|This was just so glorious. A vending machine of ORANGES?! I love this country.|
|The entrance gate to the alley for Teddy Bear Hostel. It was deemed worthy of a picture because of the camel stained glass windows :)|
|Streets of Riga|
|Riga was very different from Tallinn - since Tallinn was much more touristy, it felt manicured and almost fake. In Riga, things were a lot more real. A lot of the buildings were older, under construction, or just in shambles.|
|I had to sing the rhyme about 3 times to myself to make sure this really was spelled wrong. It is.|
|The bridge across the river Daugava in Riga - at night, there are blue lights that outline the structures of the bridge, and it's beautiful when reflected on the water!|
|Statue commemorating the Latvian people taking their freedom back from the Soviets.|
|Who knew Latvia had an Eiffel tower, right?|
|It was a beautiful museum - a large portion was dedicated to the history of photography in Riga, but there was also a display titled "Territory of Broken Dreams". It was a compiled work of pictures of patients from mental hospitals in Russia - it was very touching, and beautifully presented. As I glimpsed the lives of these people, I noticed the song "When Someone Cares" coming to mind: "The blind could see, the lame man could walk away, and lives still change from night to day, when they know that someone cares... for with God, nothing is impossible" (song for free on the LDS website HERE)|
|I LOVE this about the Baltics - ivy grows everywhere!|
|Like I said - the buildings are older, kind of falling apart, but beautiful in their own rustic way.|
|We've been spoiled with a church building in Lithuania!! When we found the church on Sunday, it was part of a complex of offices - funny, despite where you are located for sacrament meeting, you can always feel the same spirit testifying of the truthfulness of this church :) (HERE)|
|The Latvian sign marking the chapel|
Supremely attractive Latvian policeman - "Do you girls drink beer"
(What? Do we drink beer? Are you trying to check if you need to add drunkenness to our list of cherry-pitting crimes?)
Us - "Um... No."
Supremely attractive Latvian policeman - "What? Why not?!"
(Thoroughly confused at this point. Did he want to ticket us for drunkenness? Was he trying to invite us to a bar? What the what?)
Us - "We just... don't."
Supremely attractive Latvian policeman - "Well, I really need a beer right now"
Us - "Okay... sorry?"
(At this point, Supremely attractive Latvian policeman frowns and walks away. We just laughed.)
|Areil, super-uber-duper excited to go into the art museum! No really. She loves it.|
|The outside of the art museum.|
|This museum was SO lovely. Everything was older aged, made of wood, and beautiful structured to hold the works of art on display there.|
|One of my favorite rooms of the displays - the paintings were so beautiful!|
|Riga's Freedom Monument, commemorating soldiers killed in the Latvian war for independence (HERE)|
|We eventually ended up wandering through this peaceful park by the river, enjoying the people around us, the lovebirds walking around, and the sunshine.|
|And we also found ANOTHER Lock of Love Bridge!! This one put the one in Lithuania to shame though - literally, every piece of metal available had a lock clicked on it.|
|You almost can't even see the metal of the bridge itself!|
|A creeper picture of a couple, appreciating their fellow lovebirds handiwork.|
|I LOVED this park! It made me want to stay in Riga longer, just so I could come back to it again later. Such a peaceful place.|
|One of the "Three Brothers" - three buildings next to each other that are the oldest buildings in Riga. Each represents various periods of building construction - this is the oldest building.|
|Musicians of Bremen monument - the animals from this Brothers Grimm fairytale are said to be built in such a way that they look directly with contempt at the iron curtain.|
|That night, we went a got SUSHI!! Though I wasn't too adventurous, I still loved it!|