October 28th, 2021
Hight's Sabbatical Pictures

Part 39: June 2008 - Western Estonia

Before I left Estonia, Paula came over one last time for a visit and we joined some friends for a road-trip through western Estonia and the western island of Saaremaa. Here Paula, Triin, and Mats are perched outside the runis of a castle at Viljandi.

A scenic view overlooking the river outside the ruins of Viljandi. The town is in the center of the country, but west of Tartu.

Further west of Viljandi is Sooma Park - a large area of woods surrounding an incredible plateau that is a peat bog. Because of the soft bog, you are not allowed to walk on the bog itself.

The peat bog is flat with unusual vegetation. A sign there said it takes seven years for a footprint to naturally fade in the spongy soil. The pictures do not, I fear, do justice to how breath-taking the panorama really is.

Scattered in the bog are small freshwater lakes. I walked all of the wooden trails they had. There was one area where you could swim in one of the lakes, but it was a tad chilly and I did not want to see what else lived in the lake.

After Sooma we drove Pärnu, a city on the coast famous as a resort town because of its beautiful beaches. This is a picture of a monument commemorating the first declaration of independence for Estonia in 1918. The announcement was made from a balcony in the hotel you can see in the background.

The beach of Pärnu near dusk. As it was mid June, the sun did not set until nearly 11pm. This picture was taken around 2230. The central dot at the top is the moon.

The next day we took the ferry over to Muhu (an island). There we stopped at some interesting sites, including this manor home and its surrounding complex. Estonia is almost littered with manors and old estates, many of which are being renovated and used as hotels or for tourism.

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