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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:02 PM   #1
Gatis
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Vidzeme Sea coast - Latvia

Last weekend was hunting pictures in Northern Vidzeme, mainly along Vidzeme seaside. Nature there is absolutely beautiful - but weather was not good. See some pictures what have I got from this trip:

"Cottage" (Veides pils) built in beginning of 20th century by wealthy seaman in Ainazi town - the house is some 800 m from Estonian border.


Pier built in late 19th century in the northern part of Ainazi town. Amazing work.


Randu plavas - "Randu meadows" - the only sea medow in Latvia. Beautiful place, with the help of semi-wild cows the traditional meadow landscape is under restoration there now. Walk along the wooden tourist footpath is highly recommended.


Pietraga (Sarkanas) cliffs at Salaca River - not too high but very nice. Lots of wild salmon spawns at these cliffs.


Rosti cliffs some km downstream. Salaca River has got lots of such cliffs:


Tujasmuiza sacrificial stone. It is rather late monument of archaeology - most likely from beginning of 18th century, when the plague killed most people and the remaining ones often diverted away from Christianity.


Vidzeme seaside. Recent storms have washed out lots of new cliffs along the sea - the landscape now looks wild.


Niedraji-Pilka bog - there is nice tourist trail.


The most ancient dated cave incsription in Latvia - from 1664. Next to it stands a lot older ancient Livic sign.


I hope that in next weekend will bring a lot more pictures from this area
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:09 PM   #2
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very beautiful photos/nature!

thanks sharing Gatis!
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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Nice pictures and nice nature, though you could make almost the exact same pics in Estonia too . Maybe someone can tell me how much of Latvia is covered with wet areas(bogs, swamps etc)?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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You deserve a medal for these photo-threads! Keep them coming!
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:51 PM   #5
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I read somewhere that Ainazi (Heinaste) was an Estonian village which went to Latvia when making borders between Estonia and Latvia , but okay, this is past these pictures are great but this cottage should really need some renovation
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogeshh View Post
I read somewhere that Ainazi (Heinaste) was an Estonian village which went to Latvia when making borders between Estonia and Latvia , but okay, this is past these pictures are great but this cottage should really need some renovation
Hmm...

First Latvian nautical school was built in Ainaži, by Kr. Valdemārs, so there had to be some Latvians there before 1918 as well, since the tuition in the school was both in Latvian and Estonian. I think the fairest guess would be that the palce was bilingual. Also, we have to remember that there were no such geo-political entities as Latvia or Estonia before 1918, and I doubt that Estonians would have given away a region with Estonian ethnic majority.

In fact, what you really mean might be that before 1918. Ainaži and surrounding rural territory was part of mostly Estonian-speaking administrative unit, and after deciding upon the Latvian-Estonian border the line was drawn along "ethnic boundaries", meaning that the territories with the corresponding ethnic majorities went over to appropriate countries. So basically this larger administrative unit was divided into Estonian and Latvian territories.

Ach, and don't forget that we gave you Ruhnu!
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raz View Post
Hmm...

First Latvian nautical school was built in Ainaži, by Kr. Valdemārs, so there had to be some Latvians there before 1918 as well, since the tuition in the school was both in Latvian and Estonian. I think the fairest guess would be that the palce was bilingual. Also, we have to remember that there were no such geo-political entities as Latvia or Estonia before 1918, and I doubt that Estonians would have given away a region with Estonian ethnic majority.

In fact, what you really mean might be that before 1918. Ainaži and surrounding rural territory was part of mostly Estonian-speaking administrative unit, and after deciding upon the Latvian-Estonian border the line was drawn along "ethnic boundaries", meaning that the territories with the corresponding ethnic majorities went over to appropriate countries. So basically this larger administrative unit was divided into Estonian and Latvian territories.

Ach, and don't forget that we gave you Ruhnu!
Yes, there must have been Latvian majority if it went that way, I don't really care about this subject, but anyways thanks for Ruhnu then
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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Thanks

Quote:
Maybe someone can tell me how much of Latvia is covered with wet areas(bogs, swamps etc)?
Bogs and swamps take 9,9%. This could be less than in Estonia, but more than in most parts of Europe. Most bogs are protected nowadays.

Quote:
I read somewhere that Ainazi (Heinaste) was an Estonian village which went to Latvia when making borders between Estonia and Latvia , but okay, this is past these pictures are great
It is possible although in our history books it is not written. It is clear that we in Baltics have not opened all the pages in our borderland exchange history.

Before the independence of our countries Northern Vidzeme and Estonia was one administrative area - Livonia.

Ainazi initially was Livic village - and Livs are not Estonians and not Latvians. Afterwards - since 16th century it was owned by landowners based in area of contemporary Latvia - Svetciems landlord, Mazstraupe landlord. The ancient names of houses here are both Latvian and Estonian - "Dreimači" (Latvian), "Pelmes" (sounds like Estonian). It is possible that in late 19th century Ainazi had rather many ethnic Estonians, although there were living rather many ethnic Latvians too. Ainazi is renovned in Latvia as the place of first Latvian language Sea school, which started to work in 1864. This school operated also in Estonian although the teachers were ethnic Latvians to my knowledge.

Currently out of 1 794 people living in Ainazi 91,2% are Latvians, 2% - Estonians.

Quote:
but this cottage should really need some renovation
Most monuments of architecture in Latvia need it. But it will take billions to renovate at least the most impressive 2 - 3 thousands of them. Ainazi town alone has some 40 valuable buildings - most of them in bad condition.

Wooden architecture has experienced especially bad treatment - f.e. this wooden cottage is recognised as value only in last 10 years.

There stands another wooden building with nice carvings behind Veides pils - in similar bad condition. When I photographed it, local man came by and asked - what have I found interesting in it? I told that this is beautiful building. He laughed at me and said that this building is nightmare and I should be lucky that I should not live in it. It's clear that he would be lucky if that building is removed and something new built in place instead.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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Very impressive! Now it's one of my hottest targets of inland area tourism.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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Great pics
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 06:20 PM   #11
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wounderful pics !!!!,,
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #12
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It doesn't look like Latvia.
Thank you, Gatis!
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Old July 4th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
It doesn't look like Latvia.
Why not? Btw. I am surprised how fast has advanced "civilisation" of Latvian landscape.

I did not have possibility to drive around for one year - and was getting used to enormous chaotic construction place named - Riga suburbs. Greater Riga outside Centrum looks nasty now - dust, construction, heavily damaged roads and lots of dirty trucks.

Countryside is different. On the bad side - roads still are terrible. Via Baltica and some more roads looks decent now, but most roads - not. But on the other side - small towns nowadays are very clean, lots of buildings have been renovated or at least repainted, lots of new fountains, sculptures, flowerbeds, footpaths etc. There has appeared lots of tourism infrastructure - wooden footpaths, watchtowers, signing. So - things change to the best side.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatis View Post
Why not?
It looks so severe, so northern. It is different to what you see in Liepāja region.
Glad to know, that the infrastructure is improving.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatis View Post
Why not? Btw. I am surprised how fast has advanced "civilisation" of Latvian landscape.

I did not have possibility to drive around for one year - and was getting used to enormous chaotic construction place named - Riga suburbs. Greater Riga outside Centrum looks nasty now - dust, construction, heavily damaged roads and lots of dirty trucks.

Countryside is different. On the bad side - roads still are terrible. Via Baltica and some more roads looks decent now, but most roads - not. But on the other side - small towns nowadays are very clean, lots of buildings have been renovated or at least repainted, lots of new fountains, sculptures, flowerbeds, footpaths etc. There has appeared lots of tourism infrastructure - wooden footpaths, watchtowers, signing. So - things change to the best side.
You are so true about the roads. In 2005 I had a small road trip in Northern Latvia and the smaller roads were like pure crap. Before that I had always thought that Estonian small roads were bad.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #16
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Nice pics Gatis, great looking nature, especially those red cliffs.
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