Taking the short stroll to the pristine beach of Liepaja from the quirky Fontaine Hotel this monument known affectionately as the ‘Crocodile’ can be seen from some distance.
It commemorates the lives of fishermen and sailors which have been lost at sea. The bronze figurine at the top is actually a woman possibly waiting for a loved one to return but its resemblance to a Soviet cartoon crocodile called ‘Gena‘ provides the nickname.
Getting closer on this particular day the children from a nearby school could be seen exercising using the steps below the monument. They were running up and down the steps, rapidly criss-crossing their feet improving their fitness, agility and co-ordination. It was great to see and some of them were really impressive, ably moving up and down the steps with surprising speed and dexterity in their feet. It was one of those scenes that it is impossible not to smile at, a ‘feel good’ factor moment.
The monument may have been built to commerorate those that perished at sea but it is easy to imagine the woman smiling proudly down on the next generation of Latvian seafarers exercising in the sun. Today it was a monument to hope.
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