This time we explored Estonia with our Canadian friends (Eglit’s former teammate Kate + her sister Ellen). A day after our wedding we took a ferry to Muhu and from there to Saaremaa. Saaremaa is Estonia’s largest island and none of us (me nor Ronald) haven’t been there for quite some time. It was the first time for the Canadians to visit Saaremaa, but not Estonia, as they were here in 2014 summer as well. They seemed to like it, so I dare to recommend. A teaser shot from the wedding as well.. #rosenvaldphotography
Our first stop was Pädaste Manor, which is on Muhu island. This manor has one of the best restaurants in Estonia and spending a night in this manor is quite expensive (from 200 up to 600 EUR per night). It’s a super fancy place, but at the same time it’s nice and peaceful, just by the sea. They also had a cool automatic mowlawner which we had never seen before in real life (weird).
After Pädaste we were headed to Kuressaare, which is a regional capital of Saaremaa. During the Soviet times, there was almost no access to Saaremaa – one had to obtain a special permit to visit the island. This was mostly due to the fact that Saaremaa was the most Western point in Soviet Union and also heavily militarized, with over 30 Soviet bases.
We went to see the Kuressaare Castle, which we’d never seen before. This was reallly cool! You can feel like you’re in middle age and getting ready to protect your land. It has large moats (protective ditches) around the castle to protect it from the invaders. After visiting the castle, we had a nice dinner in a restaurant called “Retro”. And yes, it was very retro, with delicious food though.
We then headed to our cozy guesthouse, right outside of Kuressaare, where we stayed for 2 nights. I looked it up on the day of arrival from booking.com, called them and got it for cheaper price than I would’ve when using booking.com. They also had a sauna where we spent most of our evenings talking all the stories that we had missed from each others lives for the past year (I hadn’t seen Kate since graduating from USC, may 2015) + also showing Kate and Ellen Tommy Cash videos. Not sure how we reached that point in our conversations…
The next day we went to see Kaali (meteorite) Crater. I didn’t care too much about it since every Estonian has seen it many times. But since Kate is a geologist/rock scientist, we definitely wanted her to see it. So if you want to see a big hole in the ground with some water in it – then Kaali is the place to go! The meteorite landed to this inhabited land (at the time) about 3500 years ago and caused quite a mess, as you could guess (yeaa rhyme)
Saaremaa is well known for it’s windmills, which were used in old times to grind the grain. Most of the Angla Windmills which we saw are wooden, so it was possible to turn them to the side where the wind was blowing from.
This long log was used for turning the windmill.
After seeing the windmills, we headed to Northern Saaremaa, which was about 40 minute drive to Panga Cliff, or Panga Pank in Estonian. We enjoyed some great views to the sea and we also saw the shore of Hiiumaa, another cute Estonian island, North from Saaremaa. And the best part of it – there were no tourists.
After another long day we headed to sauna again. Gotta love these Canadians who wanted to try everything unusual and were never complaining 🙂 Perfect travel buddies.