Wow REAL Medieval Castles

Trip Start May 01, 2009
Trip End May 22, 2009

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Flag of Latvia  ,
Sunday, May 17, 2009

     Today I am taking my excursion out of Riga, a change of pace from city life to country life.

     A quick hour on the train, I am already in the city of Sigulda. This were the ancient Livonian knight's strong hold was back in the 12th to 15th century.  Since today is Sunday, I promised myself to the do the usual hike, and hike I sure did, a whole 10 km, up and down hills. ( I am still with you in spirit Dave :)  I hiked fromt he train station to the first Castle ruins of Sigulda castle, there is just a few walls and half a tower left. The castle was in full use back in 1200-1500 but fell into ruin after the Great Northern war of 1700. It is still very impressive standing under the walls.

    Next I hike a total of 4 more km up to the entrance of Turaida Castle. This another one of the Livonian castle strong hold but better preserved. The archeologist excaveted the area and started restoring the main watch tower's roof since the 1950's. Now a days it also houses a very nice museum. I  loved history but the Medieval history is all about the archbishop and catholicism, got kind of bored so I stayed outside shooting nice photos. I was able to climb all the way to the top of the main watch tower and gain a spectacular view of Sigulda valley.

    On my way back I passed by the Gutman cave. There are some anciet carvings on the wall dating back tot he 17th century. This is where the famous love story of Turaida rose happened. The beautiful Turaida rose( Majia) fell in love with Victor, but her other lover got jealous and killed her at this cave. People have been visiting the place since.

     Next, I took the train out to the city of Cesis. This is another one of the beautiflu city recommanded by my guide book. The city has a nice cobble stone street with some old buildings and the most impressive thing of all is its relatively well preserved Cesis castle ruin.....sounds like I am mumbling.... Anyways, this castle has lots of under passes, tunnels and dungeons. It is lots of fun to go explore in this castle like as if I am back in time during the 15th century.

     The old town of Cesis is also very nice with lots of pretty buildings. Since today is Sunday, the town is very quiet. There are almost no one walking on the street. I did see a few people but not like the mass crowd I saw in Riga.  Tonight instead of eating out, I bought some bread, tomato, mozerrela cheese and anchovies to make a nice sandwich. The anchovies from the baltics actually tastes quite good, not slaty at all.
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