Thursday’s Special: Restoration (Guest Challenge by Restless Jo)

This time on Thursday’s Special Challenge the ‘lady of the manor’ is a fellow blogger – the one and only Restless Jo. She inspires us to think of a restored property that we would like to share, or maybe one that’s in need of love and attention, so…this is what came to my mind…

All my life I have had (and always will have) a “special relationship” with Kuldīga – a town in western Latvia therefore I decided to make this post a little about it. For the first time Kuldīga was mentioned in 1242. In the 17th century it was one of the capitals of the Duchy of Courland, and today the town is proudly called “the pearl of Kurzeme” (Courland). One of the main symbols of Kuldīga for many years has been the old masonry arch bridge across the river Venta.

bridge_before_restor

The red brick bridge was built in 1874, and it was done, according to the 19th century standards – 500 feet long and 26 feet wide, for two carriages to pass each other. It consisted of seven spans of brick vaults, and during the World War I two of the spans were blown up (you can see them renovated in much more pale colour also in the photo above).

bridge_blownupImage courtesy: the archives of Google

The bridge was renovated in 2009-2010, and to this day, being 164m long, it is the third longest brick bridge in Europe.

bridge_after_restor

bridge_after_restor_close

Be inspired and inspire!
More about Paula and her Thursday’s Special Challenge here:

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Carpe Diem Haiku *Ghost*

* * *
tear stained cheeks
tumbling through nightmares
haunted by ghosts of past

* * *

Many moons ago one of my favourite movies use to be “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. When I saw today’s prompt on Carpe Diem, the famous “Pottery wheel scene” from the movie came to my mind.

* * *
unchained melody
slipping through hands at potter’ s wheel
memories from “Ghost”

* * *

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Līgo Haibun Challenge: Remember To Forget

haibun_siberia

This week there are two prompts for the Līgo Haibun Challenge: Siberia or South America. Since all the way through January I have been writing haibun for Carpe Diem Haiku journey across the Soviet Union, the word I have chosen couldn’ t be different…

He never talked about it. At first because it was a secret to be kept – a personal secret, a seal of shame. The one you want to keep only to yourself, trying to avoid from spreading like some disease also on the ones you love. With time it became trendy to talk about the past and reveal everything but he still preferred not to. He didn’ t want people to glance at him with that look, that mute “I am so sorry!” in their eyes. He didn’ t need neither their sympathy, nor their promises about how history will never be forgotten. He didn’ t need to tell to remember.

After returning he never took a train again. Not even once. Maybe because he would still flinch in sleep, almost feeling the odor of human fear in a stuffed cattle freight wagon. Or freeze from the clickety-clack sound of the railroad…it reminded him of that word. The one he had avoided mentioning for so long. S…i…b..e…r…i..a. And then there was winter. Yes, he couldn’ t…he just never could fall in love with it again. White stopped to be the colour of innocence and hope for him many years ago. It was the colour of bitter cold and silent forests where his own thoughts were louder than axes and saws. Anger was white. And dispair. Hope could be only green, the colour of the first burgeons because it meant he had survived. Survived yet another winter. And after everything else had gone numb, hope was the only thing he had left. Hope to return. Not to return and to tell, just simply to return.

year’ s coldest day
behind the locked door
memories survive

PS: Shortly before, during and immediately after World War II, Stalin (de facto leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953) conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million were deported to Siberia. By some estimates up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition.

Līgo Haibun Challenge

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Memories

My challenge is my passion – a photo you have taken and a quote, attributed to its author, and of course related to your image. Every week on Sunday I will post a new prompt. 

I want to thank my fellow bloggers who have already become a part of this challenge. I am sorry I have fallen behind with my comments. I enjoyed every single one of your entries, just with the load of work right now I haven’ t been able properly to leave footprints of my impressions on your posts. 

Everyone’ s welcome to join! All you have to do is:

– create a post of your own with the title Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Memories;
– include a link to this post also for others to find you.

Let your ideas flow and enjoy!  Ese

Prompt 17 – MEMORIES

Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. /Corrie Ten Boom/  So, I travelled back through the years to my favourite places…yes, maybe looking back to be able to keep looking forward…

mem_Pamporovo1

Though I really feel at home in Burgas, Bulgaria, being up in the Rhodope mountains always takes my breath away

mem_firenze

My bella Firenze, bella Italia…even on a grey winter day

mem_ocean

Being near the ocean is always an adventure – usually rather unpredictable one, like up there – in Porto, Portugal

mem_home

And then there’ s always the road to where it all began – Kuldīga, Latvia

mem_childhood

Many moons ago…already/still/again happy!

What crosses your mind when you walk down the memory lane?