Last night we went to the Polo Grill, one of the speciality restaurants on board. There’s no extra charge – it is all included & as we did when we went to the French one, Jacques, the other night, we had a wonderful dinner. David started with giant shrimps, then we both had a tomato & red onion salad, followed by a freshly grilled whole lobster. It was delicious. My mouth waters again just thinking about it. For dessert David had crème bruleé which he raved about & I had three beautiful marshmallows – one in caramel sauce, one raspberry & one chocolate. All of the food on board is excellent but I think that was our favourite meal so far.
This morning we docked in Riga the capital of Latvia & we met Aleksandrs Feigmanis, Master of History & Doctor of Theology. He is the Jewish genealogist who researched the Edelman family for us & he was our guide for today. He was very interesting & a very pleasant man & he walked us all over the old town. It is a lovely warm (22°) day here in Riga today.
The old town of Riga is UNESCO world heritage protected & has some beautiful old buildings. The town began in 1201 & is bordered by the River Daugava on the west & encircled by a canal on the east.
We saw some beautiful examples of Art Nouveau architecture:
I had no time to be careful with my shots. Aleks was walking very quickly & I had to take them on the run. He told us some much interesting history about the houses – I should have taped him – no way we can remember it all.
We saw the Three Brothers, 3 houses in a row which illustrate the development of housing over the centuries from Medieval to Baroque. I think the first was built in 1642
The white one on the right is the oldest, then the yellow, then the green all about a century apart.
Of course many Jews here were killed during the Nazi years. I think there were 70,000 here before the war & now fewer than 5,000. Synagogues were burnt down. This is a memorial built on the site where the Nazis burnt down a Synagogue where they had the people trapped inside. There are flowers at the memorial because the anniversary of this was on 4th July & they had services.
David’s great grandfather was born somewhere near Riga around 1840 & came to Australia in 1888 with his two eldest sons, one of which was David’s grandfather. They lived in a small shetl (village). Aleks says we should return for at least three days & he will show us.
Would be nice but I don’t think we will make it!