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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIGA MOTOR CAR MUSEUM

BENZ – Patent Motorwagen Nr. 1 (replica) Germany – 1886

ENGINE

F/N – 1 Cylinder – 1909

REO – Model B USA – 1905

 

KRASTIN – USA – 1903

This is the only known surviving Krastin in the world and was bought in the US by a Latvian vintage car collector.

HEADLIGHT

STEERING AND INSTRUMENTATION

FN – 2400 – 1912

FORD – Model T – USA

OVERLAND -Model 45 – USA – 1911

HEADLIGHT AND HORN

RENAULT – 10 CV – FRANCE – 1928

BMW- 3/15PS typ DA4 – Germany

LINCOLN – V12 series 277B model KB – USA – 1934

CADILLAC – V8 series 353 – USA – 1930

HOOD ORNAMENT AND GRILL

REARVIEW MIRROR

BMW – 327/328 – Germany

 

STEYR – 220 Gläser Sport Cabrio – Austria – 1939

SIDEVIEW

REARVIEW

 SPECIAL HEADLIGHT DETAIL

INDIAN – SCOUT model 37 – USA

BMW – R35 – Germany – 1943

 

SHELL OIL GAS PUMP

 

GAZ – M20 – Pobeda Soviet Union – 1951

MOSKVIČ – 408 Soviet Union- 1968

SMZ – S3A M Soviet Union – 1967

INTERIOR

 

ZAZ – 966V ZAPOROŽEC – Soviet Union – 1969

TRABANT – P 50 East Germany – 1960

 

CITROEN – 2CV FRANCE – 1969

 

AUTO UNION – typ C/D Germany – 1938

EXHAUST DETAIL

 

ESTONIA – 15 Soviet Union – 1975

ZIL – 112S Soviet Union – 1963

ARVW – Germany – 1980

EKE – 1 Soviet Union – 1952

 

 

RUSSO-BALT – D 24/40 Russia – 1913

 

RENAULT – FU France – 1919

RENAULT – FU France – 1919

PAZ – 672M – Soviet Union – 1989

RAF – 977E Latvija – Soviet Union – 1963

PANNA COTTA IN THE CAFÉ

TUG ON A ROPE AND LIFT A CAR ALL BY YOURSELF

FOOD FESTIVAL IN THE PARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREAT VENISON BURGERS

 

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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