Black Balsam

A favorite drink of the Latvians is Riga Black Balsam.  The locals drink it to warm up their insides during the long winters, saying it brings on a "warm inner glow". Made in Riga since 1752, it is a liqueur made from 40 herbs, spices (cloves?) and a pine nuts.  During a walking tour of … Continue reading Black Balsam

Riga Harbor

If there is such a thing as a "blue collar" harbor, I would say Riga, Latvia would certainly fill the bill ... and possibly be the poster child. Latvia is a small country in Eastern Europe situated between Lithuania and Estonia on the Baltic Sea.  Basically flat, 98% of the country lies below 656' above … Continue reading Riga Harbor

Riga’s New Town

Latvia's capital city, Riga, lies on the banks of the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Daugava River. From this vantage point, Riga looks like an ultra modern city.  This is a view of the new town, called "The Left Bank" by the locals.  Out of the photo on the left lies the medieval … Continue reading Riga’s New Town