge and a write up of the bar! I had a sparkling white wine with a splash of Latvian blackcurrant balsam at the Skyline Bar with a nice couple from Australia that we met on a walking tour of the city’s outskirts. We managed to get a window seat but it was on the slightly less scenic side – ah well. I heard about the hotel being bugged in the past but I didn’t know the full story about Stalin and Intourist – fascinating.

    Also, Andrew, I wanted to let you know I’ve nominated your great travelogue for the One Lovely Blog Award. 🙂 You can pick up your badge and info/rules on how to pass on the torch at: http://digibron.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/one-lovely-blog-award/ Congratulations and enjoy!


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