Ezerklabi- 10 days in rural Latvia
Updated: Jan 18
Travelling anywhere from the UK (or most of Europe) currently faces the dooming task of "quarantine" upon arrival. As if the same for Latvia, travellers from the UK must observe a 10 days isolation. Thankfully, at this time it was possible for us to choose where we isolated. Rather than being cooped up in our apartment in Riga I decided to look for a house in the country where it would feel more like a getaway than an isolation.
Searching for days on Latvian websites, I found our dream house "Ezerklabi" on www.celotajs.lv.
With 2 bedrooms, sauna, large lounge room and kitchen, private lake and forest surroundings this was the perfect place to isolate for 10 days.
Once we arrived and travelled to Ezerklabi in Amata Parish (1 hour and 30 minutes from Riga Airport). We were welcomed to a home that was more magical than its pictures!
I won't bore you with a 10 day itinerary but here as some days were the same but below is some of the highlights during our stay.
Much to my surprise when I went to see how difficult it would be to break the ice for some ice swimming.. I found the lake to be completely frozen.. 15-20cms at least. Meaning this was safe enough to ice skate on. I called the brother-in-law and we found some second hand ice skates online for 15euro and he delivered them the next day. Thanks Lauris!
For the next 4 days I ice skated every day for 10k steps. Other than 2 falls which severely bruised my knee and tail bone it was excellent exercise.
The Finnish in me was adamant we have a sauna that we could use everyday. Ezerklabi was perfect with this as they included unlimited sauna and firewood in the price. So I was firing up the sauna every evening after we had come in from the cold.
No better feeling than going from the hot sauna to the -6 outside. I think my body is still trying to rehydrate.
The forest surrounding Ezerklabi was beautiful. It is so peaceful there the only thing you can hear is the flowing of the water underneath the frozen ice due to the owners being fish breeders.
Coming from the loud constant sirens of our Central London apartment it actually took a while to get used to the silence of the forest.
Kept ourselves busy
Several mornings I woke up ecstatic that it had snowed during the night! The only downside was that it had covered my ice skating rink in snow so I was unable to skate.
Didzis, always trying to stay busy immediately jumped up and said " I will just shovel a track for you". I call the above photo "And this is when he realised.. he had f*cked up". It makes me laugh every time I look at it but after an hour or two a very sweaty Latvian had shoveled a track for me and I was happily back to my 10k ice skating steps.
I also made my first snowman since I was a kid! It was a snowman that nights mares are made of but I was very happy with him.
Funnily enough this was the hardest part of our isolation. Both of us are not used to relaxing. Even on holiday we are constantly on the move or on to the next adventure. But once all the walks were done, snow shoveled and the cold had begun making its way through our layers of warm clothing we succumbed to watching TV, drinking wine by the fire and cooking delicious food.
With so much time on our hands it was the perfect time to learn new skills and up date our knowledge on photo taking, editing and video editing. These blogs don't write themselves and it takes editing and preparing to pull together what Didzis and I enjoy doing. We had plenty of fun finding new photo ideas.
And that's a wrap, 10 days flew by and we were even sad that our time during isolation was over. Ezerklabi exceeded all expectations and judging by the guest book many other guests over the years have thought the same.
I will definitely be returning in the years to come. I imagine during spring and summer it is just as magical if not more. It's perfect for families and couples and I will most certainly treasure the time spent there with Didzis.
Their website is http://ezerklabi.lv if you ever feel like taking a break from life and enjoying the Latvian nature I strongly suggest you pay them a visit. They even have a smaller cottage which we may try out next time.
Paldies to the owners of Ezerklabi Kārlis and Laima.
And a thank you to Big D for being such a good isolation buddy!