Tag Archive | picture post

Why I Heart Latvia

Brainstorm

This Latvian band I was a great fan of in my early teens. They also introduced me to the country and its language. A lot of other girls my age liked Brainstorm and Renars Kaupers. I remember being annoyed by one girl out in the yard singing their song. What’s she doing singing it?! This is MY favourite band. I even got their autographs and all the usual fangirl stuff. When I first heard their song”Under My Wing” in Latvian, I fell in love with the sound of the language.

Language

To me, it’s one of the most melodious languages in Europe. I love it’s soft L’s. University made it possible for me to learn a little as well. Not enough to hold a conversation, but the little I do know has proven quite useful when travelling in Latvia.

Ice cream

They actually make ice cream out of milk and cream in Latvia, not water and milk powder which head the ingredients lists here. The variety of flavours is greater too.

Cats

Latvians seem to love cats a lot more than Estonians.  The souvenirs of Riga feature a black cat from the roof top below, the Sigulda town centre is dominated by a chain that calls itself Cat’s House, including a cafe that serves a cake with a cat decoration on top. Or used to serve it anyhow. There’s a cat hostel in Riga’s old town, a cat feeding house in the town park, and one curious spot behind the opera house that I have started to call the Cat Park. There’s always cats there in that park. I don’t know why they are there, but they always are.

 

Cat hostel

Cat hostel

Flowers

Latvians also appear to love flowers more than we do. I love their Midsummer’s Eve tradition of wearing wreaths. I wish we had something like that still alive and it wasn’t just about making a fire and getting drunk. It was enchanting the first time I experienced it. They do get drunk too of course. Also, I have this quirky habit of smelling flowers while walking past them in the park. I don’t do it when I’m alone – that’d be too weird – but when there’s someone along, I tend to make a stop and smell a flower or two if they look promising.  Naturally, of all places, it should be in Latvia that I encountered the first and only person with a similar quirk. He too walked with his friend and stopped to smell the flowers in the park. It was heart-warming to spot a fellow-weirdo.

DSC02063

Sigulda

Beautiful views and nature. Valleys, hills, rivers, castles, manors, shortage of ugly houses – what more could one want. A main square perhaps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

And of course the plums! I got the best plums ever from one of the local supermarkets.

Cecis

I love the compact cute town centre. Sadly, lacking pictures of it. Never took any or deleted them, god knows, but lack is great.  Only found this castle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Kuldiga

Charming little town with beautiful nature around it. I wish I could go for long walks around there.

DSC02059

DSC02017

DSC02058

 

I could live in any of these three towns much rather than I live in my own.

 

 

Midsummer

I don’t live in the nicest area or the nicest house, but one great redeeming factor is the proximity of the forest and coastal meadows. Even if one day I will be living in a nicer house, in a prettier spot, it’s doubtful whether there’d be woods or seaside within such a short walking distance.

DSC01739

I’m glad I have these places to go to for walks. Most towns or districts don’t have a lot of pleasant wildness, with a low number of other people disturbing the enjoyment of nature.

DSC01744

I missed the forest and seaside a lot when I lived in a different town, totally inland, with no sea and even no forest groves at all. That town had only tiny pathetic parks you could walk through in 10 minutes. Provided you take it extra slow. To me, that’s no walk – a proper walk is 3 km or thereabouts.

DSC01735

Sometimes I don’t feel like walking quite so much, so I take a bike. And walk with it by my side when I change my mind.

DSC01618

 

DSC01623

DSC01720

My camera and photographic skills are not good enough to get a decent shareable image of the forest, but there really is one. It’s there behind the meadow.

 

Postcards

I don’t really collect anything. Not with any passion or particular devotion, but if I had to pick one item I borderline collect, it would be old postcards.

Postcard pile

My interest is not so much in any motif or period, though I have a disproportionate number of cat postcards, but in what is written at the back of the cards. In other words, I collect postcards with unusual, whimsical, clever or absurd writings at the back. A simple “Merry Christmas! Aunt X and Uncle Y” is not quite it. Sadly, cards with uncommon messages are hard to find, so I have a number of plain ones too.

 

cat

 

house

 

girls

And lastly, this absurd cat postcard where one cat seems to have half of her body missing.

kitties