Tag Archives: Ice Skating

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

Riga Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was an international architectural style that flourished for only  a relatively brief period in Europe between 1880 and 1914.  It was an elaborate statement of increasing bourgeois wealth and influence and a rejection of the aristocratic stoic classicism that had previously dominated.

This period happily coincided with a time of growth and prosperity in Riga, which by 1900 had become the third largest city in the Russian Empire after Moscow and St. Petersburg and it has over eight hundred fine examples of Art Nouveau buildings across the city.  These are the legacy of Latvian Romanticism, which was the classical era of Latvian culture that made Riga one of the European centres of Art Nouveau.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement

After a drink in the bar we prepared to go out again and we were excited about this because some of us were going ice skating.  Christine can’t go on the ice of course because she is too accident prone even under perfect walking conditions and neither Sue or Mike S felt confident about taking to the ice but the rest of us were all keen to give it a try so we paid our entrance fee and strapped on the excruciatingly painful bright orange boots and carefully took to the ice.

The strange thing about ice skating is that it is a lot more difficult than it looks and instead of gliding elegantly around the outdoor arena we were stumbling gracelessly across the frozen surface just being thankful to remain vertical.  Kim quickly abandoned any attempt at proper skating and went around clutching on to a sort of ice rink zimmer frame, Mike W quickly got cold feet and abandoned the ice almost as soon as he had started but after a shaky start Helene was lapping faster and faster and Margaret was a complete natural with lashings of grace and poise.

I managed to stay upright through a dozen or so circuits but although I was beginning to feel like Christopher Dean and was humming Bolero to myself as inspiration I am fairly sure it wasn’t pretty to look at for those spectating.  For a start I found it impossible to skate with both feet so quickly established an awkward style of keeping my left foot in constant contact with the ice and pushing myself along with nervous little stabs of the right foot and then sliding for as long as possible before starting over again.  I found that stopping was especially difficult and the only really confident way of coming to a standstill was to plot a course for the side of the rink and then crash into the wooden fences surrounding the ice and it is difficult to make that look in any way stylish!

The entrance fee and boot hire was for a full hour but after twenty minutes without anyone injuring themselves we decided that this was probably quite long enough and to stay longer might increase the risk of broken bones and lacerations so we returned the boots and left in search of a restaurant.

Tallinn, Snogging and Ice Skating

Tallinn Christmas Shopping

There was no improvement in the weather and certainly no sign of snow and if anything it seemed to be getting even warmer.  After leaving the bus we walked back through the city gates and at the market met up again with Mike and Helene who had just had a nasty little expensive incident in the same café that we had visited yesterday morning.  Well, that was their own fault, they should have come with us to Stalag Pirita Spa Hotel where prices were much more reasonable.

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Riga – Art Nouveau

Riga Art Nouveau

On the first morning of the visit to Riga we walked around the Art Nouveau district where previously grand buildings that had fallen into disrepair during the communist period of occupation are once more being restored to former glory.

Art Nouveau was an international architectural style that flourished for a brief period in Europe between 1880 and 1914.  It was an elaborate statement of bourgeois wealth and influence and a rejection of aristocratic stoic classicism that had previously dominated.

Read the full story…