Saturday, 21 August 2010


This is an old mural from the late 1980s found in a backyard on E.Melngaila street in Riga. It it dedicated for the union of cab drivers that existed in the Soviet Union times. You can even see "1948-1988" written there and it means the mural was made on the 50th birthday of the union. Look at the idea behind it - the mural links history (horse riding as the beginning) with the future - a quite futuristic car for the times on the far right side.
Photo by (c) Arnis Balcus

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Mangalsala's mole

That tiny line on the horizon in the first photo is a mole in Mangaļsala, which is on the right bank of Riga. That's the place where the river Daugava meets the Baltic sea. The mole that was built in 1850s, once a forbidden military territory, now is a popular spot for Latvians to bring their foreign friends as you can watch how ships enter the port or planes land and take off from the airport nearby. It is some sort of alternative to touristic Old town. And at the end of it you feel like you are in the sea as the mole is quite long - it's almost 1 km. There have been plans to turn the mole into an official touristic hot-spot with all the infrastructure but I am afraid it would just ruin this rural place.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Gulbene's station

Gulbene's railway station is quite a spectacular building - it was built in 1926. Today it serves as a final stop for the narrow-gauge railway network that lasts from Gulbene to Alūksne - about 30km trip on the small train takes 1,5 hours. It's the only such train in Latvia and it's not just for tourists - locals travel on it as it serves twice-per-day trains to Alūksne. Next to the station is an old railway depot that were used for usual trains as well, but since the state has left only twice-per-week trains to Riga, the depot is not functional and mainly serves as a storage for old cars and garbage. Back in the station there's a cafe and a canteen that issues food to poor and homeless people.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Old fire trucks

These are fire trucks found in a car repair service in Lielvārde, Latvia. I assume they still operate when needed.
Photo by (c) Arnis Balcus