Latvia

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Where is Latvia?

Its flag:

Latvia

General data

Area: 64 597 km².
Population: 2,165,165 (est 2014) to 67.7% urbanized.
Capital: Riga.
Density: 35 hab./km².
Life expectancy: 73.5 years (10 years between men and women!).
Religion: Lutheran (25% of the population) and Catholic (25% of the population).
Currency: the euro (since 1 January 2014).
Language: Latvian.
Political system: parliamentary democracy.
Head of State (President of the Republic) Andris Berzins (since July 2011).
Lag: 1 h.
Unesco World Heritage sites: the historic center of Riga (1997); the Struve Geodetic Arc (2005).

Economy

When, in 1991, the country regained its independence, the production system, based on industry collapses.

It will take five years, reforms and drastic economic policy for the country to lift his head.

The 1996 figures are more optimistic. In 1998, imports become too expensive: the sudden national productions take off, and drive the economy. Foreign investment flows.

The shadow economy, corruption and the constant increase in inequality nevertheless continue to pose problems.

The country was very hard hit by the financial and economic crisis since late 2008. The government obtained a international assistance.

The outlook is better since 2011. Latvia has recorded in 2012 one of the highest rates of growth in the European Union.

1 January 2014, the country entered the euro zone and the single currency (and replaced Lot which was introduced in 1993).

Kitchen

The local culinary habits are strongly influenced by GermanyWith as few Russian and Polish keys.
The dishes are often accompanied by good soft rye bread (rupjmaize).

Hors d'oeuvres

: Borrowed from Russian neighbors,pīrāgi (Turnovers filled with vegetables or bacon) and pelmeņi(A kind of ravioli), as blinis (pankūkas), With ham, cheese or "red caviar" (salmon roe).

The fish pickled or smoked are very tender.

The soups (zupas)

The «salads»., Dripping with mayonnaise.

The entrees

Latvian is an eater of meatAnd especially pork, often cooked cutlet breaded in German (karbonāde) Or in the Caucasian Šašlik, Skewers over a wood fire. The chicken (Putnu gaļas) Smoked beef (liellopu gaļas) Onions. The roast goose, stuffed with plums and apples.

Side fish : Salmon (lasis), Trout (forele), Sturgeon (store), carpe (Karpas), Eel, etc.

Geography

The country has common border with Lithuania south and the Estonia to the North.
The country gently undulating foothills in 98% of the country does not exceed 200 meters. The highest point, the Gaizinkalns, reached just 311 m altitude.Les marshes and bogs still occupy nearly 10% of the territory, forests 44%, especially on the coast, north of the Spit. Wild strawberries are harvested there, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries, mushrooms ... Elsewhere, wood alternate with flooded fields of flowers in summer.

Weak chemical treatments promotes the development of nature, attracting a large number of species of birds, especially storks. It is estimated that about half of the country has preserved its original ecosystems.

Climate and weather

Near the coast, the influence of the Baltic Sea softens the climate: not too cold in winter (- 4 ° C in January) nor too hot in summer (16.5 ° C in July).

In the interior, the climate is harsh: up to -20 ° C in winter to + 30 ° C in summer.

Whatever the season, humidity is waiting for you: it can rain a straight week in summer ...

Language

Near the Lithuanian, Latvian, like him, old Indo-European strain (Non Slavic). Later, he was influenced by German, language teaching from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century.

Language quite difficult at first, Latvian has seven cases of variations, the long and short vowels, no item and order very relative word. The alphabet has 33 letters, without q, w, x or y, but with many variations of accents. Long vowels are full letters, and forgetting a focus can change the meaning of the word ...

Latvian is now the only official language, although Russian is still widely practiced.

Thank you The backpacker !