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Solo Travel Destination-Latvia-11 Surprises:
Latvia: Places to Stay:
A popular time for tourists is the summer solstice June 23-24. As I have been planning a trip to Latvia in the fall, I found a world of surprises. Here are the top 11:
One: Latvia is the “most introverted country in the world”! (According to a sign at the Washington, DC Embassy)
Two: A photo of Latvia’s windmills could easily have been taken in the Netherlands.
Three: Latvia while located in Eastern Europe is actually part of the Nordic region’s culture and heritage.
Four: Latvia’s leading cathedral in its capital is the only one we have found that was topped by a rooster!
Five: When you hear beaches, you think Caribbean, South Beach? While a lot colder climate, Latvia has beaches that are one of the local tourist draws.
Six: Where else can you see not only still standing 13th century fortresses and the Soviet era’s Museum of the Occupation and “Stalin’s wedding cake” (the latter, the Academy of Science skyscraper).
Seven: While a seaside nation, almost half of Latvia is made up of forests.
Eight: World famous waterfalls, how many can you name? Add to that Europe’s widest waterfall which is at Kuldiga, Latvia.
Nine: If you’ve admired modern masterpieces by “American” artist, Mark Rothko, did you know he was actually born in Daugavpils, Latvia’s second largest city?
Ten: Latvia rivals Western Europe for having castles at virtually every turn. Ancient and partly in ruin fortresses dot the landside in the Gauja Valley. Well-known among them are Sigulda Castle, 13th century Turaida Castle, Cesis Castle and Riga Castle. The latter is now the official residence of the President of Latvia. (See 10 top castles in Latvia.)
Eleven: Old Town Riga Grandeur rivals that of major European capitals. A leading architectural sight is “The Brotherhood of Blackheads”. This was the guild hall for a 14th century association of elite upper class men.
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