Along the Baltic Sea, from North to West

lighthouse

While I am enjoying the time with my family, you can enjoy another few pictures from Latvia 🙂

In summer 2013, we started our journey from the beautiful, pristine clean fishing town of Salacgriva in the north of Latvia. This lighthouse was built in 1925. It is not operational anymore, but still good enough for a picture. The weather was not summery early in the morning, but we decided to keep to the plan. On our way south the sky started to clear and the sun peeked through the clouds. Natural reserve Vidzeme Stony Seashore was our next stop. We didn’t walk the 8 miles long trail, but visited some sandstone cliffs and caves, and marveled at the huge boulders and pebble-covered beaches, very unusual for the Gulf of Riga.

Even the sand was different, and sure I haven’t seen such a huge spider anywhere else.

spider

After a long walk in the beach and dunes we went further south to our last destination –  The White Dune in Saulkrasti.

I am standing on the top of the White Dune. The weather remarkably improved, and I took a picture of a group of tourists crossing River Incupe on their way to the beach.

river

From this point, the river edge looks like a silhouette of a face.

river

This is another picture from the trip. Me in action 🙂

photographer

This images of an operational lighthouse Akmenrags was taken a week later. To get there we had to drive a long way through the beautiful pine tree forest. The lighthouse was built in 1864 but destroyed in World War I. It was rebuilt in 1921 and then in 1957.  We were so lucky, because the lighthouse was closed for repainting, and open to the public just a day before we came over.

lighthouse

This is a light emitter, but I don’t know a thing about how it works.

lighthouse

The inside of the lighthouse is painted green!

lighthouse

lighthouse

What to do with paint leftovers? 🙂

net

Speaking of green. During our travels we had seen many interesting cars, like this green vintage Volga.

volga

A few words about Liepaja, the city where I stayed. This is an outdoor photography exhibition in the ruins of the riding manège in Karosta, a former military part of Liepaja.

liepaja

This picture was taken in 2010. I came to Karosta to meet with a famous photographer, only to learn that he recently died.

In my previous blog, there is a picture of some pieces of amber I picked up in the beach. What you see in the picture below is a hourglass monument filled with 50 litres ( 13 gallons) of amber! These pieces of amber were donated by people of Liepaja in 2003. I think it was a wonderful idea.

liepaja

I lived in a lovely room with a balcony, facing Liepaja Lake. There was a swallow nest with two chicks. In this picture you can see a mama swallow feeding her offspring a Damsel dragonfly.

swallow

There was a tiny apple tree at the porch. One night I came home late and saw a hedgehog under the tree. I have read that it is a myth that they eat, or carry the apples on their sharp spines, and I wondered what else was he doing there, under the apple tree?

hedgehog

The Holy Trinity Lutheran Cathedral is one of the most remarkable places in Liepaja. Until the 1912, its organ was the largest mechanical organ in the world with its 131 stops, 4 manuals and more than 7000 pipes. The organ was built by one of the best organ builders of that time H. A. Contius. The Cathedral was built in 1750, and the tower was finished in 1860. I made three attempts to climb up the tower, but failed and had to return: anonymous carpenter who made the narrow stairs was a minimalist and didn’t add any handrails. I changed my tactics and mingled with a group of tourists: if you are climbing up in a crowd there is no turning back. The tower is 55m (180f ) high, and I am very proud of myself for finally making it up to the top.

church

church

Every Sunday afternoon I went to the cathedral to listen to the organ: renowned organists and students perform for free for one hour on Sundays ( donations are welcome). I had an unforgettable time there.

One more blog post about Latvia to follow 🙂 Thank you for taking the trip!

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

119 comments

  1. Wonderful! I love the dune & the cathedral & the pipe organ. We have 1 castle in Toronto… Castle Loma. It has a grand organ in the vast entrance. It also has a very small winding staircase to the parapets at the top. Great post!

    1. Thank you, Resa! I love organ music and always attend the concerts if I can. Modern concert organs cannot be compared to these old mechanical ones. You can hear the pipes ‘breath’, and all that creaking sounds of pedals and keys. Do they have concerts in Loma?
      The church is 55m high, and to get to the top one has to walk the squeaky old stairs with no handrails and the wall only on one side:)

  2. Very beautiful pictures, Inese!!! Especially loved the staircases 🙂 Can´t read the text though today, as I sunburned my eyes yesterday 😦 Will do so as soon as it gets better… Wish you a perfect sunday!!! xoxoxoxoxo

  3. Inese, my darling, you can blog Latvia till the heavens fade. Lovely post. Personally I love reading about other places on this planet we share. This was a real treat. As for your photographs –especially you in action– they’re amazing. But now I see you in action I can also see why. xxx

    1. Thank you! 🙂 These days I am not practicing any yoga poses when shooting 🙂
      I know that many people don’t really know what Latvia is, so I thought I would share some of my pictures. They came in handy to fill up the blog while I am chilling with my family. I hope one day you will consider a trip to the Baltics and Sweden. There is a great viking heritage to enjoy there. Vasa museum in Stockholm is a fun place to visit.
      One more week, and I am heading home. Have a great week ahead! xxxxx

      1. OOH.. well re yoga poses, you look the part in action. Now I am going to tell you that I was on a school cruise once many years ago and we went to Gotland-absolutely stunning. St Petersburg, Copenhagen and Oslo where we saw the Viking Ship museum. When my girls were wee we had two holidays in farm cottages in Denmark. Loved it there. One of the times we went to this centre called the Hollufgard and there was a Viking house there. I squirreled it away for future use. Would love to go back. Latvia looks beautiful, thank you for these pictures. You’re a star, especially when you are chilling with your family. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

        1. Gotland is only 20km from Latvia 🙂 That was a great cruise, I can imagine how impressed you were. Northern Europe is quite different from the British Isles, and all this viking stuff is so fascinating. I love Finnish and Swedish traditional food, and Danish pastry 🙂 I haven’t been to Norway, except that I changed planes there 🙂 Would love to go some day to see all the beautiful scenery.
          I would love to go to St. Petersburg too. I have been there once, with my dad, when I was fourteen. There are so many places I will never see. Thank you again for your kind words! I won’t argue about who is a star here, because I sure know who.

      2. Yes, I see how close you are to Gotland. It was a wonderful cruise an opportunity to see so much. I loved Gotland. An amazing island. Yeah, it was all very different. We were quite a few days in St Petersburg. A lot of people went to Moscow by train but that added a lot of money to the trip. I don’t regret not going there. It gave us the chance to see The Hermitage and the Summer Palace of the Czars as well as do stuff on our own. I hope you will share more about Latvia. You know I just have to see Making Memories in my inbox and there you have me. STAR !

        1. Thank you so much! 🙂 I have another ten pictures ready for my last Latvian blog. After I fight my jetlag I will post some pictures from my current holidays. We didn’t travel anywhere though.

    1. Aren’t they brilliant? It was like diving in the ocean. The paint was fresh and it smelled too strong. There were only a couple of windows, I felt a little bit claustrophobic, but it was fun anyway 🙂

  4. Oh, what a wonderful trip it was, Inese! I loved so many of these photos, I think my brain would burst if I tried to choose a favorite. You captured the ruins in a very compelling way — not sure if it was the angle or the lighting… but it’s an especially lovely shot. And all the green! I do love green. So naturally I loved the staircase shots. I appreciate the difficulty in getting them. Thank you, my friend, for this wonderful post.
    No blogs from me this week. I have an interview Monday for a job out west! So send me luck. Then I was asked to speak at a conference Wednesday (out of the blue. I’m not a speaker. But i’m excited and happy to expand my career in a new direction). Anyhow need to do lots of preparation for both.
    Keep enjoying your family, and have an unforgettable holiday. Mega hugs!

    1. Teagan, I will think of you all the Monday morning. Hope it is finally the time when your dreams come true. The year of the Monkey is very promising.
      Conference talk will go well, of course. You are a brilliant writer, just write it down and memorize 😉
      The light in the pictures is unusual because the storm was coming from the sea, almost black clouds. Also, the pictures were taken in the very late afternoon, when the sun was low. My friend was driving me around, and after I finished shooting, we went to the sea and I took many storm pictures – some of them posted in my blog. If I were rich, I would buy one of those neglected brick houses and made myself a summer haven 🙂 You have no idea how beautiful is the place. It is like you live in an old park under the tree canopy, and to get to the sea shore takes just a few minutes.
      I am having fun with my family, went to the Zoo yesterday. No travels this year, mostly the backyard pictures I will share when I am back.
      Have a great week ahead. Many hugs! xxxx

  5. It is great to see you in action 🙂 I would have taking that shot too as I like taking picture of photographers in action for some reason. I think it sparks a curiosity in me to see what they see through the camera. I would imagine the out come of the picture myself. It seems that you prepared to kneel down on the sand.

    The light house is also another thing that is always intriguing to me. Seeing the main light bulb makes me wonder how it works now. I will have to do more searching.

    The organ is a beautiful piece of work!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! It was three years ago, my back was much better then 😉 The light bulb was very impressive, and I did google the light emitters, but they are all different, and I was not sure what kind was that one. The organ sounds fantastic, and the most precious are the sounds of its mechanical work – you would’t hear that in a modern electrical organ. Takes you two hundred years back 🙂

  6. Again thank you for sharing a portion of the world I will probably never see in person. There is something very arresting about the Karosta photo. I can’t put my finger on it.

    1. Thank you Bernadette! I have a whole series of Karosta photographs. Here I have shared only a tiny slice of my two months long work. Beautiful brick buildings are mostly neglected. It is the part of the city where the poorest people live, most of them Russian, which is why the city council don’t invest in this area. I think it is very foolish because the place is a gem.

  7. My mum lived in Latvia for a year and a half. I remember fondly visiting her with grandma. It was the best summer of my childhood.

      1. Liepaja 🙂 I remember a trip to the beach, fine golden sand and the sun that browned the skin and didn’t burn like in Azerbaijan. Vast beach and crystal clear water.

        1. Oh, that’s cool 🙂 You have to go visit again. I loved to walk miles along the beach. The sand is so clean, not like in Jurmala where the tourists have destroyed everything good.

  8. Enjoyed this post, Inese…the sandstone cliffs and caves look interesting, and I love spiral staircases!

    1. Thank you! What I have learned, the boulders were not naturally there. They are a part of a landscape design, but they still look impressive.

      1. They sure do look good – and I know some coastlines here in us bring in rocks and boulders for beauty – but also for protecting an eroding coast line ! So has a but if value too – 😉

          1. yes, that is surely a way to see changes (and you know we are getting older when we say we visit someplace each decade – ha!)

    1. Thank you for stopping by! If you go to that part of the world, you can visit Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in ten days 🙂

  9. Hello Inese,
    As always, you transport us through your lens to some amazing places. I loved all the shots, especially getting a glimpse of you in action 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying a lovely Spring ❤

    Best wishes,
    Takami

    1. Thank you so much, Takami! I am enjoying a summer, actually 🙂 It is very hot where I am now. I took some pictures of birds here, but none of them as beautiful as your birds 🙂

  10. It looks very peaceful, without crowds… I loved specially the Damsel dragonflies, never seen one before, and not in a spectacular way.

    1. You can see the poor damsel dragonfly if you enlarge the picture ( it is green color). One of the chicks got it, the other had to wait 🙂

        1. No, dragonfly is an insect 🙂 It has a very long belly, and I was very surprised that it fit in the tiny mouth of the chick 🙂

  11. The two lighthouses are beautiful and different from each other. The staircase reminds me of a nautilus shell. The sandy stone beach was so interesting in texture. I liked how the spider had sand stuck to his legs.
    Inese, I see the profile in the water with sandy edge. 🙂 I liked the hedgehog and swallow were fun to see.
    The Holy Trinity Lutheran Cathedral is amazing with its unique organ. They were lucky to have such a rare one!
    The hourglass with collected amber was stunning. Worth the wait!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Robin! The amber is just laying around after a storm. People pick it up and take home. It was a very clever idea to ask the residents to donate for the monument. Everyone feels important 🙂
      The organ is unique, and sounds magnificent.
      Have a lovely Sunday!

  12. I love the picture of you on the beach getting a close up! And the green stairwells of course.

    1. Thank you Jan! I was trying to get some sandstone cliffs in background 🙂
      That green color was so beautiful, like sea water in a sunny day.

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