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Surprise in Riga

Riga is a beautiful city, located on the Daugava River and about 12 km from the Baltic Sea.  On my recent trip, a colleague who lives in the city gave me (along with a couple of other singles) a tour of Old Town.  We learned a little of the history of the city that we would not have otherwise learned on our own.

This is a memorial of thier fight with the Soviet Army that tried to stop the revolution from 1991.  It is located near the Parliament building.

Beautiful churches dot the landscape.  Not sure what the second photo is supposed to be.  Narrow streets are the norm in the Old Town.

This is their “Statue of Liberty”.  It is located in the center of a beautiful park.  I am standing next to one of the guards at the base of the statue.  My friend, Mike, and I were joking around and I said I was going to go up next to him.  When I walked up the steps and got a little too close, he took his rifle and pounding it on the ground.  I took that to mean I was “close” enough!

In front of the hotel were two old cars.  This one struck all of us as humorous since the tag on the car says KGB!

Now the surprise.  The three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were the first to declare their independence from the SU.  I remember in 1996 I visited some friends who were missionaries in Estonia.  They cautioned me to not speak Russian with anyone unless they first spoke Russian to me.  Well, I went to Riga with the same in mind.  However, I quickly learned that Riga is more than 50% Russian and I hear far more Russian spoken in the city than Latvian.  That really struck me as odd… and it was definitely a surprise!

Comments

  1. Joe, I think the sculpture of the animals is based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, but I’m not sure why it’s showcased in Riga! I’ve enjoyed seeing the photos from this conference (including yours, Linda Gray, and Peyton Colburn). It’s a beauitful city and it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Joe,
    The animal sculpture reminded me of one in Bremen, Germany. Then I found this information.
    http://homepage.mac.com/niamey00/MusiciansofBremenMonument.htm

  3. Lisa,
    We did have a good time!
    Ann,
    I looked at the site. At least we know where the original is, but know explanation why there is a replica in Riga!

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