Lahemaa National Park
Palmse Travel Blog› entry 7 of 9 › view all entries
Yesterday evening I had bought one of those packs of spiced almonds (it is something they sell in the old town) and I ate half of it and the rest I put in my bag and saved for later. However, this morning, when I woke up, the whole dormitory was smelly! This hard spiced smell was everywhere and I felt really embarrassed and I quickly disposed of the almonds.
Actually, the smell started to drift by me last evening, but I thought it was coming off of one of the new guests! You see, an unusual character entered the dormitory that evening. A 43 year old man from Slovakia entered who had been hitchhiking from Slovakia to Northern Finland (sometimes sleeping on the streets or in stations) to be part of a “Rainbow Gathering”. He explained it as some sort of new global hippie movement, and in Finland he slept in tipis.
Today, I first went to the tourist office to inquire about tours to the Lahemaa National Park. The lady at the desk told me that there was a bus stopping at a few hotels every day to pick up people for this tour, and I could just stand in front of one of the hotels at a certain time and join the tour. I checked my watch and I was still in time to reach one of those hotels, so I decided to try to join one of those tours that very day.
I was picked up by a little van and I had three fellow travellers on the tour: an elderly woman from Australia (she would probably not be very happy that I call her elderly) who was very open and talkative and interested, and a Russian woman with her son who could understand English but had trouble talking it.
So Lahemaa National Park was the destination. This is one of the most beautiful places in Estonia and a really wild wood with bears, lynxes, beavers, deer etc. It was also the first National Park of the old Soviet Union. I’ve heard that Estonians from Tallinn love to go there on day trips. But the weather was against us. There was lots of rain, so we couldn’t hike through the forest, and some of the famous bog areas were flooded.
Lahemaa has a lot of big old manors. Some were built by German families and some of them are beautifully preserved, such as the Palmse manor. We had a look inside, which was quite interesting (weird that there were German families living over here in Estonia two centuries ago).
Our trip ended at the Estonian coast. There are no beaches here! The northern Estonian coast here is very rough. There are big boulders everywhere – remnants of the Ice Age – up to a hundred or so meters into the sea, and deep into the forests where they are covered with moss. The biggest boulders are the size of a house! Along the coast there are old fishing villages of wooden houses with straw roofs, only a few meters from the sea. The forest too ends just a few meters from the sea. It looks like the edge of a lake and it is really unusual, and a unique place to visit.
Aside: that blister on my foot is getting quite painful.