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Monday, April 09, 2007

Latvia: Paris of the East

I spent this week in Lativa with Mark Rodgers (from exchange in Copenhagen), his Latvian mate Ravis and Antonia (Australian) from The Hague. Ravis showed us an amazing time. We spent three days in the capital Riga and the rest of our time in the country side.
Latvia is a country that is booming. Shopping centres, buildings and skyscrapers are springing up everywhere, and there's a real sense that people are revelling in their ability to pursue individual wealth. In our short time we managed to see an old soviet prison, go kayaking, check out the Riga nightlife, smoke a turkish water pipe, have a Latvian Sauna as well as check out the local markets, which were housed in an old German Zepellin hanger. It's an amazing country. If you ever get the chance, go there!
Old man in front of Cafe.

The Monument of Freedom is Latvia's prize possession and has been a rallying point for all Latvians whilst under control of the Germans and Soviets. Two guards stand completely still in front of the monument at all times.
The Turkish water pipe, or "Hooka" (a word that needs to be carefully pronounced when ordering in Riga, the capital of English Bucks party weekends).
Me, Ravis, Antonia and Marky. Latvia for Life.

The Societ Prison, where political prisoners were held and Marky being dominated by the guard. Prisoners were walked around like this to prevent them getting away.

Poignant tourist photos. Barbed wire album cover and guard tower frollicks.

Marky and I escaping from jail.
Marky, Ravis and I in front of a magnificant Russian Orthodox church, which was situated in the middle of the poorest region we visited.
Lativian beaches.
Flying Pender.
These were some of the buildings that surrounded the Russian Orthodox church, deserted, delapidated and quite frankly, unsafe.

Marky and I in front of deserted soviet era buildings. They were originally constructed for the army, but with the army having left, they have been left to disintegrate.
Album cover no. 2.
Latvian Ladies catching up on gossip after doing their shopping.
We drove past this strange collection of dolls in the middle of no where. Bit of a where's wally special.

The sun sets on Latvia.

1 comment:

Christelle said...

I like the pic of you on the white brick wall.. with the letters.. neat :)