Category Archives: Latvia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs

Getting off of the train was another interesting experience because there was no platform in any sort of fashion that we would recognise and it was necessary to leave the train down steep steps that stopped about fifty centimetres from the tarmac and involved a final jump that only the most able bodied would ever be able to manage.

There were no signs of measures to address disability discrimination here I can tell you.

In fact, on account of the lack of engineering refinements on board, the whole railway journey experience seemed fraught with danger and this was well illustrated by a sign on the heavy metal doors that seemed to indicate that male passengers in particular should be careful not to trap delicate bits of their anatomy in between the closing doors as this could be very, very painful indeed. And to emphasise this the letters can be rearranged into that well-known warning ‘tite bals nastie’.

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Entrance Tickets – Riga Church Tower

Riga Tower Ticket

Next stop was a trip to the top of a church tower to see the city from an elevated perspective and from here we could better appreciate the patchwork quilt of coloured roofs and pastel facades looking even more attractive under the snowy mantle that decorated them.  Luckily we didn’t have to climb to the top and there was an attended lift that raised us to the summit.

We had ten minutes at the viewing platform which was about nine more than we really needed considering how cold it was with a bitter wind that felt like icy needles being driven into our faces; so we were careful therefore that we didn’t miss the descent when the lift came back to collect us and return us to the ground floor and back to the street.

Read the full story…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Sigulda Latvia

Today we were going to Sigulda, a tourist must see town, about an hours mini-bus ride away from the city.  It was still raining when we woke up, which was a disappointment but after breakfast we all set off nicely refreshed after a good nights sleep.

Read the full story

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Cocktail Fancies - Shadow and Light

Cocktail Fancies – Light and Shadow

There are many suggestions for the origin of the word cocktail, almost as many as the choice of drinks available at the Skyline Bar in Riga.

Some say that it was customary to put a feather, presumably from a cock’s tail, in the drink to serve both as decoration and to signal to teetotalers that the drink contained alcohol but my favourite is that after a cock fight it was customary to mix a drink with a different shot of alcohol for each remaining feather in the winning bird’s tail.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

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…

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Latvian train Mind The Doors Warning

In fact, on account of the lack of engineering refinements on board, the whole railway journey experience seemed fraught with danger and this was well illustrated by a sign on the heavy metal doors that seemed to indicate that male passengers in particular should be careful not to trap delicate bits of their anatomy in between the closing doors as this could be very, very painful indeed.  And to emphasise this the letters can be rearranged into that well-known warning ‘tite bals nastie’.

Read the full story…

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: UP

latvia Riga Snow covered roofs

Riga from the Church Tower:

Next stop was a trip to the top of a church tower to see the city from an elevated perspective and from here we could better appreciate the patchwork quilt of coloured roofs and pastel facades looking even more attractive under the snowy mantle that decorated them.  Luckily we didn’t have to climb to the top and there was an attended lift that raised us to the summit. 

We had ten minutes at the viewing platform which was about nine more than we really needed considering how cold it was with a bitter wind that felt like icy needles being driven into our faces; so we were careful therefore that we didn’t miss the descent when the lift came back to collect us and return us to the ground floor and back to the street.

Read the full story…

Freshly Pressed

gutenbergpress

WordPress seem to go to a lot of trouble to convince users that ‘Freshly Pressed’ is fair, impartial and based on critical selection.

Consider this then from a blog page I chanced upon…

“It has been interesting to look back over 2012 to see which posts were the most popular. Bagni di Lucca and Beyond has been Freshly Pressed twice this year, which has been great fun. Thank you WordPress for choosing.”

It is a nice blog but it isn’t brilliant (sorry).

I say no more…

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…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Sigulda Latvia

Today we were going to Sigulda, a tourist must see town, about an hours mini-bus ride away from the city.  It was still raining when we woke up, which was a disappointment but after breakfast we all set off nicely refreshed after a good nights sleep.

Read the full story…