Sunday, January 13, 2013

A quick stop in Latvia

On our back to Ukraine we had a stop over in Latvia. SAS was having a big sale and so our tickets to and from Riga were much cheaper than flying to Ukraine and then out of Latvia. Then I bought a separate ticket to Ukraine on Aerosvit a Ukrainian airline. When I got to Latvia I had an email from Aerosvit saying our flight to Ukraine was cancelled. After doing more research I found out that the airline declared bankruptcy the week before we were supposed to fly and started cancelling flights. So even though our flight was code shared with Air Baltic, Aerosvit didn't pay them for the ticket so we had to buy entirely new tickets to Ukraine! It's kind of a classic story about Ukraine and the plus side was we were able to stay in Latvia an extra day!

We stayed with my wonderful Latvian host parents Saiva and Andris.

Hot Balzams one of my favorite drinks!


Christmas markets in Old Town. Even though Latvia is a Lutheran country and they celebrate Christmas on December 25, about 30 percent of the people living in Latvia are Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian) so because of Orthodox Christmas and New Year they keep the markets running until after old New Year (January 14th). 

Another Christmas market in Esplanade. You can see a very skinny Santa in the background.

Of course it's Latvia and there is always some sort of folk singing and dancing. The Orthodox Cathedral is in the background.

A nice Christmas tree.

More Christmas markets in Doma Laukums....I love this country!

Me at my favorite place in Latvia the Brīvības piemineklis or Freedom Monument.
I couldn't believe my favorite store had come to my favorite country...I had to see it to believe it!

I also got to check on the progress of the new Latvian National Library named Gaismas Pils the Castle of Light taken from a Latvian folklore. I was hoping it would be open by the time I got to Latvia to do my dissertation research...they said sometime in 2013 so we will see!

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