#throwback to this day last year, at the covered Central market in Riga, a UNESCO world heritage site and also Europe’s largest bazaar. The market is made of 5 repurposed zeppelin hangars — there are only four more in the world — and was finished in 1930 at the same riverside site where an open produce market has existed since the mid 16th century. We loved it. We browsed through clothes, purses, a meat section, household stuff, flowers, a very meaty food court, cheeses, and much produce. We finally bought cherries and plums, but not much else, eventually finding a bistro in the style of a Polish “bar mleczny” with the most amazing rye bread and kotlety close by after working up quite an appetite.
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The 860ish year-old Dhakeshwari Temple whose goddess lends her name to the capital city of Bangladesh on the delta of some 700 estuaries. The temple architecture is, of course, not that old — it’s been torn down, rebuilt, repaired many hundred times but it’s famous for two things. (more…)
The Ahar cenotaphs. I learned the word “cenotaph” when I was 14. It means a “monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere” — a place holder for veneration, if you will.
I don’t think the folks who put together that dictionary ever dreamed of the way they’re done in Rajasthan, over acres and acres of land. The yellow stone Bada Bagh outside Jaisalmer might be the most famous, but near the old Pratap Nagar railway station in Udaipur is a huge tract of Chhatris in white.
Sadly, the grounds are unkempt and some structures are in disrepair (plus the caretaker is more than happy to take a bribe to break the posted rules.) Still, it’s serene and rather imposing in the early morning and I’m glad to have visited.
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#throwback to our trip to Vilnius and some fun things we did there. I loved this brilliant sculpture (top right) – an abstract portrait of 16th century Polish queen Barbara Radziwiłł, Grand Duchess of Lithuania – by Vladas Vildžiūnas, from 1979.
It’s on what translates as German Street and one side had to be completely rebuilt after the bombing in WWII.
I loved Vilnius more than I’d expected to. We’d planned only two days and 1 night here and we really lucked out. The location of our B&B was fabulous, the city was easy to navigate and I loved that the “old” town was a living city – I mean the university is smack in the middle of it (like Krakow) and it was teaming with students and locals, not just tourists like Riga or Tallinn old town were.
Plus there was Užupis, the cheeky artists’ republic with their lovely constitution that affords respect to cats and humans alike. On our first evening there in the square of the Cathedral, we saw dozens of hot air balloons go past. And I just adored the sculpture of Grand Duke Gediminas. (Of course, we also found the lucky star and did little turns while making a wish.) Later we walked up the Hill of Three Crosses in Kalnai Park – it was a good climb and the wooden path kept disappearing down corners, a little stairway to … well, toward heaven.
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