(Note: Photo gallery above)
We left Pärnu, Estonia and was on our way to a four-hour trip to Riga, Latvia’s capital. Hubby and I complained about the way people rushed in a small highway, although we were grateful that it wasn’t Romania. In Romania, people drove in the very middle of the road, right on the line where a car shouldn’t tread (unless you want a head-on collision).
But hubby got tired.
The tourist book I read mentioned Dunte, Latvia. And that was where we were nearing.
“There’s Münchhausen museum there,” I said.
“Münchhausen! Baron Münchhausen!” My cousin came alive after her deep snoring session.
“Oh yeah! Baron Münchhausen,” said hubby.
“Yes, yes!” Even my eight-year old girl remembered.
Only I couldn’t rack my brain to remember. Although the name rang a bell. It must be a film. I am a film enthusiast, too and have seen as much films as hubby (since we almost always watch together) – but I have difficulty remembering names. Give me the plot and I remember.
“It’s the film about a baron with exagerrated stories. Uma Thurman as Venus, coming out of the shell,” said hubby.
Hallelujah! I remembered!
So we went there. (Want to see the video from our visit plus me singing in the Latvian forest? Check this link: “Visited Münchhausen’s museum” in youtube.
It turned out that the film and book character is based on a real-life baron who married a Latvian woman, went to Dunte for their honeymoon. He worked for the Russian army and was based in Riga for two years. He gained a reputation for being a storyteller – leaning towards the fantastical and whimsical. People didn’t judge him as a liar or a lunatic, simply entertaining. In fact, the nobility invited him for dinner, or visited him, just to listen to his stories. He’s the kind of “blogger” who doesn’t tell people what to do – but simply tells his own stories – with a few unbelievable punches, such as riding a canonball, or being flown by a group of ducks.
Aunt thought that the entrance fee was not worth the visit. But cousin reminded her that she enjoyed the forest path (the search for Munchausen’s beer cup). As cousin said – seeing the forests in Finland and Latvia helped fairy tales come alive.
PS The forest trail is all about searching the delusional baron’s beer cup. My relatives are hard core Christians, so of course we censored that part with the beer cup. We just said it’s a forest trail. Oops.