07 june Sigulda (LATVIA)

On the way to Sigulda there is a huge handicraft market, they do it once a year here!
It is called "Gadatirgus" and they were selling many typical things, kitchen's utensils, wooden pitchers, vases flowers, or culinary Baltic's specialties ...

On the outskirts of Sigulda, Martins stopped near a large Soviet-style structure; there was a huge inscription: "Sarajevo Jugoslavija" it was a bobsleigh track!
Martins, like me and his brother Krists, loves extreme things and here we are a few later, helmet on our head, "thrown" like a big bullet, "driven" by a former sports champion, down to the finish line!

In the end we reach Sigulda's castle.
It reminded me of, maybe for the style, the colors, the shapes, the medieval time.

"Every action must create movement.
The motion is the cause of all life. "

- Leonardo da Vinci - (The man and nature)

08 june Tervete (LATVIA)

Today we went towards the border with Lithuania in Tervete.

We did some trekking through the wood which had as its main theme to represent the characters of children's tales written by Anna Brigadere, a famous Latvian writer.
Too bad that we lost our way back it was getting darker and darker...

"Slowly dies who avoides a passion,
who prefers black on white rather than
a set of emotions, just the one that make your eyes shine,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
those that make the heart beat in front of mistakes and feelings. "

- Anonymous -

09 june Riga (LATVIA)

Great time at Waterpark, or asit's called here: "akvapark" strange but true ... but here too there is a water amusement park ... Open all year! How can it be?
Simple! It's all covered! And while it was very cold outside, we had fun inside racimg in the colored slides or relaxing in our comfortable spa.

10 june Riga (LATVIA)

Afternoon at the zoo in Riga. It 's amazing that despite seven years have gone since the last time I visited, nothing has changed!

Exciting pizza race at Martins' after the zoo.
Pit Stop at first at the supermarket, everyone has bought his own ingredients, then flour, salt, water and go!
Martins delighted us with his "Latvian piça" with a sauce flavored with a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise, sausages, cheese, pineapple, tomatoes and cucumbers in vinegar ...
I prepared a simple half margherita and half Capri!

11 june Riga (LATVIA)

I met Signe, my great friend Krists' wife.

We talked for hours and in the end she gave me a long letter that she had prepared for me telling me about the last hard period of life of her husband...

At the cemetery, looking at the Krists' pit, she told me: "Life is so fragile and short.

We must really live always as if it was the last day ... " then she added," and he did! "


12 june Pavilosta (LATVIA)

Martins suggests me an adventure weekend around.

The first town we meet on our way is Kuldiga, medieval-town with very characteristic buildings, famous for its waterfall "Ventasrumba" ...

In Palanga, Martins shows me the coast of the Baltic Sea ...

In the end we reach Pavilosta. We are going to stay here tonight at a wonderful guest house surrounded by greenery and a few hundred meters from the beach ...

While preparing the barbecue the sun was setting behind us, mirroring on the sea.


13 june Jelgava (LATVIA)

My friend Martins begins telling me a bit of tthis city. He was right when he called it a huge ghost town or the "Latvian Chernobyl"!
An infinite number of large barracks like hives, all the same, Soviet style, but abandoned. Entrances closed with bricks and cement, all without windows ... my friend tells me that during the Soviet period this part of the town was reserved only for military, in fact there were training camps, accommodations and even a prison.
I was impressed at the thought of what that city could have been during the period of the Red Army... There was even an entire avenue done of concrete slabs for the passage of tanks. A real stronghold on the Baltic and Northern Europe.
We visit the prison that, as our tour guide explained us, was reserved for military but only for short periods because it was purely punitive and not just detentive.

We go ahead and an hour later we reach Klaipeda, Lithuania.
So weird crossing Latvia-Lithuania border without any supervision.
The customs seemed a deserted highway, the same border where some years ago, they were almost confiscating my camera for taking a photo...

By boat we reach the Dolphinarium, the largest in the Baltics, as my friends said. They performed a great show. Well done.

Before leaving Lithuania we stop in Palanga. Very touristic town with a long pedestrian street filled with shops, roundabouts for children ... here we encounter a very special parade.
A long, colorful and cheerful Hindu procession marched along the road ... after being in Sri Lanka it seemed weird to me seeing, blondes girls, with blue eyes wearing saris and dancing as if they were in the Far East...
The thing that struck me the most was their expression, their relaxed faces, happy, they seemed in peace with the world!


14 june Jelgava (LATVIA) 

In order to thank Martins and his wife for their hospitality I organized a typical Italian dinner just for them.

Wow! Menu: Barilla spaghetti Latvian sauce and basil's powder, mozzarella produced in Poland, German tomatoes and ricotta and fruit salad with all the fruits that I could find at the supermarket!



15 june Jelgava (LATVIA) 

I'm about to return to Italy.
The last time I was here it was on board a Italian C130, just a military cadet with so much still to learn and find out...

In a few days I will be departing again, no longer wear my jeans or my trendy Tshirts but a camouflage will be for many months my only dress (at least I will not waste time deciding what to wear), I will not have my photocamera permanently in my pocket when I travel, but a gun, I will not have to take care of my passport or wallet but the gun's bullets, there will not be the adrenaline of discovering new places but to be careful to stay alive ...
Everything changes, all the scenarios, the mood ...

I end here these two relaxing, at times, moving some other, weeks in this strange country, thanks to my friend I have always considered my second home.

"Slowly dies who does not overthrow the table when is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to chase a dream,
Who does not allow at least once in their lives, die sensible advice.
He or she who does not travel, who does not read,
who do not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself.
He or she who destroys the pride, who does not accept help,
who passes his days complaining of his bad luck or the incessant rain. "

- Anonymous -







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