Thursday, 27 November 2008

Kolkhoz in Durbe

Among garbage in the abandoned kolkhoz in Durbe, West Latvia one can find the history of the town, for instance, the records of production and even local demographics.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Energetics and Lenin

In the Latvenergo's museum of energetics in Riga one can find a lot of household goods from the past, such as old fridges, irons or telephones. But surprisingly they also got many things about Lenin.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Monday, 24 November 2008

Skrunda 2

This place of abandoned apartment blocks and military barracks was a secret town called Skrunda Nr. 2 in Soviet Latvia, only people with permits could enter it. It is estimated that about 9000 soldiers with their familities lived in it. The secret town hosted two radars for listening to objects in space. The third radar which was not finished, would have been one of the most powerful of such radars in the whole Soviet Union. The 60 meter structure was destroyed by explosives in 1995. National TV telecasted the pompous show. It took another few years until the Russian forces left the town in late 1999, thus halting operation of the last Russian military facility in Latvia.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Friday, 21 November 2008

A house to switch tram tracks

The job of the woman in this small house is to switch tram tracks so that trams can either enter or leave the depot. Located on the busy Brīvības street in Rīga it caused traffic jams. Recently new tracks were built to divert trams into the depot without a need of a manual switch. It means this house can disappear any day soon.

Monday, 17 November 2008

More glass bottle recycling

A selection of a few more glass bottle recycling places in Rīga, Daugavpils and Liepāja.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The car cemetery

There's plenty car graveyards in Kosovo - after each kilometer or two along the highway should be at least one car cemetery.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The cemetery of cranes

In the outskirts of Minsk you can find the cemetery of old cranes. Instead of recycling them as scrap-metal, they have gathered dozens of these cranes in one place.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Sunday, 9 November 2008

RAF factory in 1978

In Soviet Latvia the factory RAF (Rīgas Autobusu fabrika) was producing a van under the brand name Latvija. The RAF vans were spread all over the Soviet Union and mainly used as ambulances, police and state organizations transport. After the collapse of the USSR the factory went bankrupt but for quite a while the vans were seen as routed taxicabs or so-called marshrutkas. Since private persons were not allowed to own one during the Soviet years, nowadays it's not that easy to spot the van in the streets of Latvia.
Photos from - Latinform , 1978

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Space race

This mural can be found on a primary school's wall in a small town Olaine, about 20 km from Riga. Murals, drawings, posters on space exploration played a significant role in the ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Photo by (c) Arnis Balcus

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The relict of the station

Even though the central railway station has experienced major renovation works in the past years (some people say now it's hard to find the station) for some reason this exit sign has escaped the replacing.
Photo by (c) Arnis Balcus

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Hard seats

It might sound unbelievable for the 21 century but in Latvia you can still find trains with hard wooden benches.
Photo by (c) Arnis Balcus

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Rail crossing warning signs

Social ads were quite popular in Soviet times, but have almost disappeared from today's Latvia. However, in Belarus you can still find a lot of them. At the train station in a small town Zaslavl near Minsk I found rail crossing danger warning ads in four different designs.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus