“By discovering nature, you discover yourself.”
- Maxime Lagacé
When we’re in need of a bit of inspiration & relaxation Leila and I always head out into nature. If we can’t get out into the wilds of a national park, then anywhere with some trees and water will do!
No matter how difficult the day has been, reconnecting with nature never fails to bring some perspective and we always leave feeling better than when we arrived.
On the 25th of May my wife Leila & I celebrated our wedding anniversary and on the 27th May it was her birthday, and what better way to celebrate both occasions than to head out of Riga last weekend.
This marked also the first time our beautiful baby girl Ondeya joined on one of our road trips. She couldn't stop smiling and we know this was her first of many more to come.
Even our pet rabbits Tom & Jerry came along.
(Photo credit: Līga)
I booked a Forest retreat on the edge of Riga in Langstini via AirBnB for the past weekend. With a fully loaded car we left Riga city on Friday after work and drove the 17km or so to Langstini.
If nature, silence and fresh air are for you, this is the perfect place.
Here one can lie back, stare through those glass walls and feel the forest drain your troubles away. Other activities like hiking, swimming, and day trips to Riga or the National Park are within easy reach. If the weather allows it, you can also top off the day with a BBQ as the sun slowly sets through the trees.
Our super friendly hosts Līga and her mother Gunna welcome us like old friends and made us feel at home.
Upon arrival Leila fed our daughter Ondeya and we set up the cage for our rabbits on the large property in nature. I then prepared dinner for us and we called it an early night.
On Saturday I prepared a late breakfast for us and afterwards we explored Langstini and its surroundings. We strolled up to the lake and sat down to enjoy the view.
Langstiņi (formerly also Lankstiņi ) is a village in Garkalne district.
The houses are beautiful and it is surrounded by beautiful forests.
The rather posh neighbourhood started to form on the southern and south-eastern shore of Lake Langstiņi already before the First World War as a summer village.
After World War 2 a part of the Soviet Army (Air Army Communications Control Center) was located 700 m south of the lake . At the end of the 1960s, there were more than 40 residential houses, a shop, a kindergarten and a pioneer camp in Langstiņi.
The settlement began to develop rapidly at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, when Langstiņi became a prestigious residential area.
In the afternoon we visited the Salaspils Memorial.
It is located on the site of the Salaspils Camp, erected by the
occupying Nazi regime and that was in operation from 1941-1944.
The emotionally impressive ensemble was unveiled in 1967 during Soviet occupation
and covers 25 hectares.
The designers of this exemplar of modern architecture are architects Gunārs Asaris, Olģerts Ostenbergs, Ivars Strautmanis, Oļegs Zakamennijs and sculptors Ļevs Bukovskis, Oļegs Skarainis, Jānis Zariņš. Today it is part of the cultural heritages of Latvia.
SALASPILS CAMP (1941-1944)
Salaspils Camp was a repressive punishment camp created by Nazi Germany in occupied Latvia. Construction began in November 1941.ata indicates that approximately 23 000 people may have been imprisoned in Salaspils Camp: half were political prisoners, work avoiders and convicted soldiers, and the remainder were prisoners resulting from special campaigns against civilians in Belorussia, Russia and Latgale.
During the winter of 1941/1942, extreme living and work conditions resulted in the deaths of approximately 1000 Jews brought from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia for construction of Salaspils Camp.
For dinner we stopped at an Armenian restaurant in Salaspils which served me delicious Lamb chops which is rather a rarity to find in Latvia.
Friendly service from our waitress and the owner. Good stopover place.
Afterwards we headed back to our forest retreat and relaxed bit there before we called it a night. On Sunday we had late breakfast and afterwards we drove back to Riga where we dropped off our rabbits and unloaded most of our luggage.
Since we still had time we decided to continue driving out to Jurmala, Latvia's favourite beach resort. We been many times to Jurmala but everytime is special.
After a late lunch at Restaurant 77, we headed for the beach and enjoyed the remainder of the weekend.
To book your Forest Retreat on the edge of Riga
or book via AirBnB