From Lithuania to Latvia

Posted by on October 19, 2010 in travels | Comments Off on From Lithuania to Latvia

OK, a few more pics from my trip…

Our last day in Lithuania, we went to the Hill of Crosses – as our tour guide said, “Not much of a hill, but you can’t be disappointed in the crosses.”  The Hill has been a pilgrimage site for centuries, but it was regularly mowed down by the Soviets.  The current collection of crosses began forming in 1991 — visitors leave signs of their devotion, ranging from small plastic crosses to life-sized crucifixes.

Entering Latvia, we almost immediately stopped at Rundale Palace, a Rococo jewel box that was a summer retreat for Empress Anna and her consort Ernst Johan van Biron.  The palace was greatly damaged in 1919, but it has been steadily restored.  Not all of the work was finished, though.  Here’s a restorer, hard at work on a scaffold:

Our first full day in Riga, we had glorious autumn weather — a little cool, and very crisp.  We spent the morning, in part, viewing the Art Nouveau buildings for which the city is famous.  They provided a lot of photo ops:

Many of the buildings had stucco lions, griffins, and dragons.  I can’t imagine looking out my window at these designs every morning!  (Many of the buildings were restored to private ownership after Independence in 1991; those where people could not prove their ownership remain in State hands.)

Mindy, about halfway through recounting the trip 🙂