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Fittingly it was overcast with drizzling rain all day Saturday as the coastal towns of Latvia celebrated Sea Festival. After mulling it over for some time we decided to head south to the third largest city of Latvia, Liepāja, rather than to the north to Ventspils as it was a shorter drive. We walked to two neighborhood "creative centers" indicated on the map and found a wonderful weaving studio with gorgeous wool and linen creations as well as beaded wristbands. Fortunately they only took cash as the very inexpensive prices were extremely tempting. Nearby was an amber studio (Liepāja is known for the harvest of amber stones that wash up on the beach). We enjoyed an outdoor exhibit of paintings at the entry to the Festival and a hearty lunch of pork kebabs, boiled potatoes and a scrumptious cooked cabbage dish.
It started raining so we headed to Pāvilosta for the much smaller town's Festival. We followed the map's directions to find a working bread museum for tastings of traditional-style bread. We also couldn't leave without purchasing some incredible farmhouse smoked bacon. Pāvilosta was wet too but we found a vendor of smoked fish before making it to the beach to watch the procession of boats to the Sea and the entrance of the sea gods who mounted the stage where Neptune made a boisterous speech.
Sunday in Aizpute is wonderfully quiet. There is no truck traffic on the main road in front of SERDE and, at 9:00 AM there were very few
people out. As we neared the river we saw four people fishing. We walked through the cemetery with its individual zen-garden type plots that are lovingly maintained. As they are miniature gardens even the old and forgotten plots still maintain a natural beauty as the fauna continues to grow. We walked to the edge of town through several small farm plots before heading back to the river, past the resident swan family to fill our water bottle at the spring.