Sigulda - Eaten alive!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2007
Trip End May 10, 2008

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Flag of Latvia  ,
Friday, August 3, 2007

Leaving Tartu for Latvia thought we'd try the bus this time.  Virg was a bit concerned about the journey being prone to travel sickness but having rekindled her other (less well documented) phobia of jumping the gap (literally) between carriages in Eastern European trains to get to the toilet on the trip to Tartu, the bus won the vote this time.

So a 4 hour bus journey to Riga - the "Paris of the East"or some such.  Anyway life as a traveller is hard especially when you have to miss places but basically we can't see everything and so (unless you want to read a Spanish summary of the caff at Riga train station) that's all there is to say about the "Paris of the East". 

From Riga we took a train to Sigulda "the Latvian Switzerland" (aren't you getting bored of these  'new Europe'  comparisons to places in Western Europe?  Well don't blame me, blame the guidebook writers).

Anyway Sigulda is very beautiful, green and very relaxing.  It is the place that we managed to input our first blog entry after a little old lady (no really! - must have been about 100 years old) had to show us how to find the internet cafe).  Latvian's seem to be a bit more aloof than the Estonians but still nice.  We met a couple from Russia (one of whom had been born in Latvia) and they told us that traditionally the Latvians would have lived in rural areas like Sigulda as in the main it was Polish people that used to live in Riga.

We spent a lovely few days in Sigulda walking and getting (badly) bitten by mosquitos etc. There is not much to say about the town itself - it has a shiny new cleanliness (inherited from its Swiss counterpart perhaps) and there is clearly a desire to develop it into a centre for outdoor activities.  It has an Olympic Toboggan centre which Virg was keen to try until I explained what it was. We walked the Gauja Gorge and made it back to the hotel without the need to call mountain rescue:).

Anyway, a little sun-burned and a lot bitten we set off for our next country and spectacle, the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania.

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