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I was in Sigulda with my brother. We travelled by train from Riga. We walked from the train station around all the castles and lands marks in Sigulda, but when we arrived to the end, we walked more than 5 kilometres, and now we had to go back to the train station in less than one hour because the last train to go back to Riga leave in a hour, so we started to run and to do hitchhinking, and finally a car drove us to the train station and we could take the train.

Sigulda is a city in the Vidzeme Region of Latvia, 53 km from the capital city Riga.

Sigulda is situated on a picturesque stretch of the primeval Gauja river valley. Because of the reddish Devonian sandstone which forms steep rocks and caves on both banks of the river, Sigulda has been called the "Switzerland of Vidzeme".

After the restoration of Latvian independence in 1991, an emphasis was placed on conserving Sigulda's public monuments and parks as well as improving the town's tourist sector. Supported by the town council, a traditional Opera Festival takes place in an open-air music hall in the castle ruins each summer. A Town Festival is celebrated in May when cherry trees blossom, while Sigulda is known for the colors of its trees in autumn. Sports such as skiing, bobsledding, and the luge are popular in wintertime and bungee jumping is practiced during the rest of the year.

The Gutmanis Cave lies halfway between Sigulda and Turaida Castle and has a small stream flowing from it. It is the largest cave in the Baltics, measuring 19 m deep, 12 m wide and 10 m high. The cave still bears inscriptions from as early as the 17th century; drinking the water is supposed to be healthy and is said to increase one's lifespan. From the cave it is possible to climb into the hills and take the cable car over the river valley.

March 2007

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