Sigulda near Riga in Latvia 29 August 2014

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August 29th 2014
Published: August 30th 2014
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Sigulda near Riga in Latvia 29 August 2014

After finishing some emails and blogging and watching all the group Dutch motor homes slowly leave the camp site at Cesis, we drove to Sigulda which is about 50kms NE of Latvia's capital, Riga. And hooray, the roads were excellent.

Located in the picturesque Gauja valley, with its steep banks and cliffs, Sigulda has become known as the 'Switzerland of Latvia'.....without the mountains. We got our maps of the area from the tourist office again. We saw the following:

Turaida castle was about 4km outside of Sigulda. It's been rebuilt in the Soviet area and now houses exhibition space and a small café. It also has fabulous views over the valley and the river.

Gutmanis cave lies half-way between Sigulda and Turaida castle and has a little creek flowing from it. A legend states that the water in the creek emanates from Gutmanis' tears, and drinking it is supposed to be healthy and boosting one's lifespan. We didn't try it!! There were people's names engraved all up the side and inside of the caves. the earliest on we saw was 1813.

Krimulda Palace and Ruins are located about 800 m further from Gutmanis Cave up the Serpentine road. A Cable car used to take tourists to Sigulda side every half hour but it wasn't running when we were there. Repairs were being done on it.

Sigulda New Castle built in the end of 19th century. Restaurant and city council is located in castle.

Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins located next to the Sigulda New castle. Built in 1207 by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword. Open air stage is located in ruins which was where they were setting up for another concert on the weekend.

Walking-stick Square opened in 2007. Walking-stick is a symbol of Sigulda town. Locals has made walking-stick since 19th century to help tourists walk up and down the Primeval valley of the Gauja River. It's a little different

The whole town was lovely to walk through. We visited the Lutheran Cathedral as well, climbing up its tower. There were so many trees around that this is all we could see - tree tops!!

We had lunch while it poured with rain. Gosh we have been lucky with the weather. It didn't rain at all while we were walking around.

We then drove to Riga, arriving at about 4.30pm.

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