Latvia at the Zenith (Or, Chasing Vintage Moustaches)

2014-07-09 2

I wish to narrate my adventures in beautiful, sunny Latvia to all my Lomo friends. These events took place in May 2014 and left a bright trace in my soul. Well, let us go ahead and find some vintage moustaches!

It was in winter when we planned to spend spring holidays at our cousins’ and try putting ourselves in Latvians’ shoes. It would be our first time at the glorious republic, and we couldn’t even imagine how magnificent it could be then.

Packing was a little messy. The only thing I could think about was not forgetting my photo arsenal – a Zenit E and two kinds of lenses, the Helios 44-2 and the Jupiter 37A 3,5/135. Our bags were packed, our cat taken to his new temporary place – we’re ready to go!

I won’t bother you with a description of standing at the border for seven hours, but indeed we couldn’t make it without some adventures. We were tired but proud of ourselves when we came within the territory of the national park of Gaujas, where the home of our uncle and aunt was located. And imagine how surprised I was when I found out about our neighbor! The biggest spider ever and the charming angel told us about their creator, Ezerini. His metal and stone sculptures symbolize an astonishing union of power and grace. We were so lucky to have come by and meet red-bearded Ivars and his wife. An interesting couple, let me say!

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

So, what about moustache? The point was that we wanted to bring our friend a gift from Latvia, and for that we looked for some splendid vintage moustaches. Why so? Well, one day a human and the moustache realized that they couldn’t exist without each other.

Each of those 10 days in that land of storks and oak valleys was filled with excursions. We visited a fair of seedlings in Sigulda, climbed some castle walls in Cesis, shook hands with Munchausen himself, and, of course, had some pretty long trips through the streets of Riga. I have an outstanding passion for heights so wherever we went, I made sure to find the highest point and created my own Latvia at the Zenith. Especially remarkable was that sharp wooden stairway near the Gutmana cave. The view from up there was indescribably amazing!

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

To those who’d like to catch some stains while creating their own little sun, I recommend a visit to the Sun Museum. It is a private museum which could be considered as the best place to ponder on thoughts about space, energy, and the sense of all being. A huge collection of models of suns from the whole world is very helpful in doing so. After, you can clear your mind, set your imagination free, and make your own masterpiece by coloring the gypsum sun, which you can either take with you or leave for the collection.

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

Oh, I wanted to write a special paragraph about the amazing Llama Farm! As the name says, llamas are the main residents of that place. The owner allows tourists to go right into the corral, where they can feed the animals with special fodder, fondle them, or even have some intelligent discussions with them. Besides the pretty llamas, there were also goats, rams, donkeys, camels, and bunnies. There are dogs too, of course, to watch and secure the area. My happiness was boundless! I was hardly able to leave without taking all those animals home! As for them, I think they were also glad to see me!

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

Indeed, if I try to write about every place we’ve been to, this article would surely turn into a heavy book. Let me tell you one thing, though – we didn’t forget about the vintage moustache even for a second. We searched so hard in every souvenir shop we’ve seen. We asked the cashiers, but they only shrugged, knowing nothing about vintage moustache. Magnets with Latvia views, T-shirts, statuettes, and a hell lot of stuff fell on us from the stalls – but without a sign of a moustache!

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

We almost lost hope in bringing a gift for our friend. On our second to the last day, after having a good lunch in Lido, we decided to take one more trip through old Riga to entertain ourselves with a photo hunting for local birds. We bought our return tickets in advance so we had five more hours to walk without an exact destination.

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

Walking deep inside narrow streets while chatting, we literally faced a face with a moustache staring at us from the shop window ahead. With wild happiness we rushed inside, but only disappointment met us there. On the other side of the shop window were totally uninteresting souvenirs “for memories.” There were even no visitors inside, and the owner was sitting in the storeroom watching a Russian movie. So I made a picture of the brutal moustache man, and then we went further.

But we were not walking for too long… that was a really mustachioed evening! Anyway, it so happened that in Riga, there is a bar called USAS, which is not mentioned in any city guide for tourists. That place had a whole bunch of vintage moustaches! They were everywhere, even on the dishes. Trust me, that’s how the moustache paradise looks like! But, again, we got nothing except the photos that we took.

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

Usually, 3 is a magic number in fairy tales, and for a reason. We encountered just the same magic because after some time walking through the streets, we saw another attractive shop window. Inside was a mannequin whose suit was all moustached. We considered it as our chance – no leaving empty-handed from there!

It happened to be a cool shop, casual with lots of stylish clothes, posters, vinyl records, and stuff like that. Finally, we found what we were looking for. Hooray! A real, splendid, vintage moustache which you can put on and take off any time you’d like! Any moustached man who is not able to leave the object of his affection at the bedside table would surely like to receive such a gift.

Credits: natalya_solnechnaya

Our holidays was bright and unforgettable. The guy who walks through the rooms in the office wearing a magnificent vintage moustache is a constant reminder of that. Have some cool trips yourself, friends!

written by natalya_solnechnaya on 2014-07-09 #places #trip #walk #zenit #location #latvia #local-flavor #vintage-moustache

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  1. laiarturs
    laiarturs ·

    Cool, enjoyed a lot. Why exactly Zenith?

  2. natalya_solnechnaya
    natalya_solnechnaya ·

    laiarturs, thank you for nice words! Why? Hmm.. I don't know. I have many cameras and I like them all, but for that journey I had chosen Zenit. :)

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