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To the Seaside: Jurmala

September 6, 2018


Jurmala (pronounced YER-mah-lah) is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Riga and has long been celebrated for its beaches and spas. I wanted to make time for this excursion because of an address I found on an old letter sent to my great aunt. At some time she stayed in Bulduri, a neighborhood in Jurmala. Perhaps it was for a summer or perhaps the family had a summer home there. And in fact, I believe Jurmala may be the place where my grandparents first met.


I took the train from Riga, and in 45 minutes I was exiting the station to find myself in a quiet park amidst tall pine trees. I breathed in the fresh woodsy scent and took a moment to appreciate the peacefulness before making my way to the address on the envelope. A short walk later, I found a house which seemed to have been recently renovated, but still resembled a house I've seen in an old family photograph.






The tall pines greeted me as I exited the train station.




















Latvians keep their parks clean too.


















The house in Bulduri at the address on an envelope from the 1930's

















Local flora
















Next I turned my direction to the Gulf of Riga. The short walk to the beach was also quiet. As I approached, more pine trees greeted me and provided a barrier between the the town and the water. In the photographs below, you will see: a view of the town; a little red and orange building which is a pay-toilet steps from the beach (yes, a person sits at the window and takes money - about 35 cents - in exchange for use of the facilities); a structure on the beach which appears to be a trampoline with solid barriers but is actually a "dressing room" for beachgoers; and finally, a selfie in which I am trying my best to look relaxed and not exhausted (which was the case by the point!).




A panoramic view of the park adjacent to the beach


As the day drew to a close, the temperature began to drop enough for me to seek warmth. The black top road leading me back to town was still warm from the day, and I heard jazz music coming from the speakers at a nearby Greek restaurant, so I stopped for some vegetarian borscht and potato dumplings. It was just enough to sustain me so that I could experience the gorgeous sunset over the water.






Sunset over the Gulf of Riga


Next post coming soon: "Goodbye, Riga..."

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