InstaTrip Pt. 1 – Kurzeme

Before I begin – the event took place on August 6-7. It took me just about two months to create this blog to write about it.

InstaTripLV is an event for Instagram photographers which is organised by Latvian travel agency. Among the participants were six Latvian Instagram photographers and two girls who organised the event. As the title states, this is the second Instagram trip in Latvia ever and I had a chance to be a part of it. (Kurzeme – a region in Latvia)

When I received the message on Instagram saying that I had been invited on the trip I couldn’t believe it. Honestly, I thought it was some fake message and someone was messing with me. At the same time, I was too thrilled and excited not to answer. After just a few minutes of thinking it through, I decided to say – yes, I’m totally in! Then I received more information about the trip via email and it turned out that the event was genuine and the trip was taking place the next day. Even though I was the last person on board, because someone had backed out at the last minute, I was super excited to be a part of the trip and the movement in general.

I wasn’t concerned about the fact that I’m a mobile photographer because the online brochure stated that the participants can use either a phone camera or an actual camera. It made me feel accepted. As it turned out, I was the only one with a phone camera there. Oh, the irony.

  • The first stop was “Ragakāpas nature park” and “Jūrmala open-air museum”, which you can see below in the pictures.

It’s a wonderful place to visit. When we were there, only a few other people were present and I assume that it’s usually like this. It could be a perfect venue for an intimate date because the place is not known by many. As I’ve heard, it’s like a hidden treasure wanting to be discovered by nature lovers like us.

  • The second stop was at the “Vasenieku” swamp. I think I can firmly say that the most popular swamp trail in Latvia is “Ķemeru” swamp. The thing is – we had to choose something more hipsterish, which in this case was choosing a less known swamp for our adventures. In this way, we also managed to avoid other masses of people as it would be the case with more popular swamps. Nevertheless, the “Vasenieku” swamp was a perfect choice for our needs. Interesting place with relatively a rich vegetation and an entertaining tour guide, who was also into photography. I bet he enjoyed our company. Actually, it was weirdly satisfying to be a part of a group where everybody feels comfortable to photograph each other and to be photographed.
  • And last but not least – our third and the last stop of the day was the “Godeļi” camp where we also stayed overnight. I must say that the road to the camp was terrible but the camp itself was beautiful. In the evening we made some tea and we shared stories, experiences and photo editing tips. I was about to change my editing style and the trip was a perfect chance for me to start it all over again, the next level – Lightroom editing. Believe it or not, before then I had been editing using only VSCOcam. The app is great, but honestly, you can’t deny that Lightroom is more professional and in general superior. So, one guy gave me great tips on the Lightroom editing. It completely changed my game. Below you can see my Instagram Story pictures taken the next morning (the Instagram story had been launched just a few days before and we had a great opportunity to try it in action).
  • We had some free time at Talsi, so we split into two groups. My group, which consisted of 3 guys, went for a coffee. It was too early and every coffee shop we found was still closed. But luck was on our side as we found a local coffee shop where the barista knew one of our guys who also works as a barista. Coincidence? I don’t think so! So he gave us a VIP pass and locked the door after us.

img_20160807_104842

 

This picture was taken at the coffee shop. I know a few people from Talsi, so I had to brag about the VIP pass of course. As you can see in the picture, we used a hashtag, which you can still use on Instagram to find the pictures from this trip and even from the previous one.

 

“Morning coffee in Talsi”

“VIP pass in the early Sunday morning”

 

 

 

 

 

  • And finally the last stop was at the so-called farm “Dieniņas”. The housekeeper/ housewife and her two daughters greeted us warmly. They invited us to the nearby beach, where the housewife gave us some insight into the fishing history and traditions. Then we played games – rope tugging, boot throwing and some more. After that, we went to the courtyard of the farm. After a small introduction on what we were about to eat, we feasted on plaice (Latvian – bute) fish. Who would have ever thought that the plaice fish is so tasty? They practice the old traditions of fishing families in Latvia – accent, fish cooking methods (you can see the drying room thing in the pictures below) and the overall characteristic of the fishing family.

    Instagram accounts of the participants:

    Artcervus | Yourlifevibe | Aleksmfoto | Be.quite.and.shoot 
    Vikuhasky | Mairitas | EnjoyLatvia


    Thanks to Brigita for recommending me to the travel agency
    (Check out her blog)

    Thanks to Karolina for editing

    All photos are taken by me

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Author: Arturs

Blogger, environmentalist, adventurer, photographer, storyteller.

11 thoughts on “InstaTrip Pt. 1 – Kurzeme”

  1. Looks like a great trip. I am curious about what looks like snowshoes. Are they snowshoes but used in the swamp? Do they keep you on top of the water? How do they work? Thanks for any info you can give… Love the idea of messing about in a swamp without sinking in up to my butt!

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    1. Thanks, Julianne! Well, they don’t keep you on top of the water, but they do definitely help in the swamps. You don’t sink because these swamp shoes cover a bigger area than a normal shoes, so they just keep you stable and on top of the swamp. Rubber boots are still advisable. That’s actually it. Have any other questions? Feel free to ask.

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