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. Thank you so much, Dina! Some day you will travel there and see everything by yourself. It is an interesting part of the world. 🙂

      1. Yes, I hope to see it for myself one day. Now we are planning to drive the Atlantic Coast Road in Ireland , real slow. ❤ My irish friend Joan invited me to Ireland 10 years ago, I've been longing to go back ever since. ❤

        1. Is it this summer? Hurry up, we have a wonderful weather right now 🙂 Don’t forget Malin Head – the North-West. I think it is included in the official route. You will love your trip. xx

  1. Your photographs always make me smile. I especially love how the swallow mom is feeding her chicks with her wings outstretched as if to embrace them. ❤

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Pity it was too dark that day, and the following day they all left the nest. Mama swallow is feeding her chick a damsel dragonfly. Huge insect just disappeared in that hungry mouth 🙂

  2. These photos of Latvia surprise me in the sense there is such a great feeling of peace there…and the dunes and beach (although the spider would have freaked me out a bit). But I do have to say, my favorite photo is of you & your photography…that simply looks fun and the way I see the world too! You vacation the way it was meant to be done 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Randall! Sorry for the delay with reply – I was traveling home, and it took me 26 hours 🙂 Latvia’s sea border is 500km long, and most of it is accessible. If you walk even one hour, there is a good chance you will have a beach for yourself. The same about the forests (there you would need a compass though). Very peaceful atmosphere. The places we visited were mostly touristy, but without crowds, except may be Gauja National Park. The food is fantastic. I would say, the Baltic States are a great place to visit. Finland and Sweden are the neighbors.

    1. Hi Charly, thank you for your comment! I am having a family break, will visit your blog when I am back home next week. Have a good weekend and lots of inspiration 🙂

    1. Thank you! Yes, I spent a great time, and visited both the Northern and the Western coasts. The seashore is beautiful, and if you walk long enough, you can have a beach for yourself. I wish I could visit again, but since I started having grandchildren, I don’t go anywhere else but to see my family.

  3. Congratulations on getting to the top, Inese. Going as part of a crowd was a smart move. I’ve never seen a spider like the one you photographed. In fact, I didn’t even know spiders lived on beaches. I thought crabs had that gig.

    Hmm… What was the other thing I wanted to mention? Oh yes, the amber! I want to look through that vast collection of pieces donated by local people and see if I can find bits with insects in them. Among that many pieces, at least a few must have creatures inside, don’t you think? They’re so much cooler than fossils. It’s not just the impression of something that was alive millions of years ago. It’s the actual creature! How amazing is that! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! To tell the truth, I was almost sick in my stomach when I reached the top of the stairs. So were the crowd. All six of us made it half way and stopped. Then we crawled, because we had no room to turn around.
      I have been to the Amber museum in Palanga, Lithuania. The insects didn’t look prehistoric. Something like these : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palanga_Amber_Museum_-_Inclusions.jpg
      The Baltic sea is the best place to look for amber. No restrictions, free for all. We went to Latvia in October 2004 and took home a small bowl of amber – a right kind of storm brought the amber out of the sea that day. I wouldn’t buy the amber jewelry from the locals though: they often use plastic beads. They can put a mosquito in that plastic bead too 🙂

      1. I’ve heard before that a lot of the “ancient insects trapped in amber” sold in various places should really be labeled “modern insects trapped in plastic.” I doubt I could tell the difference. I have some some examples in museums, though, and presumably the creatures in these were authentic. I was surprised how modern they often looked. Of course, the fact that ancient insects and modern ones look much the same to non-experts is presumably just another reason why it’s so easy to be duped. I would like to walk along the beach and pick up the amber myself. That way, I could be sure that anything I found was genuine. 🙂

        1. Yes, it is difficult to tell one from another. The only sure way is to heat and smell amber. I have found a link for you: http://bit.ly/1YIHxET . Yet, there is a risk. WW2 bombs that are still sitting somewhere on the bottom of the Baltic sea have some phosphoric compounds that can be easily mistaken for amber. This ‘amber’ can ignite when it dries. Nasty stuff. If you go for amber hunt, take a glass or metallic jar with you. Don’t put your finds in your pocket.
          Hope you will find an ancient creature trapped in a beautiful chunk of amber some day! 🙂

  4. Amazing photos… I do love lighthouses! Spidey reminds me of when I saw a tarantula. 😁

  5. Excellent tour and photographs… I noticed that there are several in green and placed by the middle of the post… They truly caught my attention… very nice pics and place, dear Inese…
    Sending love, Aquileana 🙂

  6. Full of wanderlust! Loved every single one! 🙂

    Please have a beautiful week!
    Dajena 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Amber is commonly found in the beach, and every family has a bowl where they add the pieces picked up on their beach walks. Splendid idea to put it all together in this monument.

  7. Gorgeous pictures. I think I need a few years’ holiday to catch up on all the great places. Love everything and I’m with you on the amber sculpture. I don’t like green other than in nature, but I love the car!

    1. Thank you so much, Olga! I too don’t like green cars 🙂 A silly color for a car, I think.
      Holidays cost a lot of money, unfortunately. I don’t go anywhere without a good reason these days.

  8. I saved this post for several days at least that what it felt like
    I couldn’t stop looking at that cool car
    Or stop thinking about it’s name
    I used it in a poem
    Great post
    Your photos always take me somewhere nice
    As always Sheldon

    1. Sheldon, there is another old car in my next post, this saturday. I am not sure what make it is though, but looks very beautiful 🙂

      1. I found the name of the car of this post
        It’s called a Volgo it’s a German car
        I forget now what I found out after looking it up
        But I used that name in a poem
        Thank you Inese

        1. No Sheldon, it is a Russian car Volga. I did a research on the other car I am going to post this Saturday, and I found out that it is a Volga too, just an older one.

      1. Now that you mention, he reminds me of the story of ‘The King and the spider’. Spiders are resilient aren’t they? So much to learn from them! This one’s cute and beautiful! 🙂

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