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Meeting of more rellies

Riga, Latvia

Today we were picked up by Mejia and Janis at about 10am and they took us to a place called blahblah that had a really nice Latvian Castle, we stopped at the souvenir stalls that are setup at the car park first and found a Latvian traditional right for Em the ring is called “blahblahring” and everybody in my family has one, I have my grandmothers one and it’s my most precious possession.

The Castle was in the set in very beautiful gardens that as it turns out is where Mejia and Janis got married, there is a grave in the gardens that is of a girl who “died for love” and is considered the Latvian Juliet, so many people get married in that park. The castle was very cool with a big round tower that you could climb and get a really good view of the surrounding countryside; the round tower is a Germanic feature I think as most English castles that we visited had square towers.

After the Castle we went to Mejia’s family home a farmhouse that my great grandfather lived in for several years and the home which my grandfather remembers very fondly. My grandfather remembers riding horses there and spending holidays on the farm and was proud of us for returning here and visiting.

Maijas parents now live in this farm house and really made us feel at home and welcome. Though they are unable to speak any English and we can not speak Latvian we were able to communicate though smiles and the now very popular game, charades. We were shown around the farm, saw the many animals that are on the land ranging from cows, calves, pigs, horses, 4 dogs, 2 pups and about 13 cats. It was busy! We saw the amazing strawberry patch that was producing the most amazing, rich and HUGE strawberries (they were very nice!) the old barn with its cellar and the main house. Photo albums were pulled out, tea, coffee and a traditional Latvian drink were poured, curd cake, cheese, meats, strawberries, biscuits were brought out and we all sat down to ‘talk’ and get to know one another. Time flew while here and before we knew it it was 8pm and it was time for us to get going. We had several photos taken together before leaving and we were told that Maijas parents would wait for us to return, which really made me feel like I was a soldier heading off to war for a moment, then I returned back to reality. We told them that we would like to return but it would not be for a little while yet, they said we were always welcome and it was just lovely to have been able to meet them and see the house that was such a big part of Chris’ grandfathers’ upbringing. It would have been such a beautiful place in the day, all the land and forest that surround it, the spacious house and all the animals that would have been there to play with and chase. It would have just been lovely.

It was sad to say goodbye but as we had an hour or so to drive it was necessary to make a move, so we hugged, kissed cheeks and waved goodbye enthusiastically as we drove away, vowing that we would send them some of the many many photos we took through out the day. It is difficult to know how to say thank you to such hospitality and friendship, words just don’t feel enough in many cases, and while we know that photographs are not so amazing as a gift, they are far more sentimental and hold a value that you can not replace, so, sending them photos of the family, of all of us together seems far more appropriate than a few ‘thanks’ said in broken Latvian!

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on July 3, 2009 from Riga, Latvia
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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