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 Latvia

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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
Posts : 104

PostSubject: Latvia   Sat 1 May 2010 - 13:47

Latvia

Here is some basic info about the country I live in to start with something:

Flag:

Ethnic groups:
59.4% Latvians
27.6% Russians
3.6% Belarusians
2.5% Ukrainians
6.9% others [1]

Capital and largest city: Riga
Spoiler:
 

Republic of Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia, to the south by Lithuania, to the east by the Russian Federation, and to the southeast by Belarus.Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden. The territory of Latvia covers 64,589 km2 and it has a temperate seasonal climate.

Latvian language has many similarities with Lithuanian, but not with the Estonian language.Today the Latvian and Lithuanian languages are the only surviving members of the Baltic languages of the Indo-European family.
With a population of 2.24 million Latvia is one of the least-populous members of the European Union, and its population has declined since 1991.

In the global financial crisis of 2008–2010 Latvia was the hardest hit of the European Union member states.Per Capita its GDP is only 57.3% of the EU average, making it one of the poorest member-states.

Latvia has about 50% of it's people living in Riga and the rest spread out over a country that take about 8 hours to drive across from West to East.

Historically, the city of Riga was founded around the year 1201. However, the land area which is now Latvia was a major trade route by the Vikings from Norway traveling to Russia and Central Europe dating back several thousands of years.
German crusaders were sent into Latvia to convert the pagan population by force of arms.
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Here are my own thoughts(which can be subjective):


I live in Riga, the capital of Latvia.Riga is very beautiful city, especially it's old part.
And I really love my city with all it's pluses and minuses.



However I think it is very strange, that most of my co-citizens don't really know much about other parts of Latvia.

We have many beautiful beaches and untouched forests.
The best beach is in Jurmala, but I prefer to go to a wilder beaches because Jurmala can gather big crowd sometimes...
Spoiler:
 


I have a summer cottage 70 km from Riga, located in a small village surrounded by forests.
I really like to spend time there because I can rest from all the city noise and rush.
There is a little town Sigulda near my cottage and it has many old and unique architecture like this:
Spoiler:
 

Sigulda is especially beautiful in autumn.Some people call Sigulda "our Latvian Switzerland"

Spoiler:
 

And I guess it is truth... :)
Spoiler:
 


The history of Latvia is a very difficult and controversial topic.

Latvia has been occupied by Russians, Germans and some others many times.But what appears strange to me, is that Latvian people are mainly angry only about Russians.Back in the Soviet times few thousands of Latvians were violently sent to Siberia to camps and never came back.But in the literature and history books there are pretty much descriptions of violent behavior of Germans before Russians, but somehow Latvians don't want to remember that.
Even today when our country is independent for 20 years, Russia is portrayed in pro-Latvian media like a dangerous enemy.
Latvia spends a lot of money for the army, despite bad economic situation.Government and media try to convince people that it is for protection from Russia, but what they forget to say, is that if Russian army wanted to come here, it would destroy whole Latvia in 15 minutes literally even with all Latvian spendings on the army.
This huge amount of money would be really useful for ordinary people because a lot of them cant even get a job.
So it appears very laughable to me how some Latvians react about Russia and Russians.They still cant forget the ghosts of the past and it is their main excuse of not moving forward.They see everywhere the hand of Moscow.And they always do what USA asks them.However when we have any difficulties USA don't give a shit about us.
I really hope, that old generations will be gone and new young people will look in the future and not in the past.Because past slows down progress.

Nowadays Latvia is very attractive for foreign men because we have a lot of beautiful women who are really easy to catch because most of girls think that foreign man have tons of money.This tendency makes me really sad.
That's why many British are doing their parties in Riga and we hate them a lot because they act like animals here far from their homeland.

I guess I missed something but this is enough for the start.

If you have any questions, I would be really happy to answer them.
Thanks for your attention. in love
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molkoqueen
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Age : 32
Location : germany
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sat 1 May 2010 - 14:11

wow! awesomly written.
thank you for all those information, that gives me a new and different but good view of latvia.

it's very impressiv how much ppl know about their own county.

i love old cities!
the pics are beautiful.

espacially the last 2, .. they look like a painting ♥️
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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
Posts : 104

PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sat 1 May 2010 - 14:24

molkoqueen, Thanks! heart

I'm proud that you found my writing interesting.
Latvia is small country, so it's easy to remember all the major towns and places.
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AshJ
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Age : 26
Location : Lyon (France)
Posts : 480

PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sun 2 May 2010 - 0:28

Thanks a lot for what you did Lonelynx flower
it's really interesting, and as molkoqueen said well written so easy and nice to read.
Now i even more wanna come to visit Latvia, i didn't know there was such beautiful landscapes, cause the ones i was told about were more cityscapes and stuff like that you know. It's great to learn more about this small country that is very unknown from here (in France) i think.
it's a shame how some latvians think about russians, and past and stuff. But i think, looking to what they've suffered during the sovietic occupation, it's somehow forgivable, don't you think ? (i'm just talking from things i've learned, and i was told at school, so i'm really asking for your point of view). I think you can't go on if you stay stuck in the past, you're totally right ! but it's also by accepting this past and yet keeping it (i mean knowing what happen and especially not ever forget) that the new generation will be able to start new relationship with Russia maybe. And i'm sure this will be build, time will do its work as always (see the example of Germany and France !)

Concerning the money spent on army, i think all of our countries have this problem at some points. Well it might be more of a problem for small countries because i think as you said, that there are more important ways to spend state money. Again i'm gonna play the pro Europe x) sorry but i think an european defense system would be really helpful for the whole Europe, and especially for small countries, thus they would no longuer have so much to spend on army.

Anyway i'm really really looking forward to coming to visit Latvia, and i hope i'll be able somedays soon, for the landscapes but also your culture, both seem really fasinating

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songbird
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Location : Munich, Germany
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sun 2 May 2010 - 14:05

Very very interesting post, lonelynx - thanks for that!!
The pictures really look great, I didn't know that Latvia has such beautiful beaches, shame on me... (I've spent all my holidays far far away in the last couple of years and I really have to travel Europe - we live in such a beautiful and diversified continent!)
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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
Posts : 104

PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Thu 6 May 2010 - 6:57

Emotional-Retard, Yes, it's somehow forgivable for Latvian politics and big bunch of people to have some negativity towards to Russia, because of Soviet occupation.It's totally understandable.
But it kind of starting to get silly when they are trying to get some money from Russia for things that technically did another regime and even another country.And they forget that Russia suffered because of deportations too.So if one day Russia will pay to Latvia for what USSR did , then logically Russia must also pay to itself.And it makes no real sense.

And the main problem here is that many russians live in Latvia.And this things dont really let different people to live together happily in one country.So after 20 years politics and others could understand that such attitude doesnt change anything, only making everything worse.But still they try to distract ordinary people from real problems by this.And because of this it's only harder for one part of population to live with other part so close.
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tetepion
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Age : 28
Location : France
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Thu 6 May 2010 - 10:39

Many thank you for this summary to your country
to tell the truth, I do not know anything Latvia
aah these landscapes are beautiful.
In any case, your country and mine is something in common,
spend money for nothing ^ ^

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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
Posts : 104

PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sat 22 May 2010 - 13:07

songbird wrote:
Very very interesting post, lonelynx - thanks for that!!
The pictures really look great, I didn't know that Latvia has such beautiful beaches, shame on me... (I've spent all my holidays far far away in the last couple of years and I really have to travel Europe - we live in such a beautiful and diversified continent!)
Thanks for nice comment! flower

Sometimes I feel really strange, because I know that there are so many places in my own country which is small
( that's why easy to explore ) and I didn't even know about those places.

I even planned a bicycle trip across Latvia on my own, but this is only my fantasies because I'm short on cash now. cool
But still I hope someday I will do it.

And yes, we have very attractive beaches.But the minus that sometimes the water is pretty cold even in the summer.
This is the disadvantage of living in a northern country. roll eyes
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AshJ
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Thu 13 Jan 2011 - 13:54

I might be going to Riga in february, but only for 3 days, so i won't have time to visit other parts of Latvia, and yet i'm already really excited to see that city :)
well, i'll know tomorrow if i'm really going or not :) (waiting for my friends to know, and then buy the plane tickets)
that would be pretty cool to meet you Lonelynx, but i don't know if you're back on the net, so don't know if you'll be able to read that ^^

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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
Posts : 104

PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Thu 13 Jan 2011 - 21:01

Hello, Emotional-Retard!

I'm back on the net. hi
I will definetely post some cool pictures from my 4-month long voyage in the next few days.

It's nice to hear that you are going to visit Riga! I'm surprised in a good way! grin
Yeah, it would be awesome to meet another Expatriate fan in my home city, so you and your friends are always welcome!
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AshJ
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sat 15 Jan 2011 - 17:47

aaah good to see you're back in here Lonelynx !
hope your trip was great ! and hope to read and see about it :)
and yeah that would be cool to have a drink in Riga ! i'm sure i'm coming now, i have my tickets ;)

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Lonelynx
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sat 15 Jan 2011 - 22:23

Wow, that's great!
What are the dates? smoking
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AshJ
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Sun 16 Jan 2011 - 19:47

from the 20th of february to the 23rd :)
more on mp (or fb), i'm trying not to run the topic off topic :p
can't wait to see Riga, it seems so beautiful !
what would you advice me to see ? (as i only have 3 days) i've seen so much beautiful things on the internet...
My hotel will be in the old town, which looks precious !

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AshJ
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Thu 24 Feb 2011 - 12:53

So I'm back from Riga and i'm just impressed by the preciousness of this city ! I was there only for 4 days, but i was really a way to forget my day to day life as Riga is so different from what i'm used to see in France, or even in Western Europe. The architecture is really interesting, and there are many different things to see, i think it might be one of the must-see cities in Europe if you're interested in architecture.
It was really cold, but it was really sunny so weather was really making the city beautiful. I also went for a day to Bauska, a small town one hour away by bus from Riga, and more in the land. Now i just wish i'll be able to go back to Latvia one day to see more of it, cause landscapes seem really beautiful and to see it with green and not all white ;)
Plus it was really nice meeting you Vlad ;) thanks again

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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
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PostSubject: Re: Latvia   Fri 25 Mar 2011 - 22:22

Julie, I was very happy to meet you and Margot.
It was a really nice chance to practice my English, thanks for that opportunity! flower

Hope to see you again, maybe this time in France.))
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