Showing posts from June, 2021

On Our Way Back Home

Our luggage packed to go to Europe  More than four years ago, we packed up all these bags and started our adventure of life in Europe. Some of you may have followed allowed with me by reading these posts over the last four years.  I tried to share with you my experiences of how life is different living in Europe and our adventures in the many countries we've lived in and visited.  We've met so many wonderful people and seen so many amazing and beautiful things during these four years. These will be years that we will always remember and cherish.  View of Prague  It's hard for me to think that we started this adventure with our move to Prague in May 2017. Living without a car and adjusting to the European lifestyle filled our life that year. The beauty of Prague, filled with tourists, was a wonder to me, who hadn't lived in Europe before. Famous Russian Church By June 2018, we were on our way to St. Petersburg, Russia. That meant another adjustment to our lifestyle. My h

The Story behind Latvian Mittens

  Sample of Latvian mittens Latvia has a long tradition involving mittens. That's not surprising knowing that winters are so cold here. Everyone knitted mittens here in times past - granddads, grandmas, dad, mothers and children. What else did Dad have to do on long, dark winter evenings? Mittens are part of Latvia's culture.  Mittens at a farmer's market booth Mittens are especially part of the wedding culture. Brides-to-be had to have 100 or more pairs of mittens knitted for her wedding hope chest. She handed out mittens to her father-in-law, mother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, bridesmaids, cooks of the wedding supper, bakers and anyone else involved with planning the wedding.  Also included were the farm animals in the barn. Mittens were given to cows, sheep and horses. Of course, those mittens were gathered back up after the wedding celebration. I'm not sure if that tradition continues today.  Mittens from District of Kurzeme The interesting thing is that every c

The House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads

  House of Blackheads One of the most unique buildings in Riga is the one pictured on the left. It was built in 1334 in the Riga Town Square by the Brotherhood of Blackheads. This guild was founded as a military organization of unmarried merchants and foreigners (mostly Germans) who fought to protect their investments in Riga's early days. These Christian men had to defend themselves against the indigenous population who wanted to get rid of the foreigners who had settled in their territory.  Over the years, the Brotherhood of Blackheads slowly changed into a more commercial society with meetings that pertained to the trade and social standing in the community. When the members of the Brotherhood were married, they would then join the Great Guild in the city.  Statues decorate the building The facade of the House of Blackheads is very interesting with sculptures of Neptune, Mercury, Unity and Peace adorning the main portion of the building. The roof line is in a stepped pattern as