LATVIA: Riga II – Baltic Beauty

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Lux Express Bus provided an exceptional way to journey to Riga. Comfortable seating combined with a personal entertainment system like the ones provided by the better airlines rounded out the experience. A coffee machine was an appreciated, added perk. I watched the Freddy Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, and followed it up with The Meg which was a frivolous romp with Jason Statham about a very hungry, prehistoric shark. It always pleases me to see another follicle challenged gent kicking ass in a film. Rock and Roll and giant sharks easily consumed the 4+ hour trip to Riga.

The Bus station was five minutes from the hostel, and I unpacked and got organized in short order. Riga was just as I remembered it in all of its sunny day splendor. I made a beeline for the shady, central park with a river running through it and soaked up the greenery and serenity as electric boats silently plied its waters. Riga, although larger, is less crowded and more laid back than the bustling Medieval Old Town of Tallinn.

FREEDOM MONUMENT

VERMANES GARDEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF THE BLACK HEADS

 

 

 

 

                                  DAY TRIP TO JURMALA

JURMALA MUSIC FESTIVAL – I got off the train in Dzintari and headed for the beach on what I assumed was the road that divided Majori and Dzintari.

A BALTIC GENEVA BY THE SEA – THIS PLACE SO CLEAN YOU CAN EAT OFF THE SIDEWALK

 

 

OCEAN GLORY – The street lights were also compelling and lined the boulevard all the way to the beach. They look like they were designed in Scandinavia.

BEACH LOVERS FLAG

THE PEDESTRIAN STREET CONNECTING DZINTARI AND MAJORI

 

NICELY RESTORED OLDER BUILDINGS ARE JUXTAPOZED WITH TASTEFUL MODERN ONES

The city planners clearly take great care to make sure that any new construction integrates well into the overall scheme of things.

CLASSIC OLD STRUCTURES ARE GENERALLY  WELL MAINTAINED

 

THE PEDESTRIAN ZONE IS LINED WITH QUALITY RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL SPACES

 

THE PARK’S LANDSCAPING IS WELL EXECUTED WITH INVITING TRELLIS SEATING IN WHICH TO RELAX

IT’S A GREAT PLACE FOR HAVING A SNACK

 

 

A STATELY BUILDING DOMINATES MAJORI

ANOTHER MODERN ACCENT THAT APPEASES THE SENSES

 

 

 

MORE BEAUTIFULLY MANICURED GARDENS

 

 

 

No visit to the Baltics in the Summer is complete without serious berry indulgence. If you’re from the United States, you won’t believe the difference between European, properly ripened, berries and the substandard stuff they toss at us in the US.

WILD STRAWBERRIES

BEACH ON ONE SIDE AND SKULLING ON THE OTHER

AWAITING THE TRAIN BACK TO RIGA

 

 

 

 

MŪS MĀJA – REAL LATVIAN HANDCRAFTS INSTEAD OF CRAPPY CHINESE SOUVENIRS

 

 

 

             ART NOUVEAU SPLENDOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is probably the most memorable and photogenic building on Albert Street. It is also the former home of two friends, one of whom died suddenly due to complications from pneumonia. Tamara was one of those people that everyone liked, and her loss was especially devastating to her friends and family, given how abruptly she was taken from us. I was not in-country at the time of her passing so I was absent from the memorial service. In Riga, my thoughts always turn to Tamara and Albert Street so I decided to create a makeshift memorial in front of a place in which she was very happy.

EVERYONE IDENTIFIES THE BUILDING BY THE TWO SPHINX OUT FRONT

TAMARA, YOU ARE MISSED – The flowers looked like they belonged nestled in the bosom of the Sphinx of her former home. No doubt, they were unwittingly included in the photos of hundreds of tourists. I returned the next day and the flowers were gone so I decided to put the memorial on the blog to be preserved for a long, long while.

I’ll even have provisions in my will to maintain the blog well into the 21st century. In fact, I think it will be my own memorial where my daughter and grandkids can come and visit me at my snarky best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE OF THE BEST PARTS OF THE WALK TO ALBERT/ELIZABETH STREETS IS TRAVERSING THE CENTRAL PARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Z
    July 30, 2019

    Wonderful! Great memories! Jurmala looks as beautiful as I remember it. Thank you for posting, John!

  2. The Travel Zealot
    July 30, 2019

    Glad to hear it, Z. So often our memories are ruined by unpleasant changes, but it seems they have managed to keep many of the old structures as well as integrating many pleasant modern buildings into the area. I arrived in Jurmala at 9:30 am before many people descended upon the town. I got off the train in Dzintari, walked to the beach, and then went back to the pedestrian shopping street that led to Majori. The place was spotless like a Baltic Geneva. I had an enjoyable stroll, taking pictures, soaking up the scenery, and eating freshly picked berries before hopping on a train back to Riga. Once there, I went back to Boris & Tamara’s old building and enjoyed the art nouveau splendor of Elizabeth and Albert streets.

    I’m glad Jurmala remains unspoiled, and I think you will find the same is true of Riga. I think you might want to do the full Baltic sweep (Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius) at some point. I’ll certainly have some useful and tasty tips for you.

  3. z
    August 1, 2019

    Will Be!

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