Triana Park in 2017, with the most outright Eurodance trash of the year called "LIne". At least it's honest, aswell as also being pure pap...Find out here
After last year's metaphorical daisy in a cow shit we return to the Latvian field and 2016 is again the cow effluent rather than the flower. Justs is our tan leather toting metrosexual grinner with "Heartbeat". It's a damp-fan favourite but it takes all sorts. I can't see it I'm afraid. You can try here
2015 sees Latvia once more using the Eurosong as a way to freak those most susceptible out, the mildly alien figure of Aminata will be spreading her arms wide and shrilling to "Love Injected". She's had something injected that's for sure. It's here
Aarzemnieki, apart from being a tricky name to pronounce, is also a tricky student band to recommend. They missed their Home Economics GCSE but are trying to make up for it (and failing with a smile on their face) with "Cake to Bake". Amateurish innocent fluff is here
PeR, a duo of young gentlemen will be aiming for the virtually non-existant youth club vote with "Here We Go". Watch them as there they go heading for the airport on Friday. It's here
At first I thought Latvia's 2012 chanteuse Anmary was a master of irony. Then I realised she honestly hopes "Beautiful Song" lives up to it's billing. Well sorry love, but I'm afraid it's more like a 12 pinter. And it's here
  Latvia in Eurovision continue to appal and distress in equal measure. This time in the shape of Musiqq, a bespectacled duo gurning through a song about luscious thighs called "Angel in Disguise". Tragic but incomprehensibly well liked by the damp fans. Learn more about Latvian rhyming here

The Tourist Guide says

"Latvia is one of Northern Europe's most exciting places hidden away from the world's view for over half a century by the Soviet occupation. Prior to the occupation, Latvia was one of the most dynamic parts of Europe with exciting possibilities. After the collapse of the Soviet system, Latvia is struggling to regain its strength and place in the world.
There is a lot to do and see in Latvia from the untouched nature to the historic buildings dating back to the days of the great trading in the Hanseatic League. You can also see elements of the Soviet leftovers - this makes you step back and wonder what could have been without those awful years!
Come and experience for yourself this very special country and the possibilities of its exciting future. Outside of Riga, be prepared to step back into history as the infrastructure in most parts is not yet developed as that in Riga. Be patient and understanding and you will have a remarkable experience."


"Historically, the city of Riga was founded around the year 1201. However, the land area which is now Latvia was a major trade route by the Vikings from Norway traveling to Russia and Central Europe dating back several thousands of years. With all that you are bound to find something old to explore from the historic churches of Riga to the 800 year old Krimulda Church just one hour east of Riga. There are surprises around each corner and in your day to day life."

A Latvian man who has amazed medics by surviving what police have described as a "world record drinking binge" has been told he won't get his name in the Guinness Book of Records.
Latvian police say the middle-aged man consumed around twice the blood-alcohol level considered deadly.
They say they found the unidentified drinker in an unconscious state, but medics found he was stable and recorded 7.22 parts per million of alcohol in a blood test.
An average person would vomit at around 1.2, lose consciousness at 3.0 and stop breathing at a level of about 4.0 parts per million, Ms Zvidre said, adding: "This is one for the Guinness Book of Records." It is not known what alcoholic beverage the man drank.
Emergency ward head Martins Sics said there is no record of anybody having survived such a dose, even in neighbouring Russia which takes pride in its vodka-guzzling traditions. "He won't remember a thing when he comes to."

"Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting Latvia knows that its inhabitants have mastered the art of celebration. But this past November they outdid themselves. A government sanctioned four-day weekend in honour of Latvia’s independence day just happened to coincide with two Euro 2004 qualifying matches between Latvia and Turkey, sparking one of the longest alcoholidays in living memory. It wasn’t quite commensurate with the party after the fall of the Wall, but it came pretty close."

2000 B.C. Latvian ancestors settle on the Baltic coast. Couronians, Latgallians, Semgallians and Finno-Ugric Livs later assimilate to become Latvians. 1210 Germans succeeded in converting Latvians for good 20 years later. 1201 A.D. German crusaders, led by Bishop Albert von Buxhoevden of Bremen, conquer Latvia. German domination continues for 700 years. 1282 Riga joins the Hanseatic League, Europe's powerful trading bloc. 1561 Southern Latvia is conquered by Poland; Catholicism becomes entrenched. 1629 Conquered by Sweden, which enacts social reforms. 1640s Latvian colonises Tobago 1710 Latvia falls to Russia 1860-1885 National consciousness among Latvians increases. Russification policies follow. 1920 Latvia wins independence. 1921-1940 Latvia prospers, becoming a major exporter of agricultural goods. 1941 Nazi Germany occupies Latvia; Latvian Jews are massacred-including some 25,000 in two days outside Riga. 1944 Soviets occupy Latvia again. Between 1940-49, Latvia loses 35 percent of its population to war, deportation, exile and mass murder. 1987 First open protests against Soviet rule. 1990 Soviet Latvian legislature declares a transition to independence. 1999 Latvia swears in its first woman president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga. 2001 Riga celebrates 800th birthday. May 1, 2004 Latvia joins the European Union.

A man who bought a false passport to flee Russia got more than he bargained for after finding the paperwork belonged to a wanted murderer.
The 36-year-old man, named only as Arkadiy V for legal reasons, was arrested on suspicion of murder as he tried to cross the border into Latvia. Arkadiy allegedly confessed to officers that he was not a Russian citizen and had wanted a Russian passport to get into Latvia easily.
According to local media, he bought the stolen passport on the black market in St Petersburg and put his own photo in, not knowing the passport originally belonged to a murder suspect. He has been charged with presenting a false identity to state officials.


Latvia are in the Guinness Book of Records by producing a three-tonne potato salad ,the biggest ever. The massive bowl of traditional Latvian Rasols salad surpassed the previous record - 2,500 kg of Caesar salad made in New York in 2001 - and took only 30 minutes to be devoured. The record-breakers had to chop 940 kg of boiled potatoes, 340 kg of boiled carrots, 560 kg of sausage, 6,000 boiled eggs and 310 kg of pickled cucumbers. The giant bowl of salad then weighed in at the new mark of 3,280 kg.

Mark Rothko

Mikhail Baryshnikov
Raimonds Pauls
(not the soft core porn purveyor, a composer)
Raimonds Bergmanis
(A right pair of Raymonds)


Life expectancy

63.13 men 75.17 women
Airports 51
Radios 710 per 1,000 people
Internet Users 430.4 per 10,000 people
Railway Network 1680 miles
Death Penalty abolished for ordinary crimes 1999 laws provide for the death penalty for exceptional crimes only