It’s one of the first warm days of an unseasonably cold spring, and I sit on the porch with Karlis in the village of Cesvaine, Latvia. Sula Upe, or Juice River, runs through the tiny town, weaving around wood-heated Soviet-style housing, a few shops and winding forest paths. An otherwise ordinary Latvian settlement, the town stands out as the home of Cesvaine Palace, a late 19th century castle built by German Baron Emil von Wulf for his wife. The mansion housed the town’s school for decades during the time of the USSR before a fire in 2002 rendered it unusable. Karlis’ hou...
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