Day 9, 10, and 11 – 365 km mark.
On Wednesday 5th June I rode into the city of Ventspils, one of Latvia’s nine republican cities, and the sixth largest city in Latvia.
Sitting on the western coast of Latvia, blessed with its sandy beaches and beautified by its immaculately manicured parks and gardens, Ventspils is generally regarded as one damn good-looking city. Of course, the city is not without its controversies but, for the purpose of this blog, I’ll save the politics for another time and place.
Ventspils is a port city, noted for its 365 day a year ice-free port. Consequently, in military circles, it’s considered to be a strategic location within the Baltic Sea. I have long suspected that a certain leader of a certain country – I’m not going to say who – would just about give his right arm to have full jurisdictional authority over this city so he could significantly improve the access of his considerably large fleet into the Baltic Sea. But I won’t take that narrative any further.
Aside from its enviable position in the Baltic Sea, Ventspils can boast very high quality roads and streets, lots of bicycle paths, pavements that are in an impeccable state of repair, plenty of trees, and a kaleidoscope of flowers.
They also have a lot of statues of bulls that adorn the cityscape.
Everywhere you look, it is almost impossible to not see a beautifully designed botanical feature.
The Ventspils Bobsled Team?
I decided to spend three nights in Ventspils, mainly because I needed a rest and I wanted to have a good look around town. One of my favourite Tex Mex restaurants is located here. I managed to make a complete show of myself when I ordered a soup as a side dish and accidentally spilled it all over myself. I don’t think the lovely waitress will forget the tip I gave her as an apology for making such a mess!
A bobsled on display in one of Ventspils’ many parks.
Ventspils is a city that divides the masses. Nobody seems to have a middle-road opinion about the place. Personally, I’d recommend a visit if you’ve never been there. You can make up your own mind.
On Saturday 8th of June, I rode out of town on my way to Kuldīga. There was quite an unusual reason why I decided to go there… or, it could be said that somebody else decided it for me. In fact, for the first time on my journey, my route was “crowd sourced”. You can read about that in my next instalment.