Archive for the 'Latvia' Category
This picture shows an abandoned house building project, yet this is a car related post. I was making this panorama in Grobina one Saturday night about 10 pm. The picture consists of 8 separate exposures. I noticed a small dog coming down the walkway. With the main road behind my back I started taking the consecutive exposures from left towards right, avoiding the dog to be caught in any, except in the the very last one. Immediately after that last exposure the poor dog walked straight into the road and was hit badly by a car which escaped the scene. The dog cried loud lying on its side, apparently not being able to lift himself up. I attempted to help him off the road but before I reached him, he suddenly managed to pull up and limped across the road and vanished into a house’s garden. Assuming he might belong to the house all I could do was leave a note of what happened.
Last summer in Kapsede I made a test drive with Maira’s cousin’s beutiful green Žiguli. The car simply beat me. I could not start the engine, I could not keep the engine running, I did not manage to shift gears, I hardly had the power for turning the car around in the courtyard. A sudden setback for my secret dream of having one as our summer car in Latvia! I was confused, as my first car long ago was a Žiguli (in Finland they are named Lada) and I remember it being quite comfortable actually.
Normunds, the cousin, is very cool about vehicles. He is the kind of person who can overhaul a caterpillar in an instant, spread all the parts in the grass, come back next month and reassemble the monster tractor without difficulties—of course without any repair manual. The same goes with any other machine. As I stopped the car, Normunds, with an understanding smile on his face, uttered in a smooth tone: It is a bit different, isn’t it?
Well, I may not return to the same dream again. Ironic enough, I had just found in our bookshelf these old Žiguli manuals, thinking that they might be useful. Until… But the pictures are nice to look at.
So, the skiing holiday was ruined by a badass flu. What else can I do than publish a picture from exactly one year ago.
Ladies and Gentlemen: the only non payable good slope in Riga or its vicinity.
The Liepaja–Ventspils narrow gauge railroad had been out of operation already for decades. In 2011 the wooden rail sleepers from Kapsede region were removed. Being hazardous waste, EU support was granted for shipping them to Sweden for safe processing.
Peculiarly around Christmas and New Year the air of Kapsede had a constant odor of creosote fumes. It turned out that mounds of rail sleepers had been driven to the communal heating house: the local school was being heated by burning carsinogens.
A newspaper page peeks from under a layer of wall paper, telling of the 1991 events in Riga.
Some three years after Soviet Union collapsed most of the large block houses of Liepaja’s Karosta (the military harbour) became deserted. Gradually all usable material was removed leaving just rubble and remains of wall covering.
Skede is by the sea about seven kilometres from Kapsede. We drove there on the windy Saturday to see the waves and to fly the kite. After seven consecutive loops the kite plunged behind the drying pine trees on the dune. This made me think of our drive to Skede two years earlier. As we stopped the car its kilometre reading was 77777, as if the car prompted that dunes a bit further south were the scene for the largest massacre in Liepaja during the Nazi occupation of 1941-45. During those years Liepaja’s Jewish population was practically annihilated.
In attempts to deal with this grim chapter of history, no less than three memorials have been erected in Skede. First, in the 1960′s appeared an obelisk which explains how “more than 19000 Liepaja citizens were murdered by Hitlerist attackers”. Contrary to the text, most of the killers apparently were Latvians. The larger text “Forever remembering the Soviet patriots!” is not on par with the site’s connection to the Holocaust.
In 2005 was built another, monumental arrangement in the shape of a seven-branched candelabrum, which is dedicated to the perished Jewish community.
Due to its dimensions this monument is difficult to photograph. Peculiar enough, still at the time of this writing you won’t see it on satellite maps — instead an empty field only.
The following year a third, modestly proportioned memorial stone was placed to balance the other two. It recognizes all the thousands who perished here, including Jews and war prisoners or people who helped them, and the ones who resisted the occupiers.
Oddly the site shares a foul-smelling entry route with Liepaja’s waste-water treatment plant — which you can see on satellite maps. Due to its dimensions this faculty also is difficult to photograph and I won’t even try to.
Moves proudly presents the Unofficial Saturated Kapsede Postcard. Featuring the beloved Dancing Ash Tree on the left: