Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dum dum diga diga, Riga nahi dekha to kuchh nahi dekha

Dum dum diga diga, Riga nahi dekha to kuchh nahi dekha.

Located on Daugava river, populated by 0.8 million people, Riga, the singing and dancing capital city of Letvia is the Paris of Northern Europe. People love singing and dancing like us. There are two days in June, when whole city and country sing and dance with joy.

It has great ancient history of architecture and culture. Before independence, it was ruled by Germans, Polish, Sweden and Russians. The spectacular buildings carry the architecture of Germans, Sweden, Russians and Letvian. The freedom street was named Lenin street and Adolf Hitler street in past describe occupation and autocracy of Russian and German empires.

Letvia has ancient history and aryan connections as its language has many Samskrit words. Letvian language is part of Indo-European language group. The capital city Riga may be carrying name from Rigveda.

In 12th century as part of crusade, a Bishop crucified them to Christianity. Before that they were worshipping Gods and Godesses the way we do. Majority people are luthrans protestants. There are Russians, Jews and jipsees. They live in poor colonies of Riga east. Russians are orthodox follow Catholic.

Shuttle buses and trams are major mode of transport.

Town hall square and Freedom monument are the major tourist spots. One can see museum, churches, freedom monument, opera, railway station, central market, ferry terminal, parks and gardens, iron bridge over river Daugava, new building of American library, etc.

People are friendly. Baggers and pick pocketers do exist. The restorants serve tasty food and drinks at reasonable price.

It was a fast track tour to Riga today. We started at 7.30 AM from Tallinn and reach Riga at 12.30 PM after a short break at inter country border at Kantinn. As the driver could drive only for 12 hours and if there is break of 3 hrs can further drive 2 hrs, we had a chance to see the city in 4 hrs. We took Riga Sightseeing bus paying 10 euro/head, has one hour tour with English commentary; walked around the streets and enjoyed the trip. We missed cruise ride and train travel to a nearby old town.

It was a full feel of European city, joyful in the company of our driver Thomas, who narrated us many stories of independence struggle of these countries. Europe is still divided on religion. The protestants and orthodox don't match each other. The world war II grouping of countries was also on same line. The small countries departed from Soviet Union are hoping support if European Union and USA to maintain their independence against the reunion pressure of Russia. They do worry.

If get a chance, miss everything but don't miss visiting the Singing and Dancing city Riga, the Paris of Northern Europe.

Riga, 24 August 2014

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