Posts tagged Baltic

Letters from Latvia: Explore Riga with airBaltic!

My dear travellers, how are you doing today? 2nd of September is a special day for me because that day in my calendar is marked as the happiest day in year – my birthday. I have to admit when I was younger I was not a fan of that date because that was a time when was school going to start. I always thought I was biggest jinx in the world because I was born on that day! Obviously, It was destined because I was unplanned and I came into this world exactly two months before the expected date.

What is the life… On this day twenty-something years ago, one little mumbled baby called Marko came. It’s much easier nowadays, my generation was warlike when inflation reigned in hospitals they didn’t even know what an incubator was. The nurses and the doctor who took care of me gave me the nickname “Crumb” because I was a little heavier than a loaf of bread, today the weight has changed a little! 🙂

But let me get to the topic of today’s post. A few days ago I promised you a new story and that we will explore the pearl of the Baltic, the capital of Latvia – Riga. By the invitation of the Riga Tourism Board – Live Riga and the National Latvian Airline airBaltic, little Marko and his photographer visited the capital of Latvia.

Riga for sure has marked this summer in a special way for me because it was also my last collaboration to close the “summer season” on my blog. The largest metropolis in the Baltic, Riga perfectly blends a timeless tradition and a superb modern atmosphere. In its turbulent history of almost 800 years, everyone from the German knights to the Swedish kings and Soviet commissioners left their mark, and today the capital of Latvia is an exciting European metropolis at the crossroads of Eastern and Northern Europe.

This visit would not have been possible without the help of the National Latvian Airline AirBaltic, which was one of the main partners of this project. The Latvian airline Air Baltic Corporation (airBaltic) was founded in 1995. AirBaltic is a hybrid airline that takes all the best practices from the business of traditional online airlines and low cost carriers in Europe and the world. In 2008, airBaltic changed its operating model from a carrier to a point – a network airline, making Riga a hub between east and west. AirBaltic’s main priorities are – safety, accuracy and quality of service.

Currently airBaltic operates direct flights from all capitals of the Baltic States – Riga (Latvia), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Tallinn (Estonia). AirBaltic offers convenient flights connecting North Hub Riga to its airline partner networks covering Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and the Middle East. It was a great pleasure for me to work with an airline such as airBaltic and to feel all the benefits of their business class.

As a business class traveler, you will receive outstanding service. Priority boarding, welcome drink, seating with additional free seating for more privacy, gourmet meal with three course menu, unlimited non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, the latest printed media, as well as a quick priority exit upon the end of the flight.

Riga Airport is easy to navigate, because of its size and simplicity, trust me you will get out fast and head for exploring Riga. There are several ways of transportation to the center of Riga: by public transport – by bus or taxi. Since we had the transportation provided in advance, I can tell you the prices.

One-way bus fares cost € 1.15 if you buy in advance or at the vending machine or € 2 if you pay directly with the bus driver. When we talk about taxi services you have a Baltic Taxi and a special 15 euro one way fare, so if travel in the group of 3 or 4 people go you can split the cost.

The first thing I could see through the car window was the fact that Riga was a “green” city, on all sides there were green areas, squares, parks that were unusually arranged. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but Riga at very first sight brought a smile to my face. I knew this trip was going to be another beautiful adventure.

We settled into a hotel, freshened up a bit and were ready to go. Our Pullman Old Town Riga hotel was located in the heart of the old part of town. One thing I learned from traveling is that you should always start every city tour with a tour of the old town to get to know the city better. The old part of the city always has some special energy and that is what makes each city special, just like Skadarlija, the bohemian quarter gives Belgrade some note of the beauty where the cultural “creme de la creme” of high society gathered. I would love to write some basic information about the destination itself as I always do.

Riga is the capital of Latvia with a population of just over 600,000 inhabitants which is one third of the Latvian population. Being significantly larger than other cities in Latvia, Riga is also the largest city in Latvia. It is also the largest city in the three Baltic States and home to one tenth of the combined population of all three Baltic States. The city lies on the Gulf of Rome at the mouth of the Daugava River where it meets the Baltic Sea. Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former member of the Hanseatic League.

The historical center of Riga is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, known for its Art Nouveau – Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture. Riga was the European Capital of Culture during 2014, along with Umea in Sweden. Riga hosted the NATO Summit in 2006, the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, the 2006 Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship. An interesting fact is that almost one million tourists visit Riga every year!

There are more legends, theories about how the city got its name. One theory about the origin of the name Riga is that it is a corrupt borrowing that marks the Liv ring, and refers to an ancient natural harbor formed by the tributary of the Daugava River.

Another legend is that Riga owes its name to an already established role in trade between East and West. The English geographer Richard Hackluit in 1589 calls Rija a name, and the German historian Dionysius Fabricius confirmed the origin of Riga in 1610 from the word Rija. A third theory could be that Riga is named after Riege, the German name for the Riden River, a tributary of Daugava.

One theory is that the name Riga was introduced by Bishop Albert, the initiator of the baptism and conquest of the Livonian and Baltic peoples. He also presented an explanation of the name of the city as derived from the Latin word rigete (“irrigated”), which symbolizes “the irrigation of pagan souls by Christianity.”

The locals you see in the picture above in Riga are called the House of the Blackheads (Latvian: Melngalvju nams,) is a building located in the old part of town. The original building was built during the 14th century for the time of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, as a kind of association for the unmarried, shipowners and foreigners in Riga. The main works were made at the beginning of the 17th century, adding most of the mannerist decoration. The sculptures were made by August Volz’s workshop. The building was bombed by the Germans on June 28, 1941, and the remains were demolished by the Soviets in 1948. It was restored between 1996 and 1999 and what we have today to see is an identical replica of the original building.

Riga is an exceptional city and very organised. Besides being able to enjoy the beauty of the city and make beautiful pictures for your album, you can also do some nice shopping. In addition to the many interesting shops that have local and Baltic designers, there are plenty of outlet shops. In the heart of the city, there are at least 50 outlet shops that have different brands from street brands to some more luxurious, prestigious brands.

You should not hesitate, believe me I found such a beautiful turtleneck sweater and sweater from one brand I adore and I paid it only 35 euros, the full price would be much, much higher. That is my most sincere recommendation if you find yourself in this beautiful city.

The streets of the old town are paved with cobblestones, so it is very important to wear comfortable footwear. In the old part of Riga there are the most beautiful restaurants, museums and hotels. Most interesting to me were street musicians and artists who were entertaining the tourists. Riga is a city of culture and art, believe me in this city you have time for everything because the city is well organised and you can easily find everything that interests you.

You can see the church of St. Peter in the picture above. It is first mentioned in records from 1209. The church was built and went undamaged in a major city fire in Riga that year. The history of the church can be divided into three distinct periods: two related to the Gothic and Romanesque styles of construction, and the third to the early Baroque period. The middle part of the church was built in the 13th century, which covers the first period of construction. The only remnants of this period are found in the outer walls of the nave and on the inside of several columns in the winding, around which larger columns were later built.

During World War II, the church lost its status as an important cultural heritage – an impressive bronze candelabrum made in 1596 – which was taken by the Germans from Riga to the city of Vłocłavek and moved during the Heim ins Reich campaign to Poland. The candelabrum, called the standing lantern, was commissioned by Riga City Council from Riga Foundry Founder Hans Meyer. To give an idea of the order of size of this standing lantern it was about 3 m high and about 4 m wide.

After the war he was exhibited at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Assumption in the Vłocłavek Basilica. On March 1, 2012, this work of late Renaissance art returned to its home, as a result of an agreement on the repatriation of cultural property. An interesting fact is that the rooster statue that you can see at the top of the church weighs about 160 kg, and it’s made of gold.

Freedom Monument (Latvian: Brivibas piemineklis) is a monument honoring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence and sovereignty of Latvia. Built in 1935, 42 meters high in granite, travertine and copper, it often serves as a focal point for public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga. The sculptures and reliefs of the monument, divided into thirteen groups, depict Latvian culture and history.

The core of the monument consists of rectangular shapes that are arranged one on top of one another, decreasing in size towards the top, complemented by a 19-meter (62-meter) high travertine pole bearing a copper figure of freedom that raises three gilded stars. The concept of the monument was first publicly announced in the early 1920s, when the Latvian prime minister ordered the conceptual designs to be drawn up and a competition for the design of a “memorial column” opened. After several public competitions, the monument was finally built in the early 1930s under the scheme “Mirdzi ka zvaigzne!” The construction work was funded by private donations.

There were already German-language theaters in Riga, which also had opera and ballet. The first attempt to create the Latvian National Opera was in 1893, when the “Spoku stunda” by Jekabs Ozols (“The Hour of the Spirits”) was performed. The Latvian Opera and Ballet (Latviešu Opera) was founded in 1912 by Pavuls Jurjans, although almost immediately during the First World War, the opera group was evacuated to Russia. In 1918, the opera was restarted (Latvia Opera) led by Jazeps Vitols, founder of the Latvian Academy of Music. The debut performance, January 23, 1919, was Wagner’s “Der fliegende Hollander”.

Since 1944, after the occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union and its incorporation into the Soviet Union, the Latvian National Opera became the Latvian S.S.R. State Opera and Ballet Theater. In 1990, the theater was renamed the Latvian National Opera, but the building was closed almost immediately until 1995 for renovation. In honor of its reopening in 1995, the first opera was Uguns un nakts by Janis Medins (Fire and Night).

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our post. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Tourism Board of Riga – Live Riga and airBaltic for this incredible adventure and Pullman Old Town Riga Hotel for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this story about this gem of the Baltic? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Riga and to enjoy in the beauty of Latvia? I would like to share with me your experience! In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Riga. I will show you one art treasury, the biggest one in Latvia, so be ready! I am sure you will like it as I do. 🙂

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.


This post was sponsored by Riga Tourism Board – Live Riga and the national Latvian airline company airBaltic and Pullman Old Town Hotel Riga. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.

Fashionable and Stylish Fall in Tallinn

My dear fashionistas, how are you today? I hope you have used this weekend in the best possible way, even though weather conditions have not been favorable to us these days. Today I present to you a special fashion story from the capital of Estonia. I must admit that I have been thinking a lot today about the title of this post because Tallinn is itself an unusual city. A modern city that has some magical vibe of medieval times, where tradition and culture were at an enviable level. Other values were more valued, art was different, exalted, maybe even had its own cult, which today was visibly faded.

Tallinn is a city with a special energy. One day in early morning, we’re even finished on a cruise. From high dose of excitement I forgot about the umbrella, without telling you how many times I checked the weather forecast last night in Tallinn. Fortunately, when you have a photographer who has travelled almost the whole world, everything has to be in the backpack… In my backpack, there were only basic “survival kit” – a biscuit, a cap, a scarf and a couple of maps from Helsinki (for God sake I really do not understand why I carried with me maps of Helsinki in Tallinn, I will just say God, please help me!) That’s only I can take at 3 am in the morning, I’ll just tell you that I used only the biscuits from all these great stuff which I had in my “survival kit”! ?

We arrived early in the morning in Tallinn, I think it was about 7 am in the morning, I only know that there was no living soul on the street at that time. Well, on the one hand, this is great when you want to have a good photo shooting of fashion outfit for the post. On the other hand, I could not immediately feel the soul of the city, because as we all know the soul of every city, are inhabitants.

All right, it quickly went through that emptiness, as long as I have ended with my biscuit, I heard the first sound of female heels on the streets of Tallinn. I have always admired the women for their ability to maintain balance on heels and also to run on those high heels. What to say, well congratulations you are my heroes! Sometimes, barely I do not know to walk properly with normal flat sneakers on the ground!

Well, after watching a small street fashion show, three best friends go together to some serious business work, one could say that it was a more serious company, perhaps a law office, because all three were perfectly fiddled in toned suits with briefcases and modern bags… Maybe, they are some business women from a serious corporate business world, that we bloggers will never be able to understand.

It was all great, but my photographer was so disturbed by my bright orange turtleneck sweater which by his modest opinion did not fit in with this brown combination… It wasn’t that bad, the first thing – material was a bit thicker than my other beige turtleneck sweater which I planned to I carry with this outfit and the other thing is that I noticed that the facades in Tallinn are mostly bright beige, white colors and I did not want to be part of them! That’s why I combined together nicely and usefully, I did not become part of the Tallinn architecture, but I did not freeze, thanks god. You know, I am from those people who can easily get sick, and because of that I have 9,999 medications in my bag on all my journeys, because you never know what can make me “sick” in one of my adventures.

Luckily, the Main Office of the Tourist Board of Tallinn has opened, so we got some guidelines, how to use a few hours in Tallinn in the best possible way. In the picture above you can see little Marko, the man who “studied” hard the guide through Tallinn.


Coat: Burberry

Turtleneck sweater: Makia

Jeans: Pedro del Hierro

Sneakers: Sax

Camera: Sony Alpha 7r Mark II

This year, the Autumn have some completely different colors. In Finland and Estonia, everything is all about nature, so I had the opportunity to enjoy the magic of golden autumn because of the rich natural world in Nordic European countries. As I wrote in the previous post, fashion experts said that this season gold colour is in trend, so I can only notice that nature in Helsinki and in Tallinn as well, follows the latest fashion trends! ?

My dear fashionistas once again we have come to the end of this special fashion post from Tallinn. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure.

At the end of the post, I would like to thank the friendly staff from Aallonkotti Hotel Apartmentsthat made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home. The concept of hotel is to stay in apartments of different sizes. The size of apartments depends on your needs. The apartment in which we had the opportunity to stay was specially decorated by the well-known Finnish brand Marimekko, which besides its basic activity – making clothes has its own special line for home decoration.

How do you like this outfit? Have you ever visited Tallinn? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Tallinn? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!



This post is sponsored by Tourist Board of Tallinn – Visit Tallin, My HelsinkiAallonkoti Hotel Apartments, Marimekko company and others partners of My Helsinki organisation which kindly help this #MyHelsinkiResidence project. I will mention all of them in some of the next posts. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.

Postcard from Estonia: Tallinn, The Medieval Gem of the Baltic

Hi everyone, welcome to my new post! Today is the first day of November and I think that this is more than enough reason to continue our adventure in Northern Europe and thus start this November with a new travel story, you will also learn more about the capital city, one country of Baltic States – Tallinn.

Now I can officially welcome you to Estonia. Estonia is one of the three Baltic states located in the northeastern Europe. The term of the Baltic states stands for the three former Soviet Republics, now the independent republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This year is very important for Estonia, because this year represents 100 years of the Republic of Estonia.

It was one early morning in Helsinki, I’d better admit to you that we did not even get to sleep at all, because we were expecting cruising to Tallinn in the early hours of the morning. I decided that it would be better for me to get something sweet to bite a little and finish the editing of the pictures of Helsinki, so I did not have a hard time for those few hours without of sleep.

With the late night chit-chats, laugh, snacks and a lot of work, we were up in early morning hours, so we almost got late for the first morning tram which led us directly to the harbour, luckily we all arrived on time at the end! When we arrived at the port, I did not get the impression that I was in front of the harbour , but I thought I was at the airport. Modern, straight lines made of glass and metal, the main harbour in Helsinki at half past six in the morning was shining in its full shine like a diamond.

We have checked in at the counters of Tallink, which is one of the friends of this project #MyHelsinkiResidence and I am pleased that they have provided us their support and enabled the realization of this wonderful project.

Two hours of journey, how much this trip usually lasts between these two “siblings” cities for me was very exciting, first this is my first cruise and just at an entrance of the modern version of the Titanic I realized it will be amazing and unforgettable. The first thing we noticed on the map of the ship is that there is a mini shopping mall and a supermarket on the cruise. The photographer and I were surprised, so I even had to get my glasses to make sure I read it well.

Yes, it turned out that is true… Star, one of the first Tallink cruisers with shops and a supermarket… We could not wait for breakfast, but we immediately went to look for shops, just to be sure that is true. We missed breakfast, but I bought chocolate in supermarket! As I wrote a while ago, time passed and the little Marko arrived in Tallinn. We arrived so quickly on the main square and you can see on the photo above my first reaction and fascination with this medieval city in the modern 21st century!

Our first task was to find the office of the Tallin’s Tourist Board – Visit Tallinn to take over the special Tallinn cards that will help us to visit the sights and museums.

How to get to know Tallinn? Where to start your adventure? – These are questions that almost all tourists are thinking about!

When I want to meet and “feel” the city, I first find the marked sights on the map and select the one that, according to the description of the sight itself, can best “tell” the story of the city. Tallinn is an unusual city, the city’s core has some special energy, which radiates some values that were more appreciated in the Middle Ages, while the periphery is completely modern and urban. It’s amazing how a bus ride can be interesting! My warm recommendation is to start a tour of Tallinn with the Estonian History Museum, located in the very heart of the city.

Time travel can be very fun, who knows, maybe you will learn something new and interesting that you did not know before. The museum is divided into several parts, as a fashion blogger, I’m sure that you all immediately assumed that my the most favorite part was that historic fashion corner. In a special exhibition of clothing you can see how fashion has developed in Estonia from the past to the present modern history of this Baltic country.

I will just say that I am thrilled with fashion development in Estonia, I think you will learn a lot of things about culture and lifestyle of Estonian people. Their culture is magnificent, so please take your time and enjoy. I’m sure you will love it! You also have an interesting part of museum which is interactive and you can “write” your own Estonian history, I tried something, but as I had just few hours in Tallinn I just run to see more sights in Tallinn. Use your time wisely! 🙂

Do you know that the Estonia Spirit is still alive? No?! You must visit him in Estonian History Museum! He is so silly! I’m sure he will make you laugh. Try to chat with him, maybe he will some interesting answers for you, try… You really don’t have anything to lose. 🙂

You will not spend a lot of time in the Museum of Estonian History, but you will learn a lot of new information you did not know about Estonia. After the museum, I suggest you visit the Tallinn’s City Hall, which is the oldest Town Hall in the Baltic region. Because of its uniqueness, it is on the UNESCO list of protected cultural heritage as well as the Tallinn city’s center. If you want to know more about architecture in Tallinn, you absolutely need to read this story.

Walking in the main streets of Tallinn will tell you a special story, enjoy the beauty of the cobblestones and the music of street performers. Souvenir shops, Medieval themed restaurants are just a small piece of puzzle that makes this city so fabulous. Believe me, walking around in the centre of Tallinn is really wonderful, but unfortunately we did not have more time to enjoy in it! 🙁

As we walked through the streets, my photographer heard that many tourists ask the locals for the cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky, I was not lazy, so I tried to connect to the WiFi internet network of a nearby café and I realized that we should not miss this beauty. The church is located on a hill, initially you will have the impression that it is far away and that the approach of the church is difficult, but it is not. If you already decided to visit this lovely town, please make sure not to miss this spiritual beauty.

In the next post you will see my fashion combination which I was wearing during my visit to this city. I hope you enjoy in my fashion story, some of the most beautiful photos were made near this temple.

The photographer reminded me that we did not have much time left and that it was time to slowly return to the city so that we would not be late for the bus that directly drives us to the Tallinn’s harbour. I have to admit, the time has just flown and it was not easy for me to just forgive myself why I’m in Tallinn just one day…

As we slowly descended to the city centre, I do not know how, but at one point I noticed the ad with a picture of a beautiful royal orders of Knighthood. First I checked which time it was, the photographer just said: “No way! We’ll be late, you know how much we have to be before boarding, I repeat, there is no chance! “. It would not be me if I did not look at the ad again if I could use the Tallinn card to enter this museum, when I saw a little red sign with white letters written word – Tallinn, I knew it! It was meant to be!

I just took out the card from my backpack and headed towards the entrance to the Museum of Orders of Knighthood, the photographer was outraged… I thought he left me, but he appeared after 5 minutes with the words: “You have 20 minutes, not a minute more!”. For me it was moment of happiness just to see the Royal Orders, I always loved sparkle, things that glitter, and even if it was transparent plastic, I am fascinated by the sparkle! ?

The curator of the museum saw my love for shiny things and showed me with great pride the Royal Order of the highest degree during the rise of the Kingdom of Russia … I must admit that the Russians, apart from the Spanish and the Italians, had a sense of aesthetics… and for sparkle things as well! Diamonds…

The Curator proudly spoke about their special royal orders collection, which has about 700 original pieces. After a short story about the museum, the lady asked me where I from and when I mentioned the word “Serbia”, she took me to another room where she showed me the Order of St. Sava. I remembered my father’s story that this is the highest order in Serbia and that it was given only to extremely prominent people.

The photographer was around all the time and he did patient shooting of the photos, he was trying to be just a observer, but he showed me all the time with mimics how much time left… I do not like one day trips, I can not easily achieve everything… Of course, because of all glitter and shine of the orders and all those shiny diamonds I forgot on time, so I again “break through” the schedule of our trip and now it was really time to go back to Helsinki.

We were in hurry, so fast cardio last walk through the main streets of Tallinn we reached the station of the bus that took us to the harbour. This is the last picture I managed to make in that hurry, because all of those souvenirs made of wood were interesting to me, so I wanted to share it with you. If I had time, I might have bought a new cutting board, but almost because of the diamonds I stay in Tallinn without hotel! It would just be an adventure!

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this second special travel post from Northern Europe. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Finland and Italy as well.

This one-day trip in Tallinn was successfully completed, we entered in our Megastar and I secretly waved to Tallinn with the desire that we will see soon again! Tired but lucky Tallink Megastar cruiser took us “home” to Helsinki.

At the end of the post I would like to thank the kind staff of Star and Megastar Cruisers that made our journey pleasant on board, although I’m not a swimmer and I have a mild fear of water I felt very safe. If by any chance you decide to visit Helsinki, make sure you will take the opportunity to visit Tallinn, for more information about ships, departures and prices visit their website.

Also, if you are a museum lover and would like to visit a greater number of attractions in Tallinn, take advantage of the special Tallinn tourist card that you can buy at any information tourist center in Tallinn and this sales points. By purchasing a card you get the right to enter certain museums completely for free and for the duration of the card, depending on whether you are purchasing a Tallinn card for a period of 24, 48 or 72h, you have the right to use the transportation completely for free.

As an economist, I always look to save as much as possible; the card is worth paying if you take  only one entry into a museum and a ride by tram or bus, even if you visit two or three museums, or if you have some other landmark, you will understand the real savings that this card provides to you.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Tallinn? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Medieval Gem of Baltic? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!



This post is sponsored by Tallinn Tourist Board, Helsinki Tourist Board – My Helsinki, Visit Finland and other respected partners of project #MyHelsinkiResidence which I will mention in future posts. Also I would like to say thank you to Tallink for wonderful collaboration and for amazing opportunity to feel the beauty of travelling with their Star i Megastar cruisers.
For all these beautiful photos, I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II.