Latvia Journals

Day Trips Out Of Riga

Best of IgoUgo

A February 2009 trip to Latvia by michaelhudson

Jelgava Photo, Latvia, Europe More Photos
Quote: What to do when you've had enough of the capital city.

Rumbula Holocaust Memorial

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Rumbula Holocaust Memorial Photo, Riga, Latvia
Quote:
On just two days of November and December 1941 27,800 Jews, mostly from the Riga ghetto, were marched in columns to Rumbula Forest, ordered to place their clothes and valuables in collection boxes, lined up in single file, and shot. Executions went on throughout the day. The dead piled up in freshly dug pits, one on top of another. There were only three survivors. Two years later, worried about leaving evidence behind, the Nazi authorities ordered the bodies to be burnt. In the mid-1960s local activists erected the first makeshift memorial at the site of the massacre. It was the first such monument to the Jewish victims of the Nazis anywhere in the USSR. The Soviet authorities ordered...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2009

Rumbula Holocaust Memorial

Riga

Salaspils Concentration Camp

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Salaspils Concentration Camp Photo, Salaspils, Latvia
Quote:
Set in a pine forest south of Riga, near the town of Salspils, Kurtenhof Concentration Camp was the biggest of two camps built in or near the Latvian capital for civilians and Jews from the occupied territories. Between October 1941 and its liberation in late-1944 the camp, set in a clearing a few hundred metres from the Riga-Salaspils railway line, served first as a transitional camp and later, by personal order of Himmler, as the site of mass executions.Estimates differ of how many people were murdered at Salaspils. The Soviets claimed over one hundred thousand, Latvian textbooks half that, recent studies offer a figure of under three thousand. What is certain is that this was a dark and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 10, 2009

Salaspils Concentration Camp

Salaspils

Vecāķi Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Riga Photo, Riga, Latvia
Quote:
Vecāķi Beach looks a lot like Jurmala, only without the crowds. Eight miles east of Riga, and easily reached by suburban train, the sand is wide and flat, backed by pine trees, stretching mile after mile between the mouths of the Daugava and Gauja Rivers. The beach is a ten-minute walk from Vecāķi Station, through the small station building and then straight past the houses on Pludmales iela. As you near the sand there are a couple of bars, closed out of season. Unlike the big resorts at Jurmala there are no major hotels, sand dunes, high-end restaurants or beachfront sanatoriums here. In fact, aside from a few metal goalposts near the Pludmales entrance there are barely any permanent...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2009

Majori Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Majori"

Jurmala Photo, Riga, Latvia
Quote:
Snow covers the beach at Majori, the biggest and busiest in the string of towns that make up the capital's seashore. The Bay of Riga's iron-grey and as flat as a lake, and as I walk towards what I take to be the water's edge I find myself slipping on sheets of ice. An elderly couple sit with their backs to the sea, families pose for pictures beside a stone turtle, girls in fur hats slide across an ice track, a man drags a sledge over frozen water, and someone's written Honey I Love U in foot-high letters in the snow.The beach looks like a railway station corridor. As far as the eye can see two huddled lines move in opposite directions, each keeping to the right, walking at the pace...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 7, 2009

Tukums

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Tukums Photo, Latvia, Europe
Quote:
One hour twenty minutes out of Riga on the way to Ventspils, Tukums could never be described as a must-see, but it does make a decent introduction to small town Latvia for those without the time to visit Talsi or Kuldiga.Of the town's two railway stations, Tukums 1 is much handier for visitors, a five-minute walk east of the town centre (the bus station is directly opposite, with regular services to Ventspils and Riga). Turn left out of the station and follow Pasta iela until it meets with Pils iela, which runs past St Nicholas' Orthodox Cathedral and the small tourist information centre (closed weekends) to Freedom Square (Brīvības laukums). The town's oldest building, the 13th century ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 9, 2009

Jelgava

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Jelgava Photo, Latvia, Europe
Quote:
Although it's less than an hour from Riga by spruced-up electric train (padded seats, flowers daubed on the windows and EU stars above the doors), there aren't many reasons to spend time in Jelgava. Smashed about in both world wars, scrapped over by Baltic Germans and bombed by the Soviets, it's now little more than a commuter town for Riga, the kind of place that guidebooks dismiss in half a paragraph or less.Arriving by train, it's a ten-minute walk to the little town centre and the bus station (straight ahead out of the station and take a left at the Orthodox Cathedral). There isn't much to see: the red-brick Church of the Holy Trinity, a statue of inter-war Latvia's first president ...Read More

About the Writer

michaelhudson

michaelhudson
Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom