One of the reasons I love what I do is because I get to explore the depth and breath of various cultures around the world.
I get a glimpse into the richness of their traditions, the soulfulness of their stories, the full-bodied flavours of their local cuisine, and the warmth of its people. Such was the case as I recently traveled the culture route through the region of Latgale, Latvia, alongside my friend and co-founder of NordicTB, Janicke Hansen. Located in the eastern part of the country, Latgale is known for its centuries’ old crafts and pottery as well as a strong cultural identity and warmth towards strangers.
From glassblowing in Livani, learning about local moonshine called Shmakovka in Daugavpils, learning how to make local tea with Ivars of Kurmisi Tea, observing potter Valdis at work in Kraslava, a Latgalian cheese workshop at Upenīte guest house in Aglona, a traditional herbal spa and raw food experience at Veselības sala guest house, exploring 20th Century Art Nouveau manor Luznava, listening to one of the best storytellers demonstrating ancient skills and collections of traditional crafts in Ludza, a quick jaunt to the border between Russia and Belarus, exploring historic churches in Malnava, crashing a summer party at Dzīles Bakery, taking a vintage motorcycle ride, watching Latvian folk costumes being made at Skreine weaving and crafts workshop, visiting Baķi traditional sheep and goat farm, enjoying a black sauna experience and making fish soup at Rūķīši holiday home, as well as visiting traditional and heritage museums in Balvi and Vēršukalns.
I have so many stories and photos to share, and in my upcoming series of articles and photo essays exploring the Latgale region in depth, I will be introducing you to some of the people in the video below, their history, their crafts, their cuisine, and the warm hospitality Latgalians are known for.
In the meantime, here is a visual story of just how enriching my time in Latgale, Latvia, was.
I explored the Latgale region of Latvia as part of the #LatviaRoadtrip campaign in collaboration with Latvia Tourism and NordicTB Collective. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and travel content I share on here are my very own.