location: riga, latvia
zolitūde is on the ‘buda’ side of riga. sorry, it’s really a local approach from budapest, it means something nicer, calmer, hillier, grassier part of the river in a city, relatively of course.
it is also from the last moments of soviet times, when architecture seemed to find itself in a colorful postmodern way, but it was already too late. anyhow, it’s still not so depressing neighbourhood as usually, delight of lego bricks is floating over the buildings. (ok, maybe it doesn’t shout from the pictures. maybe in the summer!)
the name means solitude, which is really astonishing after lots of dreary and imageless place names. there are more explanations for it, one is about a part of napoleon’s army which remained here separated from others, other simply refers to the loneliness of inhabitants who lived between abandoned fields, forests and swampy grounds of the area. it is already amazing to have napoleon and this place in our mind at the same time, but the name perfectly fits today’s loneliness, which is a particular characteristic of housing estates in large distance from anything alive.
bus number 8 comes from the city, blue and modern, goes around the neighbourhood. colorful high-rises appear in front of the eye, as the bus goes, they are moving behind each other. appear, disappear and reappear after the curve. final station, we are almost back in the start.