Coats of Arms in Latvia and Estonia: A Valiant Defender of Treasure

On the battlefields of medieval times, when Knights in Europe were heavily clothed in metal suits of armour and closed helmets, some sort of quick visual identification was needed during battle. As a matter of survival, the Knights needed to wear marks or symbols on the arms of their armour. Some of these symbols were also embroidered on the arms of the Knight’s surcoats, long and flowing garments that were worn over their armour. Hence, “coats of arms.” Historically, some form of coats of arms used for military purposes can be dated back to early man, including Greek and African Continue Reading →

Latvian Fire Fighting Museum: Stop, Drop and Roll

Curious about fire engines and fire hoses and fire alarm devices? Interested in fire fighting services and fire fighting equipment and techniques? Want to learn about some causes of fires, or educate yourself on fire safety? Want to know about the history of fire fighting? And how about all this when you travel to the country of Latvia? Then next time you are in Riga, please visit The Latvian Fire Fighting Museum. Located in a fire station built around 1911, using an Art Nouveau architectural style, this “quirky” museum presents history and objects of fire fighting in Latvia. From 1912 Continue Reading →

Facts and History of Porcelain in Riga, Latvia

Located in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s city-center is one of the most elegant “quirky” museums that I have walked into during my travels. With more than 6000 faience (earthenware decorated with opaque colored glazes) and porcelain articles, The Riga Porcelain Museum is a definite must-see if you are ever in this city. This museum contains the largest collection of local industrially manufactured porcelain, with objects dating back to the mid-19th century through the end of the 20th century. Displayed are a mix of some pieces that have been mass-produced, while others are one-of-a-kind works of art. The porcelain in Continue Reading →

Cioccolato, Chocolat, Schokolade of Europe

I’m a chocoholic. I’ll admit it. If I could eat chocolate with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I would. I’ve loved chocolate for as long as I can remember. Italian and Greek chocolates These days, I actually prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate. Tastes better to me, and apparently has some health benefits. Strangely, though, I’m not a fan of white chocolate. Icelandic and New Zealand chocolates I like certain combinations of chocolate…chocolate with banana, chocolate with raspberry. My ultimate favorite combo is chocolate with peanut butter! Finnish and Latvian chocolates Not only do I indulge in chocolate regularly at home, Continue Reading →