On the way back we stopped at the Rīgas Centrāltirgus (Riga Central Market), the largest market and bazaar in Europe consisting of five German zeppelin hangars from WWI as many outdoor stalls (even in the sub-freezing weather). One pavillion was filled entirely with meat, both smoked and fresh. Baked goods, produce, spices all enticed but we were on a mission to get to the fish pavillion. The amount of caviar displayed in open tubs was astounding. Live fish struggled in the ice but we settled for two small pieces of smoked fish. We stopped for a fresh small loaf of circular flat bread baked on the premises by sticking the dough onto the inside walls of the domed ovens. Very lovely lunch.
Then through Old Riga (along with the Central Market, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site). We stopped at the S. Brevinga Alus un Viskija Bārs for a quick glass of local brew (we knew better than to start tasting their more than 70 single malts). After a bit a young Latvian woman politely asked us where we were from – it seems the members of her party were settling a bet – none got it right as they guessed German, French or British. A bit later she came back and asked which state – again none guessed Idaho but we gave them California so they had a winner. Her group were all restorers of art and historical buildings. We were invited along to come to a newly renovated National Riga Bourse Museum to see the Impressions and Parallels exhibit. Two of our party had worked on restoring the old stock exchange building which had been sitting as a burnt out shell after a disastrous 1980 fire almost immediately after a previous restoration. We were quite taken by the works of Jānis Tīdemanis and Kārlis Padegs.