|| orientation | compass | orthodox mass | military movements | baba dusja | hand bells | ghost congregation | author's note ||
Karosta -'war port'- still maintains a naval presence in the area: The Latvian navy is present as part of a conscript army.
Young Latvian men of 18-25 are eligible to serve at least 1 year, and it is possible to hear marching songs in the morning floating over the walls of the compound.
This location is where for 3 weeks, the conscripts receive their basic routine training such as saluting, drill, discipline, and basic military exercises, before being assigned to offshore positions.
It was not difficult to explain to military persons the concept of mapping, and GPS, even the guards at the gate had no problem. We spoke of marking their route using the realtime GPS mobile system, and making a link to the songs they sing while marching.
The Admiral was arranged to talk with us, to find out who we were, and he guessed we were from the K@2 cultural centre in Karosta. He was rather cheery and friendly. "Lovely weather isnt it?" He asked us Internationals where we came from, briefly speaking to Gabrial (who also came with us) about AREA51 near to his reservation in Nevada. Andrew expected some small talk about Scottish whiskey or golf, but sadly it didnt happen.
It was agreed we could come back the next day in the morning. We arrived early in time to find a nice position to watch the morning flag raising drill. Actually facing the line up, we looked into the faces of the conscript boys, us slack and casual, them rigid and in fatigues. Not all of us were awake yet, some were unshaven.
Once the flag was up, we were told to join the unit - positioned into the column on the end, rather than walk to the side.
Our movements and pace quickened, and followed that of the troop. We had the same view of the back of marching soldiers as all but a few of the conscripts in the column.
Maybe as a treat for keeping in line, we were allowed access to the Palace.