Riga 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 the Old Town, I stopped at a sidewalk cafe to try one. It was only mid-morning, but I knew I’d never pass this way again.
Woooeee! That will grow hair on the bottom of your feet! Very thick, lining your throat like cough syrup and extremely bitter. The alcohol content must be very high; a warm glow is an understatement. I tasted it again every time I swallowed. But, it grows on you.
Thought for the Day: When in Rome …
My 16 year old grandson set a new personal best a few weeks ago when he landed this large mouth bass. He was fishing with his friend at their secret fishing hole, an undisclosed location where we have a cabin.
The monster weighed 6.13 lbs, well beyond the minimum (5 lbs) required for a Nebraska Master Angler Award.
Thought for the Day: There are only two occasions when Americans respect privacy: prayer and fishing. Herbert Hoover
Often mistaken for Monarch Butterflies, the Painted Lady is a little smaller and not quite as vibrant.
The Boltonia bushes in our backyard were blanketed with Painted Lady butterflies this fall. Swarms of them were our guests for 2-3 weeks, which is amazing since their lifespan is not much longer than that.
We were blessed to witness the spectacular beauty of their brief life.
Thought for the Day: The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity. George Carlin
2018 World Cup Stadium
St. Petersburg’s new soccer stadium for the 2018 World Cup. Night shot taken from the cruise ship. Slightly different angle from the one taken from the highway bridge(click here).
Thought for the Day: I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. Vincent Van Gogh
Riga’s Left Bank
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 old town, which is considered a cultural center of the Baltic states.
There is really nothing of historical interest on the Left Bank, but the sleek suspension bridge and stainless steel sky scraper looked “photo-worthy”.
Thought for the Day: You will never get a second chance to make a first impression. Will Rogers