Man the ramparts

Summer has been all about castles lately.  I suspect this is because Jem and I have downloaded and watched the whole first season of "Game of Thrones" in the last couple of weeks - I walk around during the day inventing new tribes of peoples that could emerge from beyond The Wall and proceed to attack the Winterfell stronghold...  that's probably why I was totally enchanted by the 2500-year-old tattoos on this Siberian ice-maiden mummy when she turned up in my news feed.  She could lead a new band of pagan warriors into that tv series, I reckon.

Image and article available here 

Yesterday we went of a day trip in Kurzeme to a medieval castle that we had always driven straight past.  This country is so littered with castle mounds and ruins and remnants of medieval castles, that after a while you get a bit complacent.  Most often the strongholds sport badly translated historical essays stuck on a post outside the ruins, with detailed lists of dates and owners related to the castle - and not much else in terms of interpretation.  So we were stunned on walking into Edole castle to behold an early 20th century interior...  recreated from photos of the Baron's rooms.  The boys started crowing about everything being just like Harry Potter, and we raced through the rooms goggling at the stuffed animals and floral wallpaper and kitschy hunting trinkets.  Apparently you can rent out the castle for weddings, parties, anything... gotta think of a reason!

...great place for a geocache!

Straight after we drove to our favourite beach at Jurkalne, where, inspired by our castle visit, we proceeded to build the biggest sandcastle in the history of our family's castle making.  I knew things were getting serious when Jem unloaded a garden spade and full-size buckets from the car boot.  Everyone got super-involved, Tiss drawing a plan for castle in the sand with a feather while Mikus built the ramparts and Jem dug the moat.  I decorated with rocks.  A true team effort.

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