Wed, Jun 9 (Day 16): A Day in Riga

We tour this city in the shadow of the 14th century castle of the Livonian knights with a local guide. We visit St. John’s Church and the Dom Cathedral dating back to the 13th century, and see the State Art Museum. Riga has long been one of the most thriving cities on the Baltic – within the extensive old town are narrow medieval streets, Gothic and Baroque churches, 19th century municipal buildings and Hanseatic warehouses, which we will see on the walking section of our sightseeing tour, as well as the Tris Braili where we may admire the medieval architecture. Later, there’s free time to explore before we enjoy a Highlight Dinner of local specialties in a restaurant tonight. (Buffet breakfast / Highlight dinner)

We did a city tour of Riga and enjoyed the building architecture and street life. This stone marked the first New Year's Tree celebration for the city, which occurred in 1510. This year is the 500 year anniversary of this event. Yes, Riga is old. Many of the buildings were founded in the 13th century.
This is an ornate building, rebuilt after the original was destroyed.
At the top is this clock. Look closely, because along with the time it tells the months, moon phases and astrological signs.
This statue of a dragon slaying sits on one of the towers.
This is a gift from the city of Bremmen, which shows the Bremmem Musicians (four animals from the Brothers Grimm).
This "Black Magic" elixer from Riga, sold here since 1752, is supposed to heal all infirmities and afflictions.
Linda liked the dolls at this shop. We will probably return here this evening and make a purchase.
This residences are called the three brothers. The were built in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries (left to right) and show the architecture of their time.
This is a statue of a cow. I thought it would good to post this picture in tribute to my mother, who grew up on a farm in Idaho and has so many enjoyable memories playing with the cows :)
Riga has several large river and park areas.
Here are some street musicians. They started playing "America, the Beautiful" as our group walked by. You can guess why.
This is the statue of freedom, erected in the 1930s. Our local guide ironically says that the three stars stand for the three Baltic states that were occupied against their will by Germany and the USSR for many years.
This afternoon, we visited the "Ethnographic Open-air Museum," which has collected 121 ancient buildings and 3000 household objects from small towns around Latvia. It is visited by 100,000 each year. The remaining pictures for this day are from this museum.
This man is a local craftsman. Click here to see him operate a wheel toy he builds and sells.
He also builds tops and other toys. Click here to see him operate a wood lathe to shape a top. Though I didn't get a good angle of his feet, note that he is manually pumping the lathe.
This is a church building.
This is a residence.
Inside the home, there were a number of articles. This thing turns around and around on a pole. It was used to "occupy" a small child, who would simply turn circle after circle when placed in the hoop.
This is a baby cradle. The long wooden arm, when pulled and released, bounces the baby.
This is a loom.
This lady, when prompted by our local guide, sang a traditional song in their language. Click here to hear her sing part of the song.
This is a sled.
This is a hearse.
This teepee is where they would cook food in the summer, when it would be too hot to cook in the home.
This is a pig pen.
This is a beehive.
This is a windmill. Yes, these early settlers came from the Netherlands.
This area has many marsh lands. While it provides a very green landscape, it also provides a lot of mosquitos.