We left Riga in the morning for Tartu which is the second largest city of Estonia. On the way to Tartu after about 50 minutes, we reached Sigulda that has a population of 40.000. 11% of Sigulda’s population are Russians and Belorussians.
Sigulda and the surrouding areas are quite popular for both winter and summer sports, as this area includes Gauja National Park which is the largest adventure park in the country. This large park is very well-kept and full of colorful flowers.
We visited Turaida Castle, Sigulda Medieval Castle, and then headed towards Gutmanis Cave which is located in the same park. Basically, we were dissapointed by the cave, as it was more like a hollow rock than a cave. It has a spring in a 40-50-square kilometer hollow. The water of this spring is believed to have beautifier and expander effects. All of the women in our group formed a line to get benefit of the spring’s beautifying effects.
The park offers various activities like canoeing, rafting and rock climbing. Thus, this park is wonderful place for adventure lovers in Baltics.
Lastly, we visited Lutheran Church, which had a quite plain architecture, and got on our tour bus. After a short while, we stopped to visit Turaida Castle which was built by Albert the Archbishop of Riga. The castle (built of red brick) is located on a high hill on the bank of Gauja River. We climbed the tower of the castle to watch and take photos of the splendid forest and lake view.
After visiting the castle, we headed towards the town of Cesis which is described as the most beautiful town of Latvia. Cesis was not settled until the second half of 13th century. The town is encircled with a stone wall with five entrance gates and eight towers. St.John’s Church that was built between 1281-1284 is located in the centre of the town. Cesis Castle is the most prominent place in Cesis, as it was the first settlement area in the town.
Cesis Castle was once had a great importance since it was located on trade routes. Unfortunately, we could not enjoy the town, as it was raining. Lastly, we got on the bus again, passed Estonian border and headed towards Tartu.