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... and we heard today about donations being collected for a swing to be erected on the border so one would swing between the two countries! The bus and train station, and the hostel we are in are all on the Estonian side, called Valga, but we did spend the morning back in Latvia, where the town is known as Valka, visiting a museum. It took Rick 21hrs to eat his first cake in Estonia, but he'd bought it from a shop on the Latvian side, so he is yet to sample a ...
... chair users don't often seem to have been thought about). We sat and ate lunch in the grounds too before we walked the 3.5km to Turaida Castle on the opposite hill. This castle, built in 1214, has been restored more fully and contains lots of exhibitions of the history of the Liv people, as well as the tussles which have taken place across the centuries for this land.
Finally on Wednesday, we went to Cesis castle, built at a similar time: 1209. The old castle is pretty much a ...
... we worked together with a major Latvian waste management company to educate people about recycling, hoping to bring that shabby 9% closer to the European average of 39%. (I'm proud to say that I'm from a top-5 country that recycles 51% of its waste!)
On the campaign trail
So what was my role exactly, you ask? Of course, I wasn't the one talking to local supermarkets or waste companies - I gladly left that job to my ...
... the border in Lithuania. I did allow my hippy friends to convince me to go to Laba Daba this week. Of course, when you're visiting two Latvian festivals so soon after each other, you're bound to start comparing. So here we go:
++ Laba Daba was held just around the corner, near Sigulda, so that's only about an hour from Rīga. (Although a little "where-is-my-wallet-I-think-I-left-it-a t-home-oh-no-it's-right-here-in-my-bag" -debacle caused a ...
... actually found our way to the town's major attraction: the little river Ruja. Of course, we immediately threw off our clothes and went for a swim, until we were found by the rest of our friends and made "a day at the beach" of it.
In the late afternoon we doubled back to the house to get some supplies, and we spent the evening pick-nicking and playing basketball by the river.
Alvise *angrily*: "You b*tch! You said you couldn't dribble! ...