Cycling marathon "The Path of Kr. Barons
" 7 July - 20 July

Although living separately in time and place, from the global point of view we are all living together. We can talk about higher matters and philosophies and the end of the world. We can be silent and blind. We can try and blame someone for our mistakes. The possibilities are many, but reality is as it is.
Latvia is most beautiful place (for us), but it is not a large country. Riga is not the largest city. Our city parks are very small territories, but they are a part of our planet. Our aim is to commence series of action to effect a positive change in our land. Surely, it is somewhat naive to think that the youth will suddenly change their attitude towards themselves and regard their backyard, or a piece of forest as a small part of their world. However, it is possible that many may develop a real love for the environment. A person who loves something is not going to hurt it…or others.
We will endeavour to maintain the idea and idealism of human values. Obviously, this cannot be achieved with a few actions or informative booklets. Yet, we can begin to gradually cultivate a new attitude towards the need for a clean environment and accept the responsibility for our actions
(Vita Jaunzeme, “Project Footprints”)

Krishjanis Barons (1835-1923)

Barons immortalized his name having compiled the Latvian folk songs (Dainas). He spent the largest part of his life at this work.
In 1856 Kr. Barons left for Terbata to study Mathematics and Astronomy.
During summer vacations he traveled throughout Latvia and in the result of those travels there appeared a book “The Description of our Fatherland”
Later Kr. Barons moved to study in St. Petersburg, where he worked hard at publishing of the “Petersburg Newspaper”.
Later on Kr. Barons moved to Moscow, where together with other Latvians commenced the work on collection and generalization of the Latvian intangible heritage.
In 1893 he moved to Riga and continued the work on generalization of the Latvian Dainas.
Barons started writing when he was a student, trying different genres, when working at the Petersburg Newspaper, and dedicated the rest of his life to aggregation of the Latvian folk songs solely.
In studentship Barons wrote the Baltic geography under the title: The Description of our Fatherland and some appendixes, briefly entered. A book for schools and homes. Jelgava, at G. U. Renher, 1859. That was the first geography, written about the proximate Latvian mother country from the Latvian point of view. In consecutive order there was given brief, but rather profound information on lands of Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Estonia, marking sizes, residents, hills, waters, depicting peculiarities of some places, specific hills and rivers. It gave a coherent review on the landscape of the Baltic lands, the climate and productions. At the end there was enclosed a comprehensive description of the Baltic and the neighboring nations.
Still the largest contribution is his work on aggregation, classification and collection of the Latvian folk songs.
Barons spent on the Latvian Dainas nearly 25 years.

The Latvian folk songs are the wealth, which makes the Latvian culture rich and immortal.

Before joining the trip, please, assess your skills to ride and physical capacities!
Each participant shall be responsible personally for his/ her safety!
Each participant shall cover all costs on the trip!
Bicycles should be in a good riding order!
Under-age participants should ride accompanied by adults! !

Things necessary for the trip:

· Passports to go to Estonia;
· Money;
· A tent;
· Sleeping bags;
· Wheels lamps and reflectors;
· Appropriate clothes and footwear;
· Swimming suits and towels;
· Raincoats;
· Insecticide repellents;
· Drinking water;
· Spare inner tube;
· First aid kit;
· A pocket torch;
· Bicycle rider’s license (especially in Estonia);
· Helmets (especially in Estonia);
· Bicycles should pass the technical inspection.
· Students, schoolchildren and pensioners should have relevant certificates;

At 11.00 Start on Tartu City Hall Square
(At 7. 00 bus stops at the Latvian Society House, Riga)

7 July, Tartu - Otepe ( ~ 45 km, asphalt road)
En route:


  • Tartu Old Town;
  • Tartu University - the University’s work was discontinued during the Great Northern War in 1699. The University was re-opened in 1802. It was designed by an architect Johan Wilhelm Krause, and the University resumed its work in 1809.
  • The Engela Bridge - (1838) the name of the bridge was possibly originated from words „inglise sild” („English bridge”; the words „inglise” and „ingli” sound very similar), since the Toom Hill Park’s design is shaped in English Style. The bridge is adorned with the low-relief of the first Rector of the Tartu University (after re-opening of the University in 1802) G.F. Parrot.
  • The Devil Bridge - (1913) the bridge was built in commemoration of the 300-year of Russian tsarist Romanovs Dynasty and in memory of the Emperor Alexander I.
  • Cathedral’s ruins - construction of the Cathedral began in the 13th century. It was finished in the 15th century as a three-level basilica. The Cathedral was destructed during the Reformation and the Livonia War time.


  • The symbol of Otepe - the Linnamagi Mount, which form resembles bear’s head, thanks to that the city got its name. Otepe for the first time was mentioned in Novgorod writings in 1116. The first ancient Estonian settlements here are dated to II thousand B.C. In 1224 the Germans built here a stone tower, ruined in 1480.
  • The Otepe Church was built in 1889 - 1890. From the earlier building there has been preserved one tower with the spire in the neo-Barocco style. A three-level building, a lavishly magnificent neo-Gothic style interior. The altars were decorated by H.Schprengel in 1880; the bell was cast in Riga in 1853. The first church teacher - Estonian at the Otepe Church was Jacob Hurt. In 1884 in this church there was consecrated a blue-black-white flag of the Estonian Students’ Association, which in 1922 became the Estonian National Flag. In 1996 in the vicarage there was opened the Estonian Flag Museum.
  • The Energy Pillar - a monument built on 1 October 1992 to mark the existence of a positive energetic field in Otepe. The Energy Pillar is also a symbol in this rapidly changing era - a symbol that a human being is a part of nature, wherein the backbone is serving to laws of nature, the reign of equilibrium and mutual dependence. The reminder that we wouldn’t get estranged too far from nature and regain contacts with the earth.

The legend says that the lake appeared out of tears of a grieving mother, when her 5 sons were killed in war. The five island’s lakes appeared from the sons’ gravestones
The lake’s area is 285,9 ha, length - 3,5 km, width - 1,6 km, maximal depth - 8,5 m (average depth of around 4,3 m). The length of the shore line is 16,4 km.

The overnight stay in Otepe at the Saint (Puhajarve) Lake, in the meadow.

8 July, Otepe - Valga - Valka ( ~ 57 km, asphalt road)
En route:


  • The Paju Battles Memorial (before Valga) - On 31 January 1919 at Paju there happened a severe battle. It was one of the most significant battles in the war for Estonian independence. The granite monument is located on a three-level pyramid.
  • The Pedele River - the river crosses twice the Latvian - Estonian border. Recently there were performed river widening operations and a theme park, located directly at the border, was started to be laid out for residents of Valga and Valka. Also there is much to do to improve ecological condition of the river’s water.


  • The Lugazhu St. Catherine Lutheran Church - the chapel was built in the 15th century, was burnt for several times, renovated in 1910. In the church there can be seen the painting “Sacred Supper” and the altar made in the first part of the 18th century (phone 4722893)
  • The Valka Folk Museum - in this building in 1849 - 1890 there was the first Vidzeme Congregation Teachers Seminar leaded by Janis Cimze, a teacher and a composer.

Overnight stay at the Gauja River, in the meadow.

9 July, Valka - Smiltene - Rauna ( ~ 63 km, asphalt + gravel road)
En route:

  • En route the Vijciems Cone Dry House, the museum, phone: 6478620, (1895 - one of the oldest cone dry houses in Europe). A unique technological monument preserved in a working condition, and authentic devices and facilities made in the end of the 19th century nowadays are also applied for drying of cones. During excursions visitors can get acquainted with drying devices and principles of their operation, cones processing cycles.
  • The Vijciems Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Vijciems Parish (1852), charity visitation. The Church attracts attention by its single fa?ade timber - scale-type timber planks. In Latvia there are only 8 timbered churches.


  • The Lazdukalns Sight Tower, 8a Parka Street, ph. 6391450, entrance fee Ls 0,20-0,50 per a person. Its height is 21 m, but the sight platform is located on 19 m height. From the tower there is a good view to Smiltene and vicinity.
  • The Certene Hillfort, Smiltene - for the cyclists and walkers (mysterious stones, historical sites). The Hillfort is around 25 m high. In the 12th - 13th centuries it was inhabited by ancient Latgalians. The Certene Hillfort is one of earlier researched hillforts in Latvia - it was measured and described as early as in 1794. In 1882 in the Hillfort there were made some excavations during which there was found a thick layer of clay, with which there were enforced the Hillfort’s sides. Up to nowadays there have been preserved artificial hillfort’s protection dyke of up to 12 m deep and 5 m wide, which borders the Hillfort from three sides. Earth excavated from the dyke was thrown to edges of the Hillfort plateau, forming up to 2 m high rim. The Certene Hillfort fortification dyke is considered as one of the most magnificent fortifications of Latvian hillforts. As per the type of fortification and the power the Certene Hillfort is considered as a fortress type fortification.


  • The Rauna Castle Ruins - the castle was built in 1262. The castle was used as a winter residence of the Archbishop. The settlement developed thereat. In the beginning of the 16th century it was rebuilt. In the middle of the 16th century and in the late 17th century the powerful castle was partially destroyed. Up to nowadays only the castle’s main blocks have been preserved as impressive castle ruins, which rise from no less impressive hillfort.
  • The Tanis Hillfort - the hillfort is located on a steep, 24 m high bank of the Rauna River valley. The hillfort place was inhabited as early as in the 6th century BC, but in the 13th century there was one of the largest and the best fortified ancient Latgalians centers. The hillfort was populated till the 14th century.
  • The Rauna Staburags - dense fresh water limestone (calc-tuff) cliff on the right bank of the Rauna River was formed during thousands of years thanks to sedimentation of spring water lime. Its formation is continuing also nowadays. The length of the Rauna Staburags Cliff’s most characteristic part is 17 m, the height is up to 3,5 m. There is a small niche in the cliff, through which orifice there is flowing the spring waters effluent from the piedmont. After flowage of the Daugava Staburags Cliff the Rauna Staburags is the most peculiar for such type of calc-tuff formations in Latvia.

The overnight stay in Rauna, in the meadow. (charge Ls 0. 50, per a persons)

10 July, Rauna - Berzkrogs - Taurene - Vecpiebalga - Ineshi - Ergli (~ 69 km, asphalt + gravel road)
En route:


  • Wild horse nursery. Charge Ls 0.40 per a person.


  • The Nekina (Taurene) Estate - the estate structures complex, formed in the 19th - 20th centuries, nowadays comprises the Estate Palace, the Breweries, icehouses and a blacksmith’s forge, and the park.
  • The Lode-Taurene Lakes - this is a subglacial lakes group stretched for 12 km. A number of large lakes - the Banuzhu, Ilzes Stupenu, Dabaru Lakes - are comparatively wide, long, stretched and deep. Through a number of lakes there flows the Gauja River, so this is the first significant water source for the Gauja upper course span.


  • The Vecpiebalga /Old Piebalga/ Estate Palace in Ineshi - the estate as a single complex was created in 18th - 19th centuries. Standing on the bank of the Orisâre River the Estate Palace, designed in the classicism style, was built in 1786 during the time of Earl Sheremetev. The Estate Palace was burnt during unrest of 1905, renovated in 1909. There is a scenery park around the Palace planted with a number of various local and outlandish greenery.

The overnight stay at the Ogre River, in the meadow.

11 July, Ergli - Odziena Estate - Koknese (~ 46 km, asphalt + gravel road)
En route:


  • The Ergli Castle Ruins - a stone castle on the right bank of the Ogre River built in around 1341. Researches consider that the castle was ruined during wars in 17th - 18th centuries. Only small stone remnants of thereof have been preserved up to nowadays.
  • The Skanste Mount - On the left bank of the Ogre River behind the water reservoir’s weir there is the Skanste Mount - the hillfort was populated in the late Iron Age. There is a gruesome legend about the hillfort that at the moment when enemies attacked the castle young girls robed into clothes and jumped through windows into the Ogre River.


  • Built in the middle of the 19th century during the time of Landlord Brimmer the Estate Palace in its time was one of the most impressive Latvian neo-Gothic style structures, having similar analogs in Germany and Poland. The Estate complex comprises more than 30 different buildings. During unrest of 1905 the Palace was burnt and partially renovated after the First World War. In 20 - 30ths in one part of the Palace there were arranged flats, in other - assembly premises, but a part of it still remained unfinished. Within next decades the Palace gradually decayed and nowadays once the lavish Odziena Estate Palace has been turned into a wreck - the building doesn’t have any longer the roof, ceilings and windows. Only the walls have been preserved, but still neo-Gothic fa?ade elements, high tower and the building’s bulk allow us to imagine the once power of the Palace and to apprehend cultural and historical values left for decay. But although the Odziena Palace is worth of visiting.


  • The Koknese Castle Ruins. In 1209 the Archbishop Albert ordered to erect the stone castle on the place of a settlement of ancient Latvians. During the Great Northern War in 1701. when the castle was blown up, it was not renovated any more. (The Castle Ruins visitation: for adults Ls 0,30, for schoolchildren / students Ls 0,20)
  • The Koknese Park. The area is 18 ha. The paths lead to an 11 m high sculpture “To Eternity” created by a sculptor Ěirts Burvis, to the New Castle Ruins, to the flooded Pçrse Waterfall Memorial Stone „The Pçrse Girl”, Swedish time circular crosses, cast-iron cannons, the Second World War beds-of-honor.
  • The Koknese Estate Ensemble. There is a preserved once superintendent’s house, wherein in 1885-1887th there lived Rűdolfs Blaumanis, whereat says the memorial plaque installed in 1933. Now a Tourist Information Center and the State Woods Office are located there.

The overnight stay is in Koknese:
At the „Senču” farm, in the meadow, charge Ls 0,50 per a person.

12 July, Koknese - Staburags - Sece - Skriveri - Madliena ( ~ 58 km, asphalt + gravel road)
En route:

  • Crossing the Daugava on rafts.
    An entwined with legends fresh water limestone cliff. The cliff was of 18,5 m high and was formed from the spring water sediment calc-spar deposited on the surface of the cliff and plants being there. In 2003 there was opened a remembrance mark to the Staburags - the „God’s Ear”.
  • Sece.
    The Pďaviňi HPP
    The hydropower plant was built in 1961 - 1966ths. The Pďaviňi HPP is considered as a unique one since for the first time in practice of construction of hydraulic structures the HPP was erected on sandy loam and doab ground with the maximal head - 40 m. The HPP building is joined with water overfall, under which there is arranged Enerěçtiíu Street - the longest street in Latvia.
  • Meeting with Eduards Zablockis, at „Daugavbordzçnos” in Aizkraukle rural parish.


  • The Platere Hillfort - there is an opinion that the Platere Hillfort before moving Latvian Eastern borders was a geographical center of Latvia. Secondly, in order to add more romanticism to the site, the Platere Lord ordered to erect artificial ruins on the ancient hillfort, and that fake has been preserved up to nowadays. In the Hillfort vicinity there can be also visited two grand oaks with a 6 m circuit.

The overnight stay in Madliena rural parish. „Krasti” farm (ph.9426836), a tent place Ls 1.-

13 July, Madliena - Zaube - Nîtaure ( ~ 42 km, gravel road)
En route:


  • The Zaube Oak - the ninth thickest Latvian oak, its impressiveness was mentioned as early as in the beginning of the 20th century.
  • The Zaube Estate and the Castle Ruins - in the 18th century’s estate complex nowadays there can be observed a dwelling house, a water pumping station, a park planted with 76 foreign greeneries and the landlords’ graveyard. When in the 13th century Zaube fell under the rule of the Livonian Order, the Order here built a stone castle, destroyed during the Livonian War, an later during the Swedish - Polish War. To nowadays the castle ruins have been preserved.

The overnight stay in Nîtaure at „Salmiňu” farm, in the meadow at the river.

14 July, Nitaure („Salmiňi”) - Augđlîgatne - Sigulda - Krimulda (~ 53 km, asphalt + gravel road)
En route:


  • Excursion to the exotic birds garden (ostriches, ibises, peacocks etc.), charge Ls 0,30 per a person.
  • Ostrich omelet Ls 1.-, ostrich meat Ls 7.-/ kg

Sigulda, Krimulda

  • The Turaida Museum National Park (the Turaida Castle, The Dainu Mount, The graveyard of Turaida Rose, the Turaida Estate etc.) - charge for adults Ls 2.-, for students Ls 0.80.-, for schoolchildren Ls 0.50.-
  • The Vçju Rivett and its vicinity - the Satezele Hillfort (in the early 13th century in the Satezele Hiilfort there was a Feudal Lord Dabrel Oak Castle), The Kraukďu Ravine and the Kraukďu Cave, The Paradise Mount (from the Paradise Mount there is a magnificent view to the ancient valley of the Gauja River and to the Turaida Castle).
  • The Velnala Cliff /The Devil Cave’s Cliff) and the Krimulda Velnala /the Devil Cave/ is the last imposing cliff wall in the ancient Gauja valley, which rises from the waters of the river.
  • Raganu katls /the Witches Pot/ - in Latvia (and in the Baltics) is a unique geological formation created thanks to the sandstone subsoil erosion from the bank slopes of the Dauda Rivulet. In the result of this natural process there was formed a funnel of around 30 m depth and 20 m width, in which the geological processes are going on nowadays.

The overnight stay in the Krimulda Palace Park - built in the middle of the 19th century for Prince in the neo-classicism style the Palace in the 20ths of the 20th century after the estate’s forfeiture was transferred into the ownership of the Red Cross, which founded there the Children’s Sanatorium.
A tent place Ls 0,80
Shower Ls 0,50
Charcot’s douche Ls 4,50 (30 min)
Underwater massage Ls 4,50
Body massage, classical (an hour): general Ls 12.
Baths (Sauna) Ls 35 per a group.
Breakfast Ls 1,50

15 July, Krimulda - Sigulda - Riga - Open Air Museum ( ~ 61 km, asphalt road)
En route:

Riga, The Open Air Museum

  • Meeting with Barons’ house.

The overnight stay in the Open Air Museum, in the meadow.

16 July,Riga - Íemeri - Jaunpils - Strutele Estate (~ 70 km, asphalt + gravel road)
Riga - Íemeri, traveling by train. (Ticket price incl. luggage: Ls 0.85 -)
En route:


  • Visitation of the Jaunpils Castle and the Park. The Livonian Order’s castle was built in 1301 as a fortress, surrounded by water from three sides. The Jaunpils Castle is peculiar because it is one of few castles in Latvia that nearly haven’t changed their building bulk and exterior view.

The Strutele Estate - K. Barons spent his first years here, where his father served as a taskmaster. At the building, where the Barons family lived, there has been installed a memorial plaque. Not long time ago in the Castle there worked K. Barons’ Elementary School, but now it is liquidated and has become a private property.

The overnight stay at the Strutele Estate, in the meadow.

17 July, Strutele - Irlava - Zemite - Kandava - Sabile ( ~ 67 km asphalt + gravel road)
En route:


  • Kandava city historical center - Kandava is attractive thanks to its historical center - the Old Town Square and its structures. The attention is captured by steep off streets and the end of Liekâs Street at the piedmont of the „Vçjspârns” /Wind Wing/ Mount, where each end of buildings has different number of floors. Some buildings are decorated with communicating arches. Also there have been preserved two stone cobbled streets and the oldest stonewall bridge in Latvia.
  • The Kandava Kurshi Hillfort - on the place of nowadays Kurshi Hillfort (popularly called as the Ancient Hillfort or the Devil’s Bed) there was the Kandava Kurshi Castle - one of Vanema land centers. First time it was mentioned in 1230 in the agreement, wherein the Kurshi promised to get baptized. As a legend says when there came bad enemies the Castle sank and never rose again.

Wild animals at „Riebiki”. Charge for adults Ls 0,50, for schoolchildren students Ls 0,30.

The overnight stay at Abava Falls, in the meadow (Ls 0. 50,-per a person)

18 July, Sabile
En route:

  • Sabile historical center
  • Sabiles Lutheran Church
  • Sabile Wine Mount - vineyards on slopes of the right bank of the Abava River were cultivated already in times of knights and dukes, and Sabile wines were exported even abroad. Wine-grapes started to be cultivated again in 1938 on the initiative of a viniculturer P.Gailis. Wine Festivals have been arranged in the town since 1999 every year in the second half of July. The Wine Mount is recorded with the Guinness Records Book as the most northerly existing vineyard.
    Excursion: for students, schoolchildren, pensioners Ls 0,15, for adults Ls 0,30, groups are granted a 10% discount.
  • The Sabile Hillfort - a 25 m high hillfort, mounted on the upper side of the bank of the ancient valley of the Abava River, bounded from two sides by ravines, on its eastern side there is formed a 6 m high dyke. In the 11th - 17th centuries the hillfort was populated with the Livians turned into the Kurshians, who persuaded trades. From the hillfort’s crest there is a magnificent view to the Abava River valley, Pedvâle and Sabile towns.
  • The Pedvâle Open Air Museum of Arts - on the picturesque bank slope of the Abava River ancient valley in vicinity of the Firkspedvâle and Briňípedvâle estates in 1992 on the initiative of a sculpture O. Feldbergs there was founded a 150 ha wide Open Air Museum of Arts - Park. In the open-air expositions, placed throughout the Museum along visitors’ paths, there can be seen modern pieces of arts - installations, sculptures etc. artifacts.
    Excursions: for adults Ls 1,50, for students, schoolchildren, pensioners Ls 0,70.
  • Swedish Hat (Íempju Piltiňkalns)
  • Abava Falls
  • Sudmaďu Waterfall
  • Mâra’s Chambers - a number of small fractured sandstone caves and detritions formed on the right bank side ravine of the Abava River. The Mâra’s Chambers in ancient times were used to be a cultic place. They say that in nights you can see there the water nymphs dancing.
  • Îvande Waterfall
  • The Renda Estate Ensemble

The overnight stay at the Abava Falls, in the meadow (charge Ls 0. 50, per a person)

19 July, Sabile - Talsi - Dundaga (~51 km asphalt + gravel road)
En route:


  • The Talsi Hillfort - archeological excavations prove that in 10th - 14th centuries there was one of the best fortified and the biggest hillfort populated by the Vanema Livians and later the Kurshians. Some historians mention also the Talsi Hillfort as a possible residence of the Kurshians Governor Lamekin.
  • Visitation of the Talsi town historical center - town’s historical structures on slopes around the Church Mount on the shores of the Talsi and Vilkmuizha Lakes were formed mainly in the 19th century.

On the territory of the Country Theme Park „Lauma” there have been created various paths: the Bee path, the Plant path, the Woods path and the Sports path. The most popular among visitors is the Bee path, where in unconventional way through different sideshows there is being introduced the life of bees.
Excursion: for adults Ls 1,50, for schoolchildren Ls 1,00, pensioners Ls 0,70, a guide (also in foreign languages) Ls 3,00. For groups of over 25 people a guide’ s services are free of charge. Viewing of live bees: 10 people group Ls 1.
6403240, www.laumas.lv

The overnight stay in the meadow, the baths.

20 July, Dundaga ( ~ 30 km)
En route:


  • Dundaga center: a medieval palace with A Green Maiden, a park with Money Oak, ancient estate complex’s buildings, Dakterleja, one of the biggest Kurzeme stone churches, a light-railroad station, the Crocodile and many other places of attraction, facts and stories. (Dundaga guide Ruta Berzinja: 3237858, 3237860)
  • Dundaga vicinity: some motor and cycle routes via Dundaga vicinity (incl. conducted tour), depending upon wishes and possibilities the route can include visitation of a stone pyramid dedicated to Kr.Barons, The Kubala School - Museum, the Liepniekvalka Caves, Puishkalns /Boys’ Mount/ etc sites) (Dundaga guide Ruta Berzinja: 3237858, 3237860)
  • Dundaga cycle track - via nature and cultural sites, ecological tourism -oriented: Dundaga center - the Liepniekvalka Caves - an organic farm “Jumari” - The Valpene Pyramid - The Kubala School - Museum - a crocodile hunter’s house - tasting of traditional treats at the farm „Jaunsniíeri” - original trees, stones, returning to Dundaga. Road surface - asphalt, gravel, various woodland roads. For conducted tours a preliminary application is a must (Nature guide Alanda Pulinja: 9444395, in evenings: 3242862)
  • The Kr. Barons’ pyramid, an organic farm, an estate etc. (~ 25 km)

The organic farm’s “Jaunsniíeri” traditional treats at Ls 0,40 per a person. Aigars Zadinsh, ph.
32 42801, Dundaga rural parish.
The organic farm’s „Jumari” prix fixe shall be advised later. The Landlady Gunita Tropinja, ph. 32 43735, Dundaga rural parish.

A bus to Riga

1859-year Kr Barons’ memories of the travel from Tçrbata till Dundaga:

A prominent Latvian cultural worker Krishjanis Barons wrote his memories in the end of his life and under his wish they were not published during his lifetime.

Kr. Barons: - „My foot travels through Vidzeme and Kurzeme in summer of 1895.
I knew more or less Kurzeme. Born in the middle of Kurzeme region in Strutele, I spent my childhood in Ile, my first school was in Dobele, and then I moved to the Northeastern end of Kurzeme, to Dundaga. From there I attended the Ventspils District School and then the Jelgava Gymnasium.
Vidzeme was quite foreign to me, only once I traveled by a postal hooded cart from Riga to Tçrbate and back. To get acquainted a bit with Vidzeme nature and people I decided to travel by feet during summer vacations from Terbata through Vidzeme to home, to Dundaga.
Of course, I wished to find a permanent companion for my travels, but I fortuned to find one only for the first stage of my route - from Tçrbate till Valka. That was a medical student Kalninsh. We decided to visit, first of all, the Saint Lake. That was our first days walk.
Having slept in a tavern at the lakeshore, next day we walked around the lake, and crossed on a boat the lake itself and its isles, and also dived into its serene water.
At the end we went to the nearest parish school to stay there overnight.
A teacher, an Estonian, welcomed us and allotted to us school premises empty during summer time to stay overnight. We arranged our sleeping places on wide desks and hoped to fell asleep quickly after the day’s adventures, but frustrated, soon we started scratching ourselves. Having burnt up candles we were quite frightened. Our sleeping places were teamed and moved from red beasts, from bugs. A fight with those legions would be a failure and therefore we left the battlefield and cleared off to the woods. There, putting our heads on hillocks, we peacefully passed a short summer night.”

Kr. Barons walked on public roads of his time. They have been changed during 146 years.

Kr. Barons: - „First of all I went to the Valka teachers’ seminar, which at that time was directed by my acquaintance Janis Cimze, who made immense contributions into the Latvians’ education. I was welcomed there.”

Serfdom Abolition Law (1819) envisaged organization of schools. There was a demand for teachers. Clergymen decided to open teacher’s seminars and to train Cimze as a director.
Later the seminars were moved to Valka. The trainings were carried out in German. Only students with tuneful ear were admitted to the seminar.

Kr. Barons: - „From Valka I walked through Smiltene, Rauna to Vec-Piebalga /Old Piebalga/. I was specifically interested in habitants of Piebalga. They had different dialect and lived a bit differently than their neighbors and they were well-known as traveling peddlers selling out linen of their own manufacturer.”

Till abolition of serfdom a free moving of peasants in Latvia was restricted. Therefore folk of one region, rural parish, estate of one lord, living quite dissociated, created common featured clothes, language (dialect), building technologies and customs. Habitants of Piebalga specifically stood out, and they were well known for their matchless textile.

Kr. Barons: - „I also entered the church. As in all countryside churches, there were “chairs” for men on the right side and for ladies on the left side. Back wall of chairs ended at leaves with higher posts. Each man, making his way to a chair, puts his hat on the post end. There a huge pile of hats amasses. I also honored this custom and put my student cap on the top of the hats’ pile.”

The Old Piebalga Church. In 1839 there was put a foundation stone, consecrated in 1845, ruined in the Second World War.
They say - when a birch tree, which is growing at the wall of the church, becomes big enough to make the altar’s cross out of it, the church will be revived.

Kr. Barons:- „From Piebalga I went to Çrgďi, where I wanted to find my good friend, a doctor Jurjanis. Together we made the rounds in neighborhood. Jurjans zestfully partook ale therefore we quite often set turning to local taverns”

Listen, travelers,
How Ergli tapsters sing;
Vimba sings, join the company,
And taste the Divine things.

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