Latvia is a small country situated at the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia.
Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests.
Its nature is fantastic, just waiting to be explored. The history runs back long and Latvia's historic buildings bear witness to this.
During the week I work from home and seldom venture out, therefor I appreciate being outdoors during the weekends.
We recently decided to get out and visit Cēsis, a small scenic town about an hour's train ride from Riga, the capital city.
We booked a night's AirBnB accommodation for Saturday, the 12th and off we went as a family. We arrived in the afternoon, booked into our place of accommodation, and explored Cēsis.
We sat down for a late lunch and afterwards just wandered around taking in the chilly air.
I liked the Castle gardens, but since its winter and it gets dark early in, we decided to head to home.
The emergence of Cēsis can be found in the distant past 800 years ago. Its origins are connected to the Cēsis Medieval castle, around which in the 13th century a town was built. Over the centuries the castle shared its destiny with the city of Cēsis in battles with Russian, Polish and Swedish troops. Repeatedly rebuilt and expanded the castle got its present architectural appearance at the beginning of the 16th century.
Today the castle is the most impressive eyewitness of local history, and also attracts many guests with its romantic charm of the medieval architecture.
With the map and candlelight taken from the Cēsis Castle visitor centre, you can view the Western Tower, and also the living room of the Master which contains unique interiors dating from the 16th century with splendid stellar coves, vaulted consoles from artificial stone and fragments of wall paintings.
From the attic of the tower a spectacular view opens to the other side of the castle garden, park and the whole Cēsis town. The Southern Tower, which is the most magnificent tower from the outside, allows visitors to go downstairs to the basement of the tower, to view one of the former dungeons of the castle.
In castle garden together with medieval people in the summer season, it is possible to try a variety of medieval games, to explore ancient craft skills and visit the medieval garden in which vegetables and spices for Medieval kitchen were grown.
Sunday morning we ate delicious takeaway sandwiches my wife Leila had prepared for us back home. Our train departure was only for 6pm so we had the whole day to explore the old German Church in town and the old castle.
I thought to myself; "Mhmm the Germans had in the past not only left their mark in my country Namibia, but also in Latvia for about 800 years."
The castle stands out from its surroundings on a hill. Climbing the many stairs while carrying our daughter (who wanted to see everything) left my knees wobbly afterwards, but it was definitely worth it. Lunch was had a at a small but very busy Cafe in old town.
At 6pm we hopped onto the train and headed back home to Tiraine, tired but definitely fulfilled.
I can only recommend Cēsis for a day trip or sleep over.