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Apparently, my retired dad is keeping quite busy taking care of some ugly newly hatched birdies - but my mom was getting very anxious to see if I am really enjoying my stay here in Latvia. So on Pentecost weekend (which incidentally is not a holiday in this nation of pagans) she jumped on a plane to spoil me with some Dutch presents and oodles and oodles of love.
Funny story about the gifts, by the way. My parents had ...
... and some ugly sofas that belong to somebody's dead grandmother. This living room opens into another living room, which opens into a third living room. Living rooms #2 and #3 are empty, except for some random stuff like a baby's crib, a sled and some boxes.
We continue to toilet #1 and bathroom #1, with a huuge (and I mean HUUGE) bath tub and a bidet. Then on to my room; something like 20 square meters, with a decorated ceiling, a chandelier and a window ...
... well as many musicians, playing anything from jazz to classical to blues to bluegrass. One of the things I love about July evenings here, is that it's still light out at 11 pm. We topped up our phones with the sim chips and contacted some friends & family to arrange getting together during the week. After a short nap, we went to the hotel's rooftop terrace for a nightcap. A beautiful view, with ...
9. Children's Memorial : At the edge of the presidential lawns, almost obscured by the tall buildings all around, is the beautiful stone figurine of a little girl. A plaque at the site reads 'Dedicated to children deported to Siberia 1941-1949'. The busy, time-bound traveler pauses for a moment to ponder here. A poignant memorial to lost childhood.
10. House of the Blackheads : Beautifully ornate, seemed almost like a fairytale house. Little does it point to ...
... side of the Riva.
Quickly back to Old Town, I head for the Occupation Museum of Latvia. It is here that I learn why nobody here smiles. This country has had a rough time of it.
The Russians, Soviets and Nazis have had their way, one way or another, with Latvia since before World War I. The Soviets occupied the country in 1940. On June 14, 1941, in advance of the Nazi invasion of this nation, The Soviets, deported 15,500 men, women, children ...