June 22, 2013 - Riga, Latvia

We're welcomed to Riga with the Latvian flag, which is the same as the 'Do Not Enter' street sign in most European countries.

Cute church.

My girls stop to check out a old wagon in an alley.

I love eastern Europe architecture.

Main town square.

Had to climb on it!

Today is St. John's Day aka midsummer night's eve. It is a big deal in the Baltic countries, so many places are closed today (or open late).
But it is still fun to walk around and see take it all in.

Some guy was rejected by the local mason group. So, he made his own club, built his own hall, and adorned it with cats, pointing their backsides at the mason hall. (He was later sued and forced to turn the cats.)

Not sure why that big head is here, but Ella likes it.

Cute local girl.

This is a famous clock in Riga. We later find its namesake chocolate store and stop a treat.

This is their Freedom Statue.
The local custom is to put flowers at its base.
When this was behind the iron curtain, the communists left the statue, but arrested anyone who approached it.

She always wants a picture in the cutouts.
This little area has cute shops setup for today's festival.
Branches adorn the shops as well as the doorways of homes and businesses in honor of midsummer night's eve.

The orthodox churches are so unique.

No idea. He just looks cool.

The group poses on a bridge as we walk through a park back towards the boat.

The bridge railings have been decorated by tourists and Latvians with locks of various shapes and sizes.

Ella finally warms up to Paul.
(It is fairly short-lived.)

The Three Brothers - the oldest houses in Riga - date back to the 1600s.

Near the waterfront, a stage is setup for what looks like a great concert.

We say goodbye to mom, Ella, Juli, and Aunt Caroline, before going back out for lunch.

This looks like a great restaurant.
We eat here, but skip the Ls 7.30 dish.

Very quaint inside.

Plate o' meat... pork knuckles, chicken, beef, and blood sausages.
The bowl on the left is Latvian kraut, which is soft, sweet, and has chunks of pork in it. Awesome.
Looks like Paul's hungry.

Jill regrets her decision to get some local wine.

Back to the boat.
Tomorrow is Tallinn!