It’s the weekend, our friends Kate and Abby are here from California, and it’s time to hit the road for a mini-getaway to Cēsis for the opening night of their summer arts festival! Cēsis — “one of the few towns you can experience the true spirit of Latvia” according to the someone at the Latvian tourist board — is known for its medieval castle but it’s also situated beside the Gauja River, the only major river in the country that begins and ends in Latvia. Our friend and SWS: Riga participant Jānis Putniņš has curated a beautiful program of river films beginning with tonight’s perfect offering, the 1934 documentary Gauja directed by Kristaps Linde. A walk through the woods and down the hill to the sandy shore, a trip on a makeshift ferry across the calm waters (complete with a rare beaver spotting!), a xylophone concert, a shot of black balsam and finally the charming film projected on floating screen. At midnight, sky glowing deep blue, it’s back to the city and our beds overlooking a deserted town square… We are living a cinematic dream…