So this week has been and intensive but incredible week for my project but also for Valmiera. Valmiera was celebrating its City Festival, an annual festivity in commemoration of the town, while also one week before the newly event Valmiera´s Theatre Festival came in. And meanwhile, I joined in the Baltic International Summer School 2016 for, not only improve more in my field research skills and help the staff members but also to get closer to how Valmiera creates and handles its events. So, let´s get in the story!
Baltic Summer School was a great opportunity to learn about how Valmiera is doing to attract tourism (mostly national and baltic tourism). We went to several places such Cēsis, Vaidava -one great lake near Valmiera- and others, Rubene and others
A cave in flat Latvia, Gauja´s Park is an amazing surprise box. The best is that this hole in the earth was bigger than you could expect, filled of water and deeper than it looks at first view (as there is a dark corridor).
The nice Vaidava lake looked for me like a great place to spend a sunday afternoon; if you have car you can take a swim on the lake, play volleyball, fishing or even use some kayaks to sail around!
This time lead to discover some other places of Valmiera such its main brewerry factory, Valmiermuiža; which aside of being one of the most famous beers in Latvia (by the way, these days I realized 100% that Latvia is a beer country) it also receives visits...and also you can try its varied beers they are producing!
Of course there were the investigation part, thanks to that I was more in the festivals that Valmiera was in. I even participated in the parade. On friday Valmiera makes a parade where several local groups such the policemen, the ambulance service, the university staff (where I was)...the Rimi workers; many groups!
The participation in the parade is an example of our integration in the events, we worked as researches to find out what could be the best for Valmiera´s tourism:
Including field researches and writing reports...
...attending interesting lectures about latvian culture (a.k.a. how latvians in the best way are as well)
And a final speech of the results we handed in.
For our free time we visited the several events that Valmiera offered during its "special days". Whereas my personally favourite and most original one was a small concert at dusk in the water pond there´s in the center of the town. Now, I have in mind that for next years would be amazing if the scenary would be bigger, alowing more musicians at once (the boat used for the river boat trips are good for it I think) and instead in the pond in Gauja´s River, moving through the river´s course if possible. Wouldn´t be jut great and original?
There was open-air cinema and concerts! latvian ones, the main difference I´d say. Valmiera´s City Fest reminded me like out traditional town´s festivities in Spain, only with no bulls and folk concerts being different. But open-air cinema and fairs are all over around (along with blocked main streets); also another difference is that there is not much beer as in Valmiera as well:
But the time was great. Enjoying and making new friends in the most vivid days of Valmiera. Celebrating together! locals and foreigners.