This summer I had a privilege to be a part of Vocal Masterclasses in Ventspils as an accompanist. Thanks to that I spent a week in a picturesque town of Ventspils at the Baltic seaside. Mornings and some afternoons I spent accompanying at the vocal lessons and the rest of the time exploring the town be it on foot or on the bike. The town offers a lot of entertainment for families with kids as there is a water park as well as some sort of adventure trail in the forest . The city is also famous ofrece its cows sculptures. Yes you heard me right. You can even get a card and if yoj find all the cows in the town, you get a reward;)
In the centre there is a food market where almost everyday I stocked with raspberries, blueberries, sweet cherries. All the fruits that I usually miss when living in Malta. During the afternoons I went cycling or just walking to the beach and, of course, trying the local cuisine.
The favourite spot was Skroderkrogs where I tried all the soups they had on the offer and quite a few main courses. The service and quality of food was excellent there and I never went wrong with my order. As the prices of food in restaurants are considerably cheaper than in the western Europe, going out almost everyday for lunch and dinner wasn’t too expensive.
I also ventured to Juras brize where they served this amazing tea/hot drink with small yellow fruits similar to plums which I haven’t seen anywhere else.
One thing in which struck me in Latvia was their choice of hot beverages, sort of like hot compote based mostly on local fruits with added honey, cinnamon etc….They were amazing and I could imagine myself having those in winter time. The other all time favourite was the cold beetroot soup which we call in Polish chlodnik. I think I ad it almost every second day and people who I was with were quite amused that someone can love cold beetroot so much;)
Of course, I wouldn’t be myself if I haven’t met some local cats in the area 😉
Besides eating, walking and cycling, the time was spent actually making music and learning more about it. There was a selections of young singers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Malta. There were dance workshops delivered by Maltese dancer Dorian Mallia, vocal workshops led my one of my friends at school of music who invited me there- Ms Karmene Radovska, as well as other well-known singers like Snezana Nena Brzakovic who also presented really interesting lectures about breathing technique and Inga Šļubovska-Kancēviča. The whole week ended with a concert of all the participants in Ventspils castle- quite a special spot for classical concert.
Overall, very nice working holidays spent in a peaceful place with green trees, beach, cycling pats and brilliant food. I hope that I might be able to come back there next year. Fingers crossed!