May 30, 2019

Riga is 800 years old and sits on the  River Daugava.  Riga has a long history of being occupied by  one foreign  country after another.   In 1991, Riga was given their independence from Russia.

My last day in Riga was spent walking their beautiful city, enjoying the wonderful architecture, the lush green parks and colorful flowers  one more time.

The Laima Clock has been a popular meeting place in Riga since 1924.  The name comes from the chocolate that it advertises.

This  Orthodox Cathedral is a 5-domed  house of prayer from the 19th century. The official name of the church is the Cathedral of Christ’s Nativity.   During the communist occupation  ( 1944 – 1991),  organized religion was outlawed in Riga and the church was used as a planetarium.


This  little furry guy was found curled up in this circular window on  busy street, oblivious to all the noise, people and traffic around him.

Bird of the day – a common and noisy seagull, skillfully  standing on my leg .

Stay tuned – I move onto Vilnius, Lithuania next!

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!




HOUSE of BLACKHEADS in Riga, Latvia

May 30, 2019

The House of Blackheads was built in 1334  and was  the main meeting place for merchants. Later  a group of foreign merchants  known as the Brotherhood of the Blackheads  bought it in  1713 , thus the current name..  The Brotherhood had a great love for art and music and  house hosted many grand social events.

The Grand Hall


Many art pieces hung in the house.

The meeting room

Gallery of composers.

The building was destroyed  during World War II

The House of Blackheads  was rebuilt in 1999.

Hoped you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!







May 29, 2019

This was my day for museums and I also went to the Bourse Art Museum  in Riga which has a  diverse variety of art to enjoy.

The building that houses Bourse was built mid-19th century and is beautiful, inside and out.

Here are some of my favorites……

close up of the previous piece


Winter Landscape by Ziemas Ainava

Fish Seller by  Zivju Tirgotaja

close ups of the “Fish Seller”

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!







Looking up from the bottom of  the staircase in the building where the Art Nouveau Museum is located at Alberta iela 12.

May 29, 2019

This Art  Nouveau Museum celebrates the  style that Riga is so well known for.   The museum  is located in the  former apartment  of the  building’s  architect,  Konstantins Peksens,  who lived there around 1900.    Few of the items in the apartment are original but there are true  to the time period.

Alberta iela 12, built in 1903.   Here are a few photos of what home life looked like back then.

bedroom dressers



guessing this is a tea  warmer?

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!





Rundale Palace

May 29, 2019

The adventure of the day was a day trip to Rundale Palace, which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Riga.  Rundale is an 18th  century mansion  built for Ernst Johann von Biron  (a Biron in Latvia) for his summer retreat..   Building started in 1736 and took  30 years and 1500 workers.  It has 138  rooms of which 40 rooms have been restored and can be toured.

Most of the  palace was ornate decorated.


Every room had a huge  beautifully  tiled ceramic heater.


This decoration was painted on the walls and the ceiling.

Interesting way to display a vase collection.

Perfume burner?

Many pieces of Meisson porcelain was  on display.

This wall decor was 3 dimensional.

My favorite was the gardens which I thoroughly enjoyed even in the rain.

Just to be perfectly clear……..



These were the stables for the palace.

A storks ‘s nest  sits a top one of  the palace’s chimney.


Bird of the day – on route to the palace I saw 2 storks sitting on top of a brick wall and one stork  flying.  What an incredible sight!  Even our bus driver, who couldn’t speak English, got excited and pointed it out to everyone!  (Pictures  from Google as I could not get my camera out fast enough.)

Also, on route, we saw field after  field of  blooming rape seed  which is used for making mustard.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!


ART NOUVEAU in Riga, Latvia

May 28, 2019

Art Nouveau architecture was popular  from 1890 to 1910 and Riga is packed full of it!!!  All of it incredible!! Plus,  I am getting  better at walking and looking up at the tall buildings the longer I am here.  Only once did I walk into someone and knock them down.   Here is just a sampling of what I have seen and I continue to discover different Art Nouveau buildings everyday:

Close ups of my  favorites sections  to follow:


The rest are just sections of  Art Nouveau buildings I liked….

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!



Riga, Latvia – A BEAUTIFUL CITY !!

May 26, 2019

Rolled  into Riga, Latvia late yesterday afternoon by  Lux Express Bus.   Easy bus ride and  I have loved Riga since  the moment I arrived!!   Here  is a just a sampling  of the many things to see in just Old Town alone……

House of the Black Heads

One of the many town squares.

Always love the suveniris!

LOTS of Coats of Arms

Three Brothers Buildings, the oldest residential dwellings in Riga.

Powder Tower, 1650, and has…..

Russian cannonballs embedded in the walls.

Drinking is not taken lightly in this city.

Dome Cathedral

Ghosts of the past may still be lurking ……….

Beautiful buildings are  everywhere you look.

Bird of the day – a chaffinch.  Sitting on a low branch easy to see and singing his heart out. What  a beautiful sound!

Thanks for reading!

Hope you enjoyed!



Parting shots of Tallinn, Estonia

There are Estonian greeters at many of the  suveniir  shops.

May 25, 2019

My last day in Tallinn and I walked the Old Town one more time.  I loved the architecture.  I really loved the wall with its towers and I  found another piece of the wall I could walk.  I  especially  loved their flower stands and how beautiful it smelled.

Here are  my favorite shots of the day…..

There were craft tents in the town square daily but I chose to shot over the herds of people. : )

I found this cute little home down a quiet street.

Viru Gates, the last remaining gates into Tallinn ( the towers are standing though the actual gates are long gone.)

This is the right side of Viru gates.  I love how they built  the newer (green trimmed) building right into the 13th century wall.

My  last walk on the wall  was possible by accessing through the Hellemann Tower which thankfully,  had a much newer spiral staircase built  in the tower to get to the top.  Only  60 steps in all and that section of the wall was 1.25 miles.

It was interesting to see all the funny roof angles from the wall  as everything is built so close together.

Lastly more beautiful and fragrant  flowers…

All the flowers , as with many things in Tallinn,  were very reasonable, sometimes even cheap  Such as roses – they were

1 Euro a piece.

Bird of the day – A Great Tit!!   (That’s really her name!)  :  )

Hope  you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!

Stayed tuned – next stop is Riga, Latvia




Can you walk past this building and not feel like you  are being watched ?

May 25, 2019

Old churches can be fascinating places.  Of all of the churches I went into in Tallinn, the Church of the Holy Spirit was my favorite  – mostly because of its uniqueness.

First off look at these pews – I am 5’6″ and the top of the pew was level with my shoulder.  Once you sat in a pew and close the door, you were completely enclosed up to your neck.

Only a person’s head can be seen in these pews – kind of like  an iron lung.

Another oddity are these 2  buildings hanging on the wall. I am guessing they are private pews and/or confessionals? Even Google didn’t know the answer to that question.

The  original building was built in the 13th century  but  obviously  it has been added on to over the years.

But  pipe organs  were simply  beautiful.

“The fact that there is a highway to hell and only  a stairway to heaven, says a lot about  the anticipated  traffic numbers'”

(Unknown author)


Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!



TRIP to the GROCERY STORE in Tallin, Estonia

Premium Mussels

May 24, 2019

WARNING – this posting may not be  for the faint of stomach……

A trip to the grocery store in another country is always an education.  Admittedly , I am a very finicky eater and even the sight of some foods can trigger my  sensitive gag reflex.  Add the visual of a see-thru package and now we  add future nightmares to the mix.  That being said……

just in case you need extra…..

Krill?  For your pet whale?

Cods have livers?  And people would really eat just their liver?

Baby Octopus?  If by chance you can  enlarge this photo, you may further understand the God given gag reflex and why it exits.  Just by looking in this package, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to eat this slimy  things.


Please notice the package does not even give a name to these  creatures, just visuals.  But if  you are looking for your favorite creature to eat, you can search for it in the see thru  packaging.

Last of all ,  these  are  chocolate bars and they were advertised as postcard  and/or souvenir  chocolate bars.

After googling the translation, the 1st  bar means “new times” (this is a Viking riding a motorcycle).

The 2nd bar I could find no translation but I believe the man is Stalin and the building in the middle  was built  for  Stalin

( in Riga, Latvia)  and nicknamed “the birthday cake”.

The 3rd  bar’s translation  means “middle ages”.

So I am guessing these chocolates are walking us a bit through history??  If anyone has something further to add for an explanation, please do!


Thanks for reading!

Hope you enjoyed!!





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