Jūrmala beach and Kemeri National Park

Sunday 27 August

On Sunday we checked out Riga’s local beach at Jūrmala, about 25km away. We had to pay an entrance fee of €2, so we figured all the floral decorations along the road were ours.

It was cool and breezy so there was not much activity on the long sandy beach. There were lots of walkers, some with walking poles, runners, bicycle riders. Occasionally a person would brace the water, it was shallow so quite a bit of paddling was required to reach water deep enough to swim. No one stayed long in the water, so we could only assume it was cold.

We treated ourselves to a coffee/ice cream at a beach cafe. I love how they set up Summer Cafés on the beach here, like so many other European beaches such as Spain – so sophisticated. We really have too many laws in Australia, protecting our well being and taking away the fun elements.

We drove further west to the Kemeri National Park where I had been told about a nice walk. As time was limited, we chose the 1.2km floodplain forest circular track. The first 600m took us through the Black-alder Swamp, which floods in Spring. The trees in the swamp can survive spending part of the year sitting in water. The walk was on a recently made duck board and ran alongside the Vēršupīte River which was in fact a sulphur stream.

This led us onto another 600m track through the dry Forest Trail. Information boards described the trees and their relationship within the forest ecosystem. It was a delightful walk, and quite a contrast to the earlier beach walk.