Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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More museums Riga, Latvia, Friday, 21 June 2013 10:41am

It's Midsummer's Day, so there was a big market in the cathedral square in Riga. They were selling flower wreaths for women and oak wreaths for men, along with lots of food for the upcoming festival (sausages, cheese, honey) and plenty of souvenirish stuff as well. After a quick browse around, I left Tinny and crew to take care of the serious shopping and went into the cathedral itself to hear an organ concert. When it was completed in 1547, this organ was the largest in the world (though it's now only the second largest in Latvia). It was neat to hear a Bach fugue played on an organ so large, but I had hoped for more bass rumbling.

I wandered around a bit after leaving the cathedral, and met up with the gang again for lunch. Because it was supposed to be the hottest day of the year (30C! I guess that's hot for here), we decided to spend the early afternoon in museums. We started with the Decorative Arts Museum, where we saw a really neat special exhibition of textile work (mostly wall-hangings) by a Lithuanian artist named Aina Muze. My favorites were "Iceberg", "Dream Garden", and "Alien among Kin". There were also some great pieces in the permanent collection. I particularly enjoyed a set of repeated patterns of cranes by Julijs Madernieks.

Our next stop was the museum of Photography, which was mostly about the development of photography. They had a camera obscura and several early box cameras, and a number of daguerreotypes. There was also a display about Minox, a miniature camera that was developed in Latvia. There was an artistic exhibition as well, showing photos of empty amphitheaters, and an exhibition of stereograms.

We swung by the massive Central Market and did some sightseeing among the stalls selling fruits, vegetables, sausages, and fresh and smoked fish. I tried to visit a contemporary art gallery nearby, but there was construction going on around it, and I couldn't get in. Instead, I went up to the top of the church just across the square, St Peter's Lutheran. It has a huge spire that affords a very good view of the city.

It's hard to believe that it's almost 11pm.