Latvia: Christmas Market

This small Baltic state squeezes Art Nouveau architecture, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Riga's old centre and and sticky black balsam into its eastern European borders. It is home to a vast array of animals and birds including lesser spotted eagles, otters, beaver, deer, wild boar, elk, red fox, lynx, wolves and 7,000 breeds of stork!

🙂 Christmas Market.

🙁 Expensive. Mafia.

Currency: Latvian Lat

THREE things we did not know about Latvia:

  1. Riga Black Balsam can be consumed after a good meal or mixed in cocktails. Especially popular in warm drinks, made of Balsam and coffee or hot blackberry juice. You can make a layered cocktail with Black Balsam and peach juice or mix it with cranberry juice for the taste of autumn. The ingredients that contribute to the complex and versatile flavour of Riga Black Balsam include common roots and herbs such as Valerian, Wormwood, Black Pepper, and Ginger, as well as rare ingredients such as Gentian and Peruvian Balsamic Oil.
  2. It is one of the last corners of Europe to join Christendom, Latvians are still very much pagans at heart. They worship nature by jumping over bonfires at Midsummer Eve, and many surnames reflect birds, animals or trees.
  3. Riga’s central market is one of Europe’s biggest markets. It is famed for its pavilions housed in giant zeppelin hangars left behind by the German army after World War I.

e arrived at our hotel to find it was overrun by Russian Mafia having aChristmas party – there were Bentleys everywhere and ladies dripping in jewels… we managed to escape so that we could explore outside. The Christmas market takes place in the picturesque Old Town of Riga, mainly on Livu Square, Dome Square and Town Hall Square. The Christmas Market begins on the first Sunday of Advent with the traditional lighting of Riga’s Christmas tree, and continues throughout the Russian Orthodox Christmas in January. It is very picturesque.

The Christmas market yielded some unusual items – and was very expensive!

We enjoyed a traditional dinner in our hotel.

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