Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Latvian Adoption | Shopping in Riga | Family Hope Love

When we began our Latvian adoption journey earlier this year, we found very few blogs about adopting from Latvia. I am hoping to write a series of posts that will be helpful to families who are in the process ? or who are considering ? adopting from Latvia. This is the first post in this series. To learn more about our Latvian adoption experience, click here.

Today was lovely. We spent the day wandering around Riga. Exploring a?city with?Mark -?with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in the other -?is the best. We wandered through Riga?s beautiful parks and the streets of Old Town. We fed ducks. We ate sushi for lunch and bought pastry at the historic Central Market as the sun was drifting low in the sky.

Welcome to Riga: can you believe this manhole cover is on the streets of Riga?

Before we traveled to Latvia, we did not know much about the country or what to expect. We read a little about what to shop for in Riga: amber jewelry, honey, wool socks. To be honest, that did not sound all that exciting. But actually exploring Riga is brilliant. Latvia is a small country situated on the Baltic Sea that shares a border with Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania. Latvia is across the Baltic Sea from Sweden. The culture is also influenced by Germany.

All of this means that Riga has a unique blend of old and new, traditional and modern. In the city you can shop for modern Scandinavian design?alongside?Soviet and Art Deco antiques. There are clothing shops from Eastern, Western and Northern Europe -?and quite a few stores that?sell?beautiful sweaters, dresses and coats crafted here in?Latvia.??The Latvian people take great pride in things made in Latvia ? from honey and apples produced in the countryside to wool handbags knit?and felted?right here in Riga. There is also a growing eco movement and many stores feature natural and organic products. The winter in Latvia is long, grey and cold. To balance this, the Latvian people love flowers and bright, colorful wooly accessories. The markets are full of handknit and woven hats, scarves, gloves and socks.

Bring together the modern, antique, crafty, organic and a love for things that are local and unique? Riga is great for shopping ? and not just for Amber jewelry. We did not expect such great shopping ? and we?re glad we will be back two Riga at least two more times this year.

If you are in the process of adopting from Latvia, I would plan to do a little shopping for things that will be meaninful to your family and adopted child! Enjoy the photos!

These handknit, wool bells hang outside Hobbywool, a delightful store in Riga

Latvian?s love flowers and wool felt. These felted wool flowers are designed to decroate your hate, scarf or coat.

Handknit mittens and arm warmers at Hobbywool


Cute wooly creatures in a wool covered chair. Notice a wooly trend?

Green wool felted slippers with white flower embellishment

Wooly bunny slippers. Latvians love wool and cute creatures.

Handmade, colorful ceramics

We fell in love with these huge soup laddles carved out of a single piece of wood

The markets around Riga are full of beautiful, simple dresses made out of linen and lace

Shops and markets in Riga are overflowing with brightly colored scarves and hats hand-knit in wool

One of the most unique things I?ve seen in Riga ? ?cable knit? ceramics

Another unique, modern ceramic

This store had an incredible selection of modern and vintage postcards

Seen outside a shop selling chickens ? poultry planters and a rooster pumpkin


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