|Gigantic beer pot sculptures with potted plants as a head|
We really enjoyed Cesis with its great town square, its Lutheran church and many attractive builldings and its ancient castle remains and parks. There was also an extensive children's playground area with lot of fine equipment mainly of timber. We have observed that Latvians may lack many things we take for granted but when it comes to children's playgrounds, they far exceed Australia's offerings in both terms of quantity and quality and all without resorting to plastic garbage and our nana-state offerings. And they are very popular.. It is very rare to see one not being enthusiastically used. Cesis is the home of Cesus Alus (alus is their word for beer) and their brewery is the biggest in Latvia. (it's okay but Latvia has other better brews in my opinion). The price of beer is reasonable and is the drink of choice for most ethnic Latvians.
|Lutheran Church at Rauna|
Substantial remnants of Rauna Castle remain which is remarkable considering that over the centuries it has been damaged and ransacked by invading forces a total of seven times. But the big clue was that the castle was originally built, like the church, in 1262 by Albert II, Archbishop of Riga, as the Archbishop's Summer Residence, which tends to explain why Rauna was provided with such a large and substantial church. We could not gain entry to the church. An outstanding feature is the two reliefs over the main and the side entry. They are extremely crude and archaic which suggests that they were original to the church (see the photographs in our album about this day). The town looks relatively prosperous with modern municipal offices, a new shopping centre being built, new accommodation erections and many large modern houses in the town. Most surprisingly, the town has two modern toilet blocks and they are free and unlocked! We have not seem even one municipal toilet block anywhere else in Latvia - not even in Riga. Elsewhere, Latvia is a country where is can be very difficult to find any readily available toilet facilities when you need then and if you get lucky you may well need about 30 cents in loose change to gain entry. It was the same in Estonia also. The town also had some very modern sporting facilities as well.
|Lutheran Church at Drusti|
Be sure to take a look at the album for this trip.