A short trip from Riga lies the small hills and valleys of Sigulda. A nice spot to get away from the big city, this countryside locale hosts a the ruins of Sigulda castle and also the much more impressive (and much more intact) Turaida castle.
The valley is also home to a charming but tragic legend of a young maiden who refused to submit to the whims of a Polish soldier. Though she was in love with a local commoner, she was lured to a cave by the soldier. When she realized what was happening, she presented him with her “magic” scarf which she said protected the wearer from all injury. To demonstrate its effectiveness, she donned the scarf and coaxed the soldier to swing his sword at her. The end result was an ignorant soldier chopping her head off and an enduring legend of everlasting love.
The caves where the maiden met her end and where she also spent happier times with her love are both popular spots near the Gauja river. Neither of them, however, is going to be too exciting for anyone that doesn’t appreciate the legend – without the tales, the caves are relatively small holes in the side of a low cliff. So, just remember to pack the fable along with you and you should enjoy yourself.
Have a look at my photos of Sigulda here.