I had the pleasure to present at the conference “Challenges for the new Cohesion Policy 2014-2010” in Riga, February 4-6, organized by the Regional Studies Association, Latvian EU Presidency and the University of Latvia. The conference was very inspiring and outstandingly well-organized. It started with a visit to OlainFarm, a successful Latvian pharmaceutical company, which has benefited from EU structural investment into its R&D capacity and exports as far as to Peru and Indonesia. The next two days were packed with presentations, and, as an RSA representative joked, this was one of the unique conferences where policymakers not only make an opening speech, but also stay throughout and even present.
My friend, Israeli writer and public intellectual Yuval Ben-Ami set off to see what it is like to re-examine his country′s main tourist attractions with a critical native eye (all posts here), and I decided to virtually follow his path (all posts here). In my blog posts I share my memories on what it was like visiting those places as an expat in Israel. This is how Yuval describes his idea, and here I describe mine (which is also Part 1 of my journey – the Western Wall). I virtually followed him to five touristic places (listed below). I could not follow him to Safed, as I have never been there, but, having read Yuval’s post several times, I decided to replace it with Karmiel.
As my travel companion Ugnė wrote (in Lithuanian), Cyprus is rich in well-preserved and accessible ruins, particularly in Famagusta, which she calls the capital of antique ruins. As I wrote in my earlier blog post, people interact with objects in a very direct and laid-back way. Sterility of museums seems to be alien to the local culture. There are museums, of course, but even in them visitors can come closer and interact with objects more directly.