New Year in Latvia

Fireworks at the River Dyna at New Year 2015/16

Latest turn of the year we stayed the city that once upon a time was Sweden's largest city, namely the current Latvian capital, Riga.
Riga's famous waterfront.
We found our home in the somewhat faded hotell Kolonna. Well, clean and neat it was, even WiFi, but darkish and somewhat cool in the rooms.

Entrance into Hotel Kolonna is through the little gate behind the car.
Located in a former monastery right in the heart of Riga's Old City, everything seemed close by. From the hotel you may stroll your way in one of five different directions.

The old City of Riga strikes a similarity to the Old City of Stockholm, across the Baltic Sea, but is larger and offers more of variety.

For instance, the Italian Restaurang Monterosso is a goody among all sorts of establishments.
Then again you have all the small and large cafés, bars, and pubs.

Staircases leading down to the il Patio-restaurant on Kaļķu iela 6.

Riga is a city of contrasts: new and old, prosperity and of poverty, all visible in it's streets.
Just outside the Old City is The Market.

Everything the people could not have in the time of the Socialist regime, they now have access to. And here, it's cheap to!

As everywhere else, unfortunately not all folks has a place in the Sunny Side of Life, but they are not to be seen within the confines of the Old City itself. At least, they are no foreigners having made parasitism their art and trade.

Then there are the other markets;
In spite decades of Socialistic Atheist propaganda and bans, there are still churches in the city, where the majority seem to be protestants, Roman-Catholics and (Russian-) Orthodox.
The Lutheran St. Peter's Church charges for entering. Out of princip I do not bye that concept. Here at New Year's night.

Roman-Catholic St. Jacob's church proved to have very limited hours open to the public.

The most magnificent of all the houses of prayers in the Latvian capital is with no dought the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. During the Communist regime it was turned into a Planetarium. Having regained it's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Latvian government handed over the site to it's lawfull owner, the Orthodox Church, and has been methodius restored to above it's former glory, as the Icons and the Murals have been resaturated in Canonical classic way, in accordance with the school of St. Andrei Rublev.

The Main Ikonostas 

The "Three Brothers"