Gauja Valley: Sigulda, Krimulda, Turaida

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Flag of Latvia  , Rīgas Rajons,
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A bit citied out we decided to spend a day doing the trails of the Gauja Valley, one of the most diverse and beautiful valleys in the area.

So...once again....after only a bit more than an hour on the bus we reach Sigulda, the first of the 3 villages that we would visit today where, according to our travel book, there was a beautiful trail that we could do and visit three villages around one of the most beautiful valleys in Latvia.

We walked around the village and headed north trying to find the start of the valley to catch a cable car that would give us access to views over the valley.  We were really lucky as we got there literally one minute before it set off on its hourly shift.  The views from the cable car were amazing and the photographs do not do it any justice whatsoever.  The cable car left us at the top of the neighbouring escarpment, next to Krimulda where we could find the remains to Krimulda Castle and access to Krimulda Palace which is now a sanatorium.  Although it is supposed to be closed to visitors we wandered around the gardens without a problem.  From the remains of Krimulda Castle we followed a path downhill that led us into beautiful views of the valley and Turaida Castle that we were about to visit.  After deciding which way to go, we followed the trail, visiting several caves (alas) on the way, the biggest of which, Gutman's Cave (Gutmana Ala) is very well known in Latvia because of its relation with the romantic story of Turaida Rose, a story where she sacrifices herself for love using a magical scarf.  Then the climb up continues until we reached Turaida Castle which also housed the sculpture park and its surroundings, offering once again lovely views of the valley.

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