Join "Kornetu Stirnu buks" (Roebuck)
About 180 km from Latvia’s capital Riga, at Estonian borderland, at the northeastern part of Latvia at the hilliest part of Alūksne highland there is an amazing place with lakes, hills and forests. Summers here are shorter than in other parts of Latvia, that’s why they are kindly welcomed and loved. Winters are longer, colder and especially rich in snow. Here – in protected nature territories of Veclaicene, Jaunlaicene, Ziemeri and Ape – live naive, yet stubborn locals, called malēnieši, and gentle, but very active Estonians.
Poet A. Bergmanis has said: "If someone will speak that Latvia is gray, then cover his eyes and take the blinders away only when you arrive at Peļļi glens. Believe – the gloomiest face will light up!"
Third race of the series will take its runners into protected landscape area of Veclaicene. It is one of Latvia’s most explicit subglacial flat systems which include 11 lakes of different size and depth. It is a truly scenic territory – from Druski castle mound you can have a wonderful view of Hanja highland in Southern Estonia. Even though this territory has a really large scenic and touristic potential, until now it has been used very poorly.
Destacable en la ruta
The center of Veclaicene municipality is located at Korneti village. Surrounding territories of the village were inhibited already in a very distant past – these areas were the first in the territory of Latvia which got free of ice about 10 thousand years ago. Witnesses of this ancient habitat are Druski castle mound, several ancient burial sites and also Vosvi God’s hill with foot stones of goddess Māra. There is a legend that the name of Korneti comes from crooked birch-bark horns used hundreds of years ago which were blown by locals to keep in touch in the dense woods.
Druski castle mound
Druski castle mound is one of highest castle mounds in Latvia – it reaches the heigth of 247 m above sea level. Southeastern part of the hill, which lies opposite to Pilskalns lake, is incredibly steep – that’s why it is called the steepest mound in Latvia. A wide view to the surrounding area and to Estonia’s highest hilltop Munameģis (318 m above sea level) can be seen from the Eastern side of the hill.
Korneti – Peļļi lakes
Korneti – Peļļi valley is formed by melted waters under ice and it is one of longest and most vivid terrain formations of this kind in Latvia since the last ice age. Valley is about 26 km long (16 km in Latvia, 10 km in Estonia). Deep lowlands in this area were formed by under ice currents about 10 – 15 thousand years ago. After the ice melted, in the lowest parts of these lowlands lakes took shape. That is the reason why steep banks and great depth are significant feature of these lakes. Eastern part of lake range is called Korneti lakes and it consists of 8 lakes – Pilskalna, Dzērves, Ievas, Trumulītis, Raipals, Mellītis, Lielais (Big) and Mazais (Small) Baltiņš, whereas in Western part there are 7 lakes, which are called Peļļi lakes – Ilgājs, Sūneklis, Smilšājs, Peļļu, Kalekaurs, Bezdibenis and Rencītis.
There is a 27 m high view tower in "Korneti - Peļļi" nature reserve, from which visitors of Druski castle mound nature park can enjoy a beautiful view both to Alūksne highland and Hanja highland in Estonia and also to see the famous estonian hill – Munameģis. In this picturesque area there are four nature trails as well, which give a chance to see the impressive valleys, glens, lakes and hills of the nature reserve.
Hill Dēliņkalns is the highest hill of Alūksne highland – the absolute height reaches 271.5 m, relative height – more than 70 m. From the southern hillside a wonderful view opens up to wooded hills and green meadows. On the top of the hill there is a triangulation tower (previously it was a view tower for tourists) with a benchmark (a geodesic point which is marked with a metal circle in nature) on the foot of the hill. The hilltop marks a border between districts of Jaunlaicene and Ziemeri.
Latvian - Estonian borderline
Peļļi (Estonian - Piiriorg) lakes consists of 7 lakes of different sizes. Four of them – Peļļi, Smilšājs, Sūneklis and Ilgājs – form a natural Latvian – Estonian borderline, in this area a couple of frontier posts can be seen. These lakes with their surroundings in both countries are included in protected nature areas.
Biological farm "Mauriņi"
In the farm meadows pasture more than 50 cattle and also wild horses of Konik breed and a pony called Lapsiņa kungs (Mr. Foxy). In the area of agricultural land there are marshy woods and pine-spruce forests. In the natural grassland there are some rare and protected plants, e.g., butterfly orchid and two kinds of swordgrass. It is also an amazing place for bird lovers – you can see white-rumped woodpecker, corn-crake, snipe, lesser-spotted eagle etc.
Maliena and malēnieši.
Maliena is formerly used name for a region of Latvia in wich augšzemnieku (high-lander) dialect is spoken. This dialect is widespread in Eastern part of Latvia.
The Great hill Munameģis (Lielais Munameģis).
Lielais Munameģs is the highest hill of Baltics. Its height reaches 318 m above the sea level. From hill’s view tower within a radius of 50 km a beautiful view to Estonia’s nature opens up. It is interesting to know such facts – at the top of the tower you are 346.7 m high (above sea level); the first view tower was bulit in 1812.; Lielais Munameģis with its height is one of Estonia’s important symbols; in a clear weather form the hill you can see the monastery of Pechory in Russia. From Korneti to Munameģis there are only about 30 km.
Alūksne is situated 202 km from Riga, in the north-east of Latvia, in Alūksne highland. The name of the town and the lake has originated from a Latgalian word "olūksna" – a place in a wood rich in springs. Alūksne was a part of the ancient Atzele region. In historical documents Alūksne was first mentioned in 1284 – the Pskov Chronicles I and II – under the name of "Alyst" and "Volyst".
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