While the previous day's impression of public transit in Tallinn left something to be desired, the tram to the airport actually worked fairly well, and was dirt cheap. Picked up the rental car, stopped by an American-scale (or even SE Asian-scale) shopping mall on the way out for snacks, and it was off under another lovely partially cloudy sky to Parnu. Tallin had quite a bit more suburban sprawl than I expected, but was a smooth drive afterwards until Parnu-- where traffic promptly got stuck behind a tractor.
Sadly Parnu was under a wall of clouds upon arrival. As a semi-kinda-beach town, it's pleasant enough to wander for a bit, if you want a place for just-enough-bustle but also a beach nearby. Found some massive queues at a few restuarants so ended up at The Hongkonger Cafe, which was deserted. The char shu there was decent, the hot and sour soup was decidedly non-traditional (and honestly kind of strange), even the rice was kind of too dry, but the owner was friendly enough, and it was nice to have a quick bite with no wait.
The sun came out after lunch, which made me pleased I had lingered for a bit-- Parnu is definitely a place designed for blue skies. Although the beach was just a beach, nothing too special?
The road to Lativa had few passing-on-the-left lunatics, one unfortunate BMW that had slid into a ditch, and a brief stop at Salacgrivas Beach, which felt prettier than Parnu to me. However as Salacgrivas Beach was in the middle of nowhere, there wasn't much else to do unless you really wanted to lie around or splash in the water, and I had to continue the trek to Riga.
Arrival in old town Riga and the centrally located Hilton Garden Inn, crammed the rented VW T-ROC into a very tight parking spot (thanks to the local for his help), and then a nice walk around old town and the Daugava river. The architecture was like Tallinn in that nothing in particular stood out, but it was still a pleasant place to walk around. The Vansu Tilts bridge was perfectly backlit by the sun when I arrived, and a double rainbow shone over the castle. Wrapped up sightseeing with a beautiful late night summer sunset, perhaps the best one of the trip.
In-between all the walking around and the sunset, managed to grab the last pizza at Peppo's Pizza, which was the only really busy looking restaurant I happened to see as I walked back from the castle. t'was actually pretty tasty, but I was also sufficiently hungry that that probably affected my judgement.