Crazycrone (crazycrone) wrote,

More Riga Ramblings...

There is virtually NO TRAFFIC in Riga. The Old Town is almost totally pedestrianised. Even in the central shopping/office area, it's really not bad for a city. In the central park, no smoking is allowed, either. The air is noticeably fresh for an urban area.
When I finally trudged upon the Sun Museum, it was a bit of a let-down. There's a lot of boring 'science' stuff, including a wonky waxwork of Gallileo. Then, there are several rooms of arty crafty representations of the sun. Looks like someone's collection of solar souvenirs from places they'd travelled. That was all OK, if not thrilling.
The weird thing is, before you start, you have to sit in this room and paint a little plaster sun plaque of your choice, which dries while you're walking around, and you can take it home. There were a few other people ahead of me, there, but when I got back, there was only one sun left, and it wasn't mine! The guy very nicely offered to let me make another, but I opted to just keep the strange one that had been left 'for' me, green rays, etc. Think it was a kid's work. I quite like it.
On the last evening, I also discovered, right by the hotel, a branch of LIDO, and a lovely-looking bakery with huge seedy pretzels. (Drool) Unfortunately, I was, by this time, full of 'curd pudding', and pretzels usually need to be eaten straight away. Bah.
I was peeved about the National Art Museum and House of Blackheads (murals)  being closed for refurbishment, but in the old Stock Exchange is a very attractive modernisation, which is now an art museum. Loads of interesting stuff by artists I'd never heard of ,porcelains, and an exhibit of fascinating, haunting paintings by a couple of short-lived Symbolists:
Like I said, I visited about a dozen churches during my stay. Unfortunately, not many of them were very interesting. Even the RC ones were unusually  plain and dour. The beautiful Orthodox Cathedral was an exception, though,(Don't forget to cover your heads, gurlz-) . I was hovering curiously over the ornate sarcophagus of some saint, who lay wrapped in velvet, etc, when two priests came in and started chanting away, evidently paying tribute to him. I joined the dozen or so other babushkas who were in attendance, and the priests went on and on, finally distributing communion, etc. and departing. Memorable.
Just down the road is another Orthodox church, full of equally intriguing icons. I was moseying around gawping,when a choir, rehearsing, I thought, began to sing. How lovely, thought I, and then I saw an ancient flower-decked lady lying in her coffin...Gave me a turn, I can tell you. Things like that freak me out. The next church was St Gertrud's, another rather unfancy place. When the solo soprano let rip, I wasn't all that surprised that the next thing I saw was another corpse! This one, also a woman, looked worryingly young. An old man sat in mournful attendance. I departed.
Is Friday Funeral Day in Latvia?

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