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June 21st 2018
Published: June 30th 2018
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On the way today from Lithuania we visited the Hill of Crosses. One of those “if I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it” moments. The hill began as an alter for Pagan rituals worshipping nature but when Lithuania concerted to Christianity people started to bring crosses. It is a site where people met during periods of danger. People place crosses there for any special occasion such as births, deaths, marriage. During the Soviet occupation it became a symbol of Christian resistance and the crosses were repeatedly bulldozed and raw sewage was left on it a number of times but each time the locals cleaned it up and then the Soviets gave up.

Some wit had placed a special message for Harry and Meaghan’s marriage.

Crossed the border into Latvia and our next stop was the 18th century Baroque style Rundale Palace. After lunch in the restaurant we visited the rooms and gardens of the palace. It is known as the Little Latvian Versailles because of the opulent design and furnishings and the French style gardens.

In Riga every third building is in the Art Nouveau style or has some element of it. Eisenstein was a prominent architect of buildings with elaborate facades that often look like wedding cakes. There are numerous examples in the old town. A lovely city. Very cosmopolitan.

Our guide stayed with us today as we visited a Russian built luge/ bobsled training facility. We were able to climb to the top and walk over it. Very high and steep. We continued on to Guaga National Park which is called the Switzerland of Latvia.

sculpture park traditional lunch

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