A Travellerspoint blog

Sausages Rule in Riga

rain 7 °C

On the edge of the old walled city of Riga is a pristine indoor food market of monumental proportions. Pork is the staple of the meat section with hundreds of stalls offering every inch of pig from the snout to the tail together with dozens of stalls laden with pork sausages of every size and shape. These sausages were truly elephantine...
Pork_sausage.jpg
Some of the fruit in the outdoor market were equally huge...
Fruit_market.jpg
But there is much more to Riga than food, (though it is plentiful and good), and its strong point is its architecture. It has a wealth of well preserved Germanic edifices from the 17th and 18 centuries ...
large_Germanic_buildings.jpg
This is the 14th century facade of The House of Blackheads – a guild of unmarried merchants...
House_of_Blackheads.jpg
And this is one of the many quaint alleyways...
Side_street_Riga.jpg
There is also an entire district of ornate art nouveau from the Roaring 20s...
large_Art_Nouveau_building.jpgArt_Nouveau.jpg
The burgeoning Baltic cruise industry has swamped Riga with boatloads of foreigners in recent years and English is de rigeur for anyone serving tourists. But fifty years of Soviet domination takes more than a couple of decades to dispel and many people still speak Russian.
English and American TV and movies are rarely dubbed into Latvian and young Latvians worship Bieber and Adele. However, Riga's excellently presented war museum inside the medieval fortifications, (the Powder Tower circa 1330), has almost no English explanations. The modern 14 screen cineplex however offers all the latest English language movies with both Russian and Latvian subtitles and we spent a pleasant evening avoiding the rain watching Meryl Streep's portrayal of Florence Foster-Jenkins.

Modern stores and upscale shopping malls abound in Riga and one innovative boutique sells all its fashions by weight...
Clothes_by_weight.jpg
While the hotel staff both in Tallinn and Riga are friendly and extremely helpful, the shop workers appear generally dour and disinterested. If only the weather would cheer up maybe the locals would have something to smile about. This enormous statue dedicated to the animals that lost their lives in the early days of soviet space exploration certainly made us smile...
large_Soviet_statue.jpg

Posted by Hawkson 05:47 Archived in Latvia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

I wonder if there will be statues of us in the future and what they would represent. The city looks very well preserved, the buildings look cared for. Outside of the tourist areas, what is Riga like.. Happy Thanksgiving. Will the turkey be pork?

by Susab Fitzwilson

We too are heading indoors to avoid the rain. Thanksgiving Tour this weekend and it is supposed to be less rain on Sunday and Monday....Most interesting architecture and the Polish in me does love a good sausage!
Gratitude is the word of the day. Happy Travels, amigos.

by Joyce

Our cisterns and wells are filling up nicely and the architecture and sausage of Riga reminds me of the intelligence of Eastern European people. The benefit of centuries of civilization and wisdom within our own first nations whom we could have listened to more instead of trying to destroy them through residential schools.

by Janet

Quite impressive bachelor digs for the Blackheads. Bugger for them to keep it clean though. What a feast for the eyes the architecture is. Love the variety. Interesting to see clothes sold be weight. Must make for challenging fashion decisions. Nice tribute to the apes of the planet. Keep an eye out for the statue of the poor dog who rode Sputnik.

by Tom Whalley

We two love sausages also. The streets are very lovely but I noticed that there were very few people on any of them. By the way, did all your fellow passengers join you in Riga?

by keithandhelen

I've heard of pickled pigs feet but I don't recall any snout or tail dishes. Presentation would be a challenge for the chef.

by R and B

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint