We stopped at a resort town of Parnu for morning tea and a walk on the beach. The beach had no waves and the water was quite shallow, but it is obviously a popular holiday spot with the locals.
|David testing the waters|
We passed through the border between Estonia and Latvia which is no longer staffed since all the Baltic states are now part of the European Union.
|The border between Estonia and Latvia|
Next we visited Taurida National Park, one of Latvia's popular parks, and in winter a popular ski area. The park features many sculptures, the most significant recognising the person who made it his life's work to record thousands of Latvian folk songs for posterity.
|Tony next to the statue|
In the evening we attended a dinner with a folk performance from a group of Latvian entertainers. A fun night.
|Entertainers in traditional costumes|
The next morning we had a tour of the city, including the old medieval town, much of which is decorated in the art nouveau style. The old town has narrow winding streets, stone paving, an interesting mix of private and state owned properties, a few churches, and the usual mix of cafes and souvenir shops. Some pictures of the old town below.
|Crazy mix of archtectural styles|
|Narrow winding streets|
|The cloister of the very old Dome Church|
|Decorative features on a public building|
The modern town has several distinguishing features as well.There is very little high rise yet. Also, there are many trees and a green belt in Riga, separating the old and new towns. Coming out of the Soviet era much has to be done to restore many of the buildings but progress has been made.
|The freedom monument|
|The Russian Orthodox Church. During the soviet period its interiors were stripped and it was turned into a planetarium. It has been restored to its former glory.|
|One of Riga's many bridges|
|This ugly edifice is known as Stalin's birthday cake|