Liepaja, Latvia: The Loneliest City
Liepaja (pr: Lea Paya), Latvia has 2 sides. One is a small seaside town of 80,000 with waterfront park and the other is a lonely, gritty city with depressing wooden apartment houses and sullen decaying red brick ones.
The city you find almost certainly depends on the state of the weather because Liepaja can go from Norman Rockwell quaint to a Stephen King macabre town with one stretch of cloudy sky.
Even in the sunlight, certain parts of Liepaja are downright bizarre. A rough and tumble industrial town with grungy 3-story red brick apartment buildings lined with blooming poplars and cobblestones. Neighborhood streets become much more eerie with the lack of activity. No vendors selling their wares, no sidewalk restaurants, no cafes, no commerce spilling into the streets of any kind, not even locals sitting outside chatting to one another. The streets are simply dead and in August too.
One reason for stopping here is to see/tour the Karosta military prison. The huge USSR outpost during occupation housed up to 40k people and is located north of the city on it’s own island.