An unexpected break from rehearsal!¹ After a brief
respite from work and worry just after arriving, our choir's ensuing
preparations for our upcoming concert had been nothing short of brutal in the
summer heat wave! It was yet another hot day, but we determined to make the
best of it. Silvija was feeling a bit under the weather, so my choir partner
Barbara and I headed out to the Zoodarzs (Zoological Garden), leaving Silvija
back at the apartment, basking in the cross-winds of multiple fans operating at
It was a treat -- especially
for Barbara, who volunteers her time at New York's Central Park Zoo.
The zoo map suggests walking tours taking two or three
hours. The heat kept us from wandering too far off the main path -- but by the
time we were done, our feet felt like we had ben trudging for days!
In case you're wondering about "Strig
POLIGRAFIJA," in the top right corner of the map, we later uncovered² they
provides for the zoo's printing needs, often charging only half of their actual
All of the
sudden I fell victim to a space and time warp. I was back in tropical Bermuda.
(It wasn't taking long for dehydration and heat exhaustion to set in!) There
were the pink flamingos, standing still and regal. I kept waiting for a
wizened, sprightly, uniformed trainer, complete with baton, to come out and
start directing the flock, marching in formation. Alas, no such luck today!)
[Click on the picture to see it full size]
"Not bad for a little Latvian zoo!" I thought to myself. As
the day progressed there were equal parts of surprise and some sadness, as only
some of the animals have newer, friendlier enclosures. There were completely
modern exhibits, rivaling anything you might find in Europe, America, or "down
under." Then there were buildings and enclosures, still in use, which (in some
cases, along with its inhabitant!) had seen the Soviet occupation come and go,
unperturbed and untouched -- except for the (perhaps) occassional coat of
paint. The good news is they're making progress!