Sunday, June 19, 2011

Falling on Rocky Times

Ok....the title is completely misleading in the sense that we have fallen on tough times. No, we have revisited the rocky beach of Vidzeme (Vidzemes Jurmala). A place we first visited together on the day of our (first) engagement on June 30, ummmmmm....2003?  I was really excited to revisit this place, given our memory of that special day. Jekabs and his family used to spend weeks in the summertime here, living in a rented house, chopping their own firewood, swimming in the sea, and hanging out with other families.


We completed an orienteering race a few days ago. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work. Orienteering is a competitive sport thru the forest. Basically, you choose your distance (we chose 6K), mark your points on a trail (terrain) map, and jet off thru the forest. I could NOT have survived this without Jekabs. Unless you were born in the mountains or live near a forest would you ever have need to learn how to read a terrain map? This was a pretty tough run ( because the forest ground was unbelievably rough, rocky, mossy, branchy, swampish, hillish, old war trenchish, and all sorts of other words that make no grammatical sense! I am very pleased that we did this race. The forest was beautiful. Again, the history of WWII struck me as we ran past old trenches that were dug out during war time. How could I not stop and think about the place I was running past, so peacefully, and not consider the harsh tragedy of history.

I wish I had pictures of our running course. I think you would be impressed. Instead I only have a victory picture after the finish line.

We finally took a boat ride on the Daugava River. It was quite different than I expected, but very interesting because we got a good look at the industrial side of Latvia, a side we don't typically go looking for.

These huge cranes were loading piles of coal onto the ship. 

Ahhhhh....containers packed full of all the goods we love to consume. Shipped in or doesn't long as they make it home. 
It is really intriguing to see the inner workings of how a country functions with its goods.

Dome Cathedaral

We attended an International Service today at Dome Cathedral so I had the opportunity to snap some photos. Our service was located in the chapel, not the main sanctuary, as pictured here. 

When we were in the cloister (courtyard in the middle of the cathedral) Jekabs mentioned how it was formerly a monastery. The boys repeatedly kept getting confused...."There are MONSTERS here?" No, it was a Monastary......."There are MONSTERS in here?"  So funny. 

This is where we kept having the "monsters" conversation. 

Original ground level of the cathedral (it continues downward thru the gate). Current ground level had been built up thru the centuries. There is currently an archaeology dig at the cathedral to discover the different layers of ground from years past. 

Sand Sculpting....competition currently on display.
 For the competition, many different types of sand were dug up and analyzed for their sculpting quality and the final sand was a perfect mix of clay sand, which pleased the sculpting artists by allowing them to put much more detail into their art. 

We shrunk Dome Cathedral


1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! Makes me want to visit Latvia!