What a difference a day makes! My second day in Riga started off pretty bleak. The sky was overcast, and the weather was cool. I had to wrap up in a couple of layers because I didn’t have the proper outerwear to combat the chill.
Despite this inconvenience, I still joined the walking tour to get a better sense of the city. The tour took us through the Central Market, which is partly housed in old zeppelin hangars. Here you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and fish, bread, cakes, clothes and souvenirs.
We took a walk through an area of town that was heavily controlled by the Soviet Union after World War II. During that time, a large number of Soviets came to Latvia, and today, Russian is the second most common language in Riga after Latvian.
The tour took us by the Freedom Monument and the National Opera House. The monument stands in honor of the soldiers who died during the Latvian War of Independence in the early 1920s. We also visited St Peters Church in the Old Town.
By the end of the tour, I felt like I knew the city a lot more. It is beautiful despite some of the horrible things it has endured. Its people have survived and thrived in the face of difficult conditions. But, it still remembers its past and uses it to succeed in the future.