Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dinner and a concert

Friday evening the Gublers, Sister Humphrey and I went to dinner--at McDonalds in Olde Towne Riga. I had planned to go someplace else, but got away late from the office.
The McDonalds is very much larger than at home (and no play area for kids). It was packed, mostly with teenagers. We had to wait in line to order but the young girl understood and spoke enough English for us to do so.
I don't know that I will go to McDonalds again--it never has been my favorite place and Friday's dinner didn't change my mind. On our way to the concert, we passed the Cat House (if you look closely at the very top of the roof, you will see a large sculpted cat. There are more on other peaks. It's not a "cat house" of the same kind as in the States, but it is called the Cat House because of the cats on the roof and other locations on the building.
We then walked to the large Guilde Hall. I didn't get a picture of it, but the one that looks like a castle above, is the small Guilde Hall. The large one is to the right, kind of behind the small one.

The large Guilde Hall was perhaps a Church at some point--at least the beautiful windows inside reminded me of a church. The hall was beautiful and the seats unique. Very straight backs, but cushioned backs and seats. The were comfortable--not too deep or tall for my short legs, and lots of room for those who might have longer legs.
We were in the 2nd row on one side. The concert lasted one hour and was called Karls Orfs Carmina Burana. There was a full orchestra, a large choir and a male and a female soloists. All were very good. The conductor was fun to watch--very animated and almost like he was pulling the music out of the instruments and choir. The concert hall probably holds a few hundred people and it was packed. I would have taken pictures but it wasn't allowed. We had to walk up 4 flights of stairs to get to the hall. There didn't seem to be an elevator anywhere.
The concert was, of course, in Latvian, but the music transcended the language barrier. It was a very enjoyable concert.

Before arriving at McDonalds, we passed a bridge where couples leave padlocks with their names engraved (or scratched) on them. I guess they leave the padlocks on this bridge but on some of the other bridges, they remove them.
The other picture is in Olde Towne next to the small Guilde Hall. They look like store fronts on a movie set, but they are real. Very picturesque.

1 comment:

js said...

What is the significance of the padlock? That would seem more ominous than romantic to me!!