The Spa City: Liepaja!
Known in the ancient times as the territory of Livs and Curonians, is the Kurzeme administrative region called Liepaja. Liepaja is the third largest city in Latvia which gained its independence from the military regime in 1991. Gaining freedom was not as easy for this place as it was divided into land namely the Livonian Order and Bishop of Courtland. Luckily, with the help of the Duke of Courland, giving rights to Liepaja opened up to place in the whole world. The place was unfortunately closed to the world even farmers need to secure a permit before they can do any trading to Liepaja.
Hand in hand the people rebuilt their city with great positivism and entrepreneurial skills. This attitude towards becoming a developed country was due to years of oppression from the military form of government. The bad experience of not being open to the world like trading to the neighboring places was enough for them to reach their ultimate goal to succeed. They made the experience a stepping stone to make their city not just a tourist attraction but for their people to be very proud of. Liepaja, a place that they can call their own and not a place that was oppressed.
Creating the special economic zone not only brings in more needed investment to the once sleeping city, it brings more beautiful and thrill-seeking tourists to the place. The creation of the special economic zone leads to more high edifices and jobs to the Latvians as taxes are lowered compared to the companies built outside this special zone. Latvians are very grateful to have this opened so farmers can better trade their products. Foreign investors are also attracted to this kind of zones due to lesser overhead cost yet superb quality of the work force.
Although Liepaja is not as striking compared to other tourist attractions, great effort to make it the next tourist destination is definitely on its way. Businessmen gathered together to think of ways of improving the economic stability of the city. To make people forget about how this place has been oppressed and slaved. Businessmen like Judith Adams, had creatively invested in making Liepaja a spa town. As a tourist, she saw a great potential to the place which in turn built the popular spa, The Lux Pod.
The Lux Pod which is a luxurious penthouse prides itself with a specialized heating bathroom with chemotherapy sauna. This retro-modern spa has become popular with the tourists and natives alike do the special design and ambiance of the place. Their state of the art facilities makes them a must-go spa in Liepaja. Another spa that has become popular in the place is the Boutique Chateau. Unlike the Lux Pod that offers state of the art service, this spa is more on using organic products like Cleopatra style milk baths that comes from the fresh milk of the cows, organic food and their detoxifying black sauna.
Aside from all these, a quiet and peaceful environment is another advantage of this spa. Milking a plastic cow is the highlight of their on-site milk museum which can only be found in this boutique. Not only are you relaxing yourself, you can also learn how to milk a cow and make butter. Isn’t that a treat! Not only you are in a relaxing place, you can also gain a lot of knowledge and experience which you can share with your friends or family member when you come home.
Aside from having Liepaja as the spa city, the place is known to be the city where the wind is born. The strong sea breeze is the reason why this was called such. They even created the biggest wind power plant to make use of the strong sea breeze. This power plant has greatly helped the community in many ways.
Aside from this chic spa, the city has a lot to offer to its tourists. You can visit religious churches, art galleries, museums that preserved a wide variety of crafts, colorful shops and elegant restaurants that offer sumptuous meals. Most of the outstanding musicians and excellent artwork in Latvia comes in Liepaja. An example would be the Fontaine Empire which hosts marvelous hotels and rock bars. This is the place where you can have fun and party the night away. These rock bars bring in their own style of music which natives and tourists alike would like to hear. Due to the popularity of the place, one of its owners even won a seat in the government.
If you love to visit places that speak of the history and culture of the place, the run-down mansion abandoned by the Russian is another stunning place to visit. It is one of the picture perfect scenery most photographers would love to visit. Another interesting place heading north of Liepaja is the Karosta. This ghost town place was the former secret military camp. The scenery one can see is one of the photographer’s delights. There is no other place that speaks much of the history and the military regime than what this place offers.
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the blasted forts and the old nuclear bunkers are the highlights of this creepy place. A tourist guide and a torch would be your best lead when touring this place. The torch would help you see better the antique designs of the church while the tourist guide can give you the first hand information of the place. The guide can spin a beautiful story that would seem like you were in the place way back centuries ago.
After visiting these magnificent and unique places, you can have a relaxing swim on their Blue Flag Beach. This beach offers pure white sand which is a great place to party either in the morning or evening. It would be so wonderful to watch the sunset on this beach. While you are relaxing on the beach, sumptuous meal can be found in Red Sun Buffet Beach Bar. Their big party nights are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This bar caters to the needs of the progressive city. Bathing your feet in the Baltic Sea can also relieve you from too much walking. Liepaja not only offers their tourists with a story to their history and rich culture but they also show how to party and have fun.
Their local cuisine offers traditional Latvian flavors. Exotic foods are also available for you to eat. Never leave the place without tasting any of these foods. You would surely miss ¼ of your life! A different burst of flavors would play on your mouth upon eating these exotic or their traditional food. The best experience would be attending one of their food festivals as this would showcase the different selection of food the place can offer.
People in Liepaja do not just work but they party too. They have music festivals that are well attended by the natives and tourists. As Liepaja is not as crowded as other tourist cities, it is best to visit the place first before the other cities on your itinerary. It is easier to navigate with lesser people compared to those populated ones. You can better enjoy the place and not rush to the different spots in fear that the place might be close at a certain time.
Visit and appreciate the beauty of this city. Not only will you be historically informed, you can experience how it is to be ruled by military.