It started with a bus ride of about an hour. It was cold, very cold for the season, but the sunshine, From Tukums, we first went to Jurmala, which is a city in Latvia, about 25 kilometers west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. It has a 33 km stretch of white sand beach, and a population of 57 000, making it the fifth largest city in Latvia. Mens Lettland var en del af Sovjetunionen, Jūrma was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials, as Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. You can see luxury villas everywhere and a modern pedestrian street, which runs through the center, is full of restaurants and souvenir shops.Jurmalas reputation as a spa destination began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when wealthy landowners began the tradition of relaxing at the seaside,
But it was very cold, despite the sunshine. The snow lay on the frescoes and on the roofs of the cars. The white, beautiful beach was deserted, except on some walkers who defied the cool wind. Without a doubt, Jurmala is a very beautiful city,but we all longed for Riga.
Suddenly we arrived at the capital. We went out of the bus in the middle of the city. Valentine and the colleague in history, whose name I forgot, told us about Riga’s history and showed us around in all historical places. We saw the president’s residence, the school ministry, the stock exchange and much more. Most authorities had offices in nice old houses, and while we were talking about this, some street musicians began to play the European anthem,
One feature of the Riga visit which fitted perfectly into the project was to visit the Opera House. The Opera House in the Old Town is one of Riga’s most beautiful houses. The Opera House was one of the first houses that were renovated in the beginning of the 1990s after the Soviet okupation. Renovation was completed in 1995.
Then we went to Jelgava City, which is located on the right bank of the Lielupe River, is famous for its beautiful baroque castle..The castle was built in 1738 after the architect F B Rastrelli’s drawings, and is the largest baroque castle in the Baltic Sea, with an area of 2.2 hectares. It was former home of the Duke of Zemgale and 30 people of the family are buried in the castle, so the students in Latvia’s Agricultural University share premises with thirty dead people, Valentine said.
Today’s highlight was when we visited the Culture House in Jeslava and saw hundreds of young people from three to seventeen years dancing together. We had the opportunity to attend their large rehearsal before the set of a ballet show.