I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
May 16, 2009, Saturday, Mezerers Campground north to Plavinas, it is one strange/weird place. Perhaps, once upon a time, it “used to be” an entertainment/hotel/outdoor attraction for various sports; but today it is a falling apart…”used to be”. Bob didn’t feel safe here overnight, so we are glad to leave.
Salaspils, a concentration camp was our first stop. “Behind this gate, the earth groans”, reads the inscription on a large bunker. A very sobering place, from 1941 to ’44 an estimated 45,000 Jews from Riga and approximately 55,000 other people including Jews from Nazi occupied countries died here. Today is a Memorial Day and many families arrive with flowers and children…it is quite touching.
We continue our drive to Riga City Camping, within walking distance of Riga. The campground is filled with campers beginning a caravan into Russia then onto China, etc. etc. SIX MONTHS!! Save me a fate like this!! RV Tour
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Riga is the capital of Latvia so we walked across the suspension bridge into the Old Town of Riga. The weather has turned cool and windy, the Baltic Countries can be “hit or miss” and we
are changing into cold weather gear.
Our timing in Riga is great…it is Medieval/Folk History Day, or something. Young dancers in costume, dancing to music and song and surrounded by booths of traditional goodies, homemade articles, and people in costume walking around the plaza…all to entertain us!! Just lovely!
We find our way back “home” and use the Wifi to catch-up on communications and blogs.
May 17, 2009, Sunday, Riga City Camping, Latvia. With Wifi available we are using it this AM to catch up.
Riga, straddles the Daugava River with the Old Town resting on its eastern flank. The Old Town skyline is dominated by three steeples: St. Peter’s, Riga Dome Cathedral, and St. Jacob’s, and it is a maze of narrow medieval cobbled streets.
Today is a big marathon in Riga and many of the streets are closed to traffic. Weaving our way back to the Old Town; we stopped at the Town Hall Square, it is an impressive structure. After its destruction in WWII, it was rebuilt in the 1990’s. Both the Soviet and Nazi occupation of Latvia during the last 65 YEARS are chronicled in the chilling Museum of Occupation.
One can view agreements and documents that attest to the adversity and tragedies induced by totalitarian regimes in Latvia. Photographs and documents tell of the resistance to the occupation.
The Monument to Freedom was funded from the people’s donations , as a testimony to the Latvian people’s love of the Fatherland. Two guards stand at the foot of the monument.
Getting a bit hungry, we stopped at Lido’s restaurant/cafeteria. There were many choices of local Lativan foods, most of which are hearty meals to keep away the cold Baltic Wind.
First a church, then a planetarium, then a church, The Cathedral of the Birth Church, a Russian Byzantine style orthodox church built in 1884, a powerful structure.
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