Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vilani, Latvia - Day 2

Day 2 was spent mostly wandering about Vilani.  In the morning we went to A's grandmother's house, had some breakfast, syrniki with some strawberry jam, and then I went through some old photo albums with A.  I didn't see many smiling faces in the numerous wedding photos.  Perhaps it's a Russian thing. :)  Later in the morning A's mum's sister's family from Lithuania showed up as well.  Lunch conversation to me was all in Russian, which I don't speak many words of, but I could toast and so I did that.  Also I had some vodka that was 40% alcohol, it was a tiny amount, so I didn't get hung over. :P  But this was after lunch, which was served like tapas.  There was smoked fish, forest mushroom soup, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other food (will add as I remember!) with intermittent sessions of toasting.

3:58pm Walked around Vilani, and took photos.

The Malta river.  Look carefully and you can see bathing houses, that's where you have to walk to get a shower.  I can imagine that not being fun during winter.

The Malta river.  I took this photo on a bridge, which lies next to the hydroelectric power station which is privately owned.

To Malta (not the country). :)

28 July 1944, the day Vilani was liberated from Nazi occupation.

Grave of soldiers who died in Vilani fighting for freedom, the only thing worth dying for.  Half the population was wiped out during World War 2.  The monument in the background is a soviet monument to soviet soldiers.

We also walked into a book shop but there was nothing much there that I was interested in.  There was a shop that sold everything including Vilani souvenirs but they weren't really something that I would want to be displayed.

Taken at the bus terminal, which was just opposite the...

Church.  This is St Michael's church, I think.

Later in the afternoon we took a walk to the cemetery where A's grandfather lies buried.

Plum tree.

The life of living in Vilani is like the pace of a snail.

This is part of the cemetary, where bodies are taken and placed in coffins.

Trees in the cemetary.  Not too far from here is an abandoned Jewish cemetary as well.

5:35pm Bought some ice cream as it was really hot.  Unfortunately my ice cream was pretty rubbish, it hadn't been maintained at the right temperature so parts of it was ice.  Later we walked to another shop where I bought some berry and rye ice cream which was great, and a lemon and lime drink that tasted like mojito without alochol.  Oh I also bought something to water proof my shoes.  Walking to the shop along the way someone said "Ni hao" to me, haha.  It was a bunch of teenage girls.  They are probably thinking what on Earth is an Asian person doing in Vilani.  I get looks from almost everyone.

We walked to Lakstīgalu sala (island of nightingales) which is separated by a small bridge and took a short rest there.  There's an open air stage, and nothing much else.  Apparently every Saturday there's a party set up there for teenagers.

Open air stage on Lakstīgalu sala.

6:30pm or so we started walking back.  We took more photos.  Actually only I wanted to take photos with A. but then it turned into some family photo taking affair where everyone was taking photos.  Haha.  Dinner was late, around 9pm or so as I recall.  It was pelmeni, we also had dessert.  I brought the pineapple tarts and almond cookies from Singapore which I had brought back with me back in February but never eaten.  A's grandma likes the pineapple tarts, so they're well appreciated.

Here's a pumpkin in another part of the garden.

I think we left around 10pm, or shortly after dinner.  It was a quiet day.

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