10th August

10 Aug

We spent the first part of the morning reading through some of the notes that we had made on Russia before we left home. We had copied and printed some notes on the forms that we would need to complete at the border, but had not had a chance to look at them yet. We then tried to do a bit of Russian revision …. hoping to do a little every day before we arrive there!



After about half an hour Graham sneaked off to do a bit of fishing, mumbling something about doing more when we were not camped right next to a river. The rain, which has been the main feature of the weather over the last couple of days stopped for long enough for us to walk up towards Turaida Castle, which is only about 15 mins walk away. It is at the top of a hill looking right out over the river.



In the grounds of the castle there is a whole collection of granite sculptures.



As we got closer to them we realised how large they were! We just could not imagine how they were put there. There is only rolling grass lawns and these things (maybe 20) are huge!



As we continued walking through the castle grounds we arrived at one of the oldest wooden churches in Latvia it was built in 1750 and although it has been renovated it is mostly original. The timber inside is painted in light colours, making the inside really light and airy and still has all the original markings on it from when it was cut from trees.



When the rain started we headed outside the castle grounds to a drab looking concrete building that had ‘Bistro’ in large letters on the windows. It turned out to be a soviet style public catering room. These were built in the soviet era when people were encouraged to eat in these establishments rather than cook at home. The shops had very little in and the kitchen space was tiny in the apartments and so it made sense at the time. This one has been kept as a reminder of those times.



We now have new neighbours! We are not the only ones on the site now! Not only that but they have  just knocked on the door of the camper and asked us to join them for a traditional Lithuanian (they are tourists in Latvia) spicy stew cooked on the camp fire. They say it will be ready in an hour …. its already 9.50pm. They asked so nicely that we couldn’t refuse. People are just so friendly!




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