October 28th, 2021
Hight's Sabbatical Pictures

Part 41: June 2008 - Saaremaa Pt II


The southwest corner of the island is a long peninsula. When the Soviets were retaking the island from the Germans in 1944, an unusually bloody night battle took place there. This is a monument to war heroes generally, and to those who fought and died here in particular.

At the end of the peninsula is an old lighthouse and some aging pillboxes from the war. I walked to the very end of the area despite the blowing rain. We found some fellows selling smoked and salted fish which was excellent, although I could not get Paula to try any.

After touring more of Saaremaa, we spent the night at what best translates as a 'tourist farm.' It is an old farm converted into cabins literally in the middle of nowhere. It had a lovely sauna and I finally got Paula to try it. Unsurprisingly (!) she found that she liked the sauna.

The next morning we drove to the northwest corner of the island and hiked out several kilometers to an abandoned lighthouse. The hike was beautiful as the weather was cooperating. At left is Paula and myself in front of the lighthouse. If you head due west from here across the Baltic Sea you would eventually come to southern Sweden, just to give you a sense of the geography.

After the hike we drove to Panga Park on the north-central coast of Saaremaa. It has scenic cliffs (above) and a pretty park for a day out. We could not stay too long as we had to make our ferry back to the mainland. A fitting end to our trip. While stopping for petrol I took this shot of the side of the gas station. There, at a gas station, you find an ATM machine for Hansapank and an ad for an 'American hot dog.' From experience I advise you to absolutely avoid anything in Estonia that advertises itself as 'American.' You typically will find it is neither American nor particularly appetizing. 29.90 EEK in June 2008 was about $3, although when I first arrived in Estonian it would have been $2. The decline of the dollar was pretty horrible for me living in Europe. 

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