Early this summer one of those guys decided enough is enough. Hans from Sweden had been a very active member before family life caught up with him but finally he was allowed outdoors again. He invited several of the "old guard" from Sweden,Holland and the UK and kindly invited me as well. Ofourse I was thrilled to join and bought tickets for the date that had been set.
The Latvian team began researching some sites where there should be some frontline trenches and massgraves . Rooms at Kristines wonderfull resort Radi was booked and soon the expedition date arrived.
When we met up outside the hotel next morning I won the competition of who had the biggest hangover and celebrated it with a puking in public,,ahh,Mother would have been so proud had she seen that.
About an hour later we stopped by Radi to put our luggage in our rooms and meet up with the rest of the Latvian team, and headed towards the old Kurland Kessel frontlines.
In a waterfilled crater some one had a interesting signal, but it was deep there and difficult to reach. Andris had a solution for that, he stripped his clothes of and jumped into the water and began digging out silt, branches and mud to get to the item. He located it, stretched his arm deep down to get to it, grabbed a part of it and tried to pull it carefully up. His face turned white and shouted a warning and was out of the crater in a nano second and we all scattered away from the pit. He had broken off the pull ring and arm of a F1 Lemonka handgrenade. He was incredibly lucky as it would have cut both his legs off had it detonated. I guess he praised the lord that he was wearing black underwear..
It was an interesting area though. We found several bunkers with interesting signals. Some battle damaged German helmets came out of the soil, and ordnance and lots of spent ammo prooved the site had seen some action. The best find of the day was the MG42 Talis dug out. Other than rust I dug out a small propeller from an aerial bomb and a 23mm casing made into a small bunker lamp.
We had company from Bloomberg BusinessWeek again, a photo crew who took lots of pics for an upcoming article about Legendas work. As far as I know it will be printed in September so keep an eye out for that, it should be interesting. On our way back we visited Saldus War Cemetery to pay our respects.
In the afternoon when we was back at Radi we celebrated Natalias birthday with gifts for her, sauna and a party. Since it already was Saturday most of the international guys was leaving the next day, but some of us was going to check out some German positions the next day.
This area was also very overgrown and will need further investigation at some point. It had been raining a bit on and off all day but suddenly the sky broke and it poured down bucket sized rain drops and it was decided enough was enough. We cleaned up the area, placed the explosives around a tree for EOD to dispose of and headed towards Riga, clean clothes and warm showers.
We spent the afternoon having fun at the Rock Cafe together and ended the evening a bit before midnight. I was still going to stay a few more days roaming around Riga doing alittle shopping and visited a relatively new "museum-bar" which I ll make a small report about soon.
It had been a short and intense expedition, but even though we didn`t find any soldiers or spectacular finds I think all the guys had a great time and is looking forward to the next trip.
So until then you know what to do,Keep Smiling and stay muddy :)