Saturday, May 28, 2011

Riga, Latvia on the Baltic Sea

We enjoyed a lovely trip to Riga, Latvia where we met with the Public Affairs directors for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Riga is a European city that reminded us of Stockholm with a variety of different European architectures. It is at the mouth of the Daugaua River as it opens to the Baltic Sea. With more than 700,000 people, it is the largets city in the Baltic countries. They speak Latvian with many who also speak Russian. Many also speak English and it seems to be used more as time as that is becoming the common language for the European Uniion, which. Their currency is LATs, but will eventually become the Euro.

Even though it was May, the Baltic Sea was quite inviting. There is a large Bay that enables the water to stay quite warm and less salty. We enjoyed walking on the beautiful sandy beaches.

During WWII, over 100,000 Jews were killed in a concentration camp on the outskirts of Riga. They now have a huge memorial park and museum to rememeber what took place.

We were treated to huge palaces built for royalty as summer palaces. They were gorgeous and the gruonds were spectacular. The lilacs were in full bloom and one did not want to leave the gardens tehy were so pretty.

Although small, Latvia was a very pleasant surprise on how modern it is, its beautiful and colorful architecture, how clean and upkept everything was, and what a great place to go as a tourist. We would go there in a heartbeat.

Our host was the Baltic Mission Public Affairs Director, Inara Jegina, who also runs a travel service. So we were well taken care of and saw lots of beautiful sites, including castles, restored palaces, new and renovated sity buildings and structures, and a gorgeous city. We even managed to obtain a Monopoly game in Latvian. Photos are of the city, the Russian palace built 200 years ago, a view of the old town.

Tom and Shauna


the Flammers said...

I am glad you were able to pick up the Monopoly game, we are keeping our eyes open for the Spanish/Korean version of Monopoly, when we find we'll let you know.

Natalie said...

I thought you guys were supposed to be working? That sounds more like fun.