Latvia: June 12 – 14, 2019
Latvia lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, with over 500 km of coast and many beautiful, wide beaches. Half of the country is covered by dense forest, making Latvia lush and green. The locals are forgers and find fantastic ingredients like birch sap juice, berries, and mushrooms. With 20 hours of daylight in the summer, the Latvians take advantage of the lovely golden light and enjoy the great outdoors.
The 2011 population showed Latvians form about 62% of the population, 27% are Russian and the balance, a mix.
In 2012, Latvia held a referendum on whether to adopt Russian as a second official language but 75% voted against it. 2019 brought in a change that will see the gradual discontinuation of teaching in the Russian language, with the exception of Russian language and literature classes. With nearly 3 decades behind them since regaining their independence from Russia, the Latvians continue to restore their homeland to reflect their own heritage.
Capital city Riga showcases over 800 Art Nouveau buildings, many of them in the neighbourhood of our hotel. The Riga ‘gallery’ is one of the world’s greatest of this architectural style. This sophisticated and beautiful historic city was named the “Little Paris of the North”. Here are some gorgeous buildings, most designed by Art Nouveau genius Mikhail Eisenstein.
Riga has many beautiful churches!
Medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Riga’s impressive architecture
The Central Market – it’s one of the most famous markets in Europe
It’s Pickling Season! The Latvian’s don’t mess around here!
Produce, flowers and other goodies. The strawberries were the biggest we’d ever seen!
Freedom Monument honoring soldiers killed during the War of Independence – three stars represent the 3 regions of Latvia during the first republic.
Joe and I enjoyed a quiet dinner out, during our group free time. So delicious and inexpensive!
We loved Latvia! Here’s the view from the 26th floor of our hotel
Coming up next, Lithuania!