CĒSIS

Today we crossed the border with Latvia. On the first gasoline station we paid the highway fees for a week (12 tones / 22 € – it would be 2 € cheaper if we would do it online). Our first impression is that towns and villages look poorer than Estonia and also many roads are in terrible condition. But the price of diesel made us happy – around 1,10 € / liter. Our first stop was Cēsis – one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Baltics. There is large free parking just below the Old Town next to Maxima Supermarket. Cēsis is on the Gauja River valley and is built on a series of ridges above the river overlooking the woods below. German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of a castle Wenden near the hill fort in 1209. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. Now there is a New Castle and the oldest brewery in Latvia — Cēsu Alus (1878). We have explored narrow streets around the main square, where is the medieval St. John’s Church built in 1284.