the wall...between east and west

Yesterday I landed down in Berlin, Germany. I spent the day hanging out with one of Stephanie´s friends from Juneau, Woody. We went to a soccer match at Olympia stadium, West Berlin won of course! After bratworsts and more trains than I can remember...he took me to the wall.

I stood there in the -5 degree weather, freezing, but staring in amazement. Only a small section of the wall, maybe 2 miles in length remains, but it is enough to get an idea of what it was like. The wall is now covered in local artwork, with murals of Stalin and Hitler, children, and different people. The most interesting thing to me was standing at a hole in the wall looking through to the "West", being able to see it, but imagining the people not being able to get in...for almost 30 years it separated the East from the West, and the East could not get through.

Later that night we went to the movie Sophie Scholl, about an anti-nazi girl that stood up for what she believed and was killed for it during Hitler´s rule. It was by far the most interesting movie I´ve ever watched. What an interesting day.


The Unexpected Riga

kissin on the bridge
Originally uploaded by The Enforcer.
Germany, Switzerland, and France all in 5 days was the plan. It was a little busy, definitly stressful, but we were looking forward to it.
One missed flight later, Andrea, Peggy, and I were sitting on the floor of the Riga airport playing Blackjack, using the little bit of food we had left as our bets. Around 1:00am we finally walked into a "hotel" (more like a nice apartment flat)- I have never slept so well in my entire life!
We spent the weekend taking in Riga, Latvia. I knew this city from my missions trip two summers ago, so it was fun to see it again and to show it to the girls. We spent 4 nights @ Matejs Baptist Church (where I stayed 2 years ago). Sunday we went to the Matejs service. It was one of my favorite services--one of the coolest things to me is to see people worshipping God in other languages...cuz we can be singing the same song, but we're both worshipping the same God and he understands all of it! Woah, very cool. That night, I went to Anna (one the pastor's daughter's) apartment and hung out with her family for awhile and later we watched "White Chicks" (surprinsingly funny) with Andrea and Peggy.
Monday: Began with Ice skating in Old town. What a time! Andrea and Peggy, both California girls, hadn't been skating in awhile, so it was funny to watch them almost fall the whole time. I bet Peggy 2 Lats ($4 US) to hold some random kid's hand @ the rink--minus the parents we were the only people there over 14--I should have known better. She skated around for awhile, trying to find the "perfect" kid, and she almost gave up. We were laughing at her weak attempts, when suddenly she skated by with a 5 year old girl, proudly hitting me with a "you owe me 2 lats Jenny." I wound up holding the little girl's other hand and we skated around for awhile. Her mother was smiling/looking concerned on the side of the rink...we were all laughing the whole time. We of course couldn't say anything in Latvian, so we just smiled and waved at the mom! We had lunch and met up with Renalda--she was home for the weekend--and her two best friends @ Cili Pica. Peggy, ms. hypoglycemic ordered a milkshake and cheesecake...meaning she got very hyper and then hit a wall--What a thrill for Andrea and I ;) That night, my other friend Anna, took the three of us girls (Andrea, Peggy and I) out to Lido, The main traditional Latvian resturant. It's buffet style, so that was a quite the treat.
Tuesday: we all got pedicures, my first one ever--it was definitly nice--but I told the lady she was brave to work with feet. She just laughed. Then we went shopping, and to Pelmini, a Russian buffet style restaurant. In the evening, we went to a free choral concert in St. Peter's Cathedral...that was by far the most incredible time of the weekend. The voices echoing through the halls of the cathedral was unlike any other experience. That night, we had dessert @ an excellent Latvian chocolate shop where my friend Madara works and then we went down to the river to see Old Town from afar. It was the best ending to the weekend.


Kurpiai: Jazz kluba

Dovile & Gerda @ Kurpiai
Originally uploaded by The Enforcer.
Best jazz club in Klaipeda, especially Tuesday nights. The lead singer/trumpet player of the band is also a rep. for Klaipeda in parliment. The guy is so cool, and he sounds like Louis Armstrong. He knew Peggy and I were Amerian, so he'd yell things at us from the stage in English...it was funny.
And they made us dance-it really felt like we were in New Orleans. The place is so hoppin every night, you have to make reservations to get seats downstairs. By far my best club/bar experience in Lithuania.