Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Latvia - Baltic trip part I

Hi everyone,

I’m still here!
To make my life easier, I will write this blog in English…
In this way all my Brazilian, Italian, Spanish and maybe Finnish friends will be able to read it.
Well, let me tell you, in few lines, I hope, my last ‘adventures’ in North Europe.
I traveled for 10 days in 3 countries: Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
The first destination was Riga, the Latvian capital, famous here in Italy for the beautiful women J and I have to confess that this is truth!
Ok, my woman friends don’t need to worry about, I will not write my experiences in this matterJ.
Riga is a very interesting city, there’s a kind of mix from buildings from middle age and the 1900’s.
The first thing that impressed me was the orthodox cathedral, because I’ve never been inside a church with this style. It’s very different, not just for the format (is not a cross, like the major part of the occidental churches), but also for how people pray, that curve themselves many times pointed to the central part of the church.
Of course, there are many icons in the church and in almost all of them the presence of St George and the dragon.
Another different thing for me was the Lutheran churches, very simple with the pulpit at the center.
I’ve noticed also that the city is very well organized and clean. It seems that there is not a great poverty, you don’t see people asking for money in the streets.
I think that the art-noveau buildings are a ‘trademark’ of the city, is very interesting to see the statues in these constructions.
The market was very interesting also, mainly for the different fishes and caviar!!
The Saint Peter cathedral with its very high tower was very nice, the sightseeing from its top was very important to give us an idea from the city.
In the second day we went to Sigulda, a little city near Riga, where there’s a natural park and a castle ruins also. Interesting how all of this area was dominated for many knights orders in the middle age. You could see references of Livonian, Teutonic and Sword orders. For those friends that know me well, for me was fantastic! J
We did also a little walking nearby and we found a nice and old Lutheran church. When we entered I have a surprise, there was a monk with a face similar to Martin Luther.
Although the weather was not very good we could see a little bit of the Latvian nature: nothing extraordinary, but interesting.
An impressive thing was near the new castle of Sigulda, there was a typical wooden house with some statues inside. The house was closed, but those statues were visible from the windows. The bad weather made that the scene seemed very strange, something like ghosts in the house were looking us.   
In the third day a good surprise in the city was the ethnographic museum, which shows how the Latvian countryside is. The museum is out of doors in a big area, the houses are transported from the original sites to there.
In the same day we left Riga to to Parnu, a city in Estonia, to be continued in the next blog….


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