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Leave the city to the sweepers

Sometime in the nearest future it is going to snow. The snow’s going to fall on your head whether you want it or not. It’s also going to cover your car, so be ready for some physical activity before hitting the road. But most annoyingly the snow is going to be on the roads and thanks to our climate, it’s going to be melting and freezing over again and again.

This, and the fact that the dirt that hasn’t been cleaned since last summer and the chemicals that are used for melting ice are particularly corrosive, is going to turn the streets into a mud-pool.

This in turn is going to take assault on your pants and shoes whenever you leave the house, not to mention that the passing cars are going to assist the dirt in getting on your coat as well. There isn’t a single reason to stay in the city during winter, so every time you have a chance – go to a different one, with fewer cars and perhaps better snow removal services. Smaller towns are often far more beautiful, more pleasant to stay in, while being perfectly comfortable and offering the same services for less.

Alright, you can stay within civilization and coverage radius of your cellular operator, but at least pick a city that doesn’t have a McDonald’s. If you’re in Latvia, your options are simply massive, because the only city that has a McDonald’s is Riga. Any other town would do, and you don’t even have to drive far. Go to Sigulda for instance. It’s a terrific place to visit during late fall and winter. It is unbelievably, fantastically beautiful, with all its hills and cliffs, a cable car ride and fresh air.

Once the snow covers all the trees, all you have to do is pick a spot high enough to see the woods from above and I promise you – this will be one of the most amazing views in the Baltics. And if you’re up for some sports, you won’t be disappointed either. The small town of Sigulda offers 6 different places with ski-slopes of different type and complexity, so you will definitely find what you’re looking for, and more, including a bobsleigh track. The Olympic bobsleigh track to be more precise.

Over 1420 meters of track to go rushing down and breakneck speeds. Otherwise it is a brilliant place combining the comfort of modern life with medieval beauty and it definitely shouldn’t leave you indifferent. Though Sigulda often gets most of the publicity and visitors, there are other areas that only the locals know about.

 Outside of Sabile, the oddly named “Zviedru Cepure” (Swedish Hat) resort offers off-the-beatentrack skiing an rentals for less than 5 lats. The skiing is also lit and open until midnight for those night skiers. The tracks range from child-sized (50 meters) to 300 meters. Baili is further away, in the north of Latvia. The resorts include saunas, guest houses and four slopes to choose from.

The area also uses snow machines, in case of the rare emergency that snow is unavailable in a Baltic winter. As the winter descends and wraps the Baltics up in a big, white, snowy blanket, you really can’t go wrong wherever you choose to have some winter fun. Just don’t be too sad upon returning to the city.