Best Vacation…ever!? – Blogtober14

Hello my Beauties,

hope you’re having a fantastic sunny day. 
Today’s prompt in the Blogtober14 challenge is: Best (or worst) Vacation

As i’m more likely to talk about positive things on here, i started thinking about what my best traveling experience was. Since i love to be on the road & discover new impressive places and cultures, it was really hard to decide what to share with you.
Let’s do it!
Best Vacation Blogtober14Instead of talking of a whole vacation, i’ve decided to share an exciting day trip with you, while i was on my vacation in Latvia…yes you know me – always ready to fly out to see that country. So… let me introduce you to Sigulda.
siguldaUnlike most tourist places in Latvia, which are popular in the (short) summer months, Sigulda’s tourist season begins when the leaves change and seemingly never ends. It’s located only 53 km east of Riga on the Gauja River Valley and is an indeed beautiful part of Gauja National Park.

So to find out more about the cultural heritage and to see the Sigulda Castle, i’ve started my adventure that late august day on my yellow iron horse, which took about 1,5 hours to arrive.
Sigulda trainBecause it was still morning, i was desperately in need of a cup of coffee and something delicious to make me want to walk. And boy, had i a walk in front of me…
As a side note: Looks like the countryside prices are always good for your pockets!
50 cents for a cup of coffee and 1,50 Euro for cake! Not bad, right?!
but first coffeeAnd then i started walking…and landed first thing at the new Sigulda Castle, which was built in 1881, right in front of the old castle from 1207!
New Sigulda Castlesigulda old casteWhat i found especially interesting, is that it was The Order of the Brothers of the Sword, who started building it. Unfortunately it was destroyed in the 18th century during the Great Northern War and never rebuild. Only the main gate tower and a part of the wall have survived until today.
Sigulda Lutheran Church
In order to get to the Turaida Museum Reserve, (where the castle itself was built in 1214) which is on the opposite bank of the Gauja River from Sigulda, i had to cross river and what’s best way of doing it that taking a cable car! The ride itself lasts only a few minutes, but reveals a rapidly changing landscape on the slopes of the River Gauja valley & a scenic view on the Turaida Castle. I simply had to film it. Take a look.

Somewhere in the middle of the video you will see the caste peeking out. Why do you think i’m so excited about all that nature, trees & the river? Well the answer is rather simply – i’m a big town girl and don’t get to see all that too often.
Over the Gauja RiverAlong other beautiful things on the way to the Turaida Castle, i made a stop at the Gutmanis Cave, which is largest cave in the Baltics measuring 19m deep, 12m wide and 10m high is not only a natural wonder, but also a place steeped in myth and legend. And what i found most impressive is the fact, that the sandstone marvel still bears inscriptions from as early as the 17th century.
Gutmanis Cave
Gutmanis Cave 2I will spare you all the details of the long uphill walk, that i made before i finally arrived at the castle. And I’d say the view repaid me for my muscle ache.
Turaida Castle upcloseTuraida Castle and its surrounding area is the largest protected cultural monument in Latvia. Construction of the red brick castle began in 1214 when it served as a fortification on the Gauja River Valley.
Inside Turaida CastleAfter visiting the medieval museum – that happened…Don’t even ask…!
Turaida Castle 3But you know what? It was overall a great day, where i felt like i overcome a lot – especially all the hiking and did something that was totally worth it.
I loved seeing all that nature & almost no people around me. I’m not the sportiest girl, but i did it.
And it was a really memorable day and one of the most impressive trips to these days.
Sigulda forest

What was your most memorable vacation, my Beauties?


Helene in Between Blogtober