Drive towards Gulf of Riga and ferry to largest off-shore island of Saaremaa. A strategic Soviet military outpost and escape route to the West. It's own culture and simple way of life. En route: a visit to Muhu Island and Kogua open-air Museum. On Saaremaa visit Karja medieval church and Angla windmills and then up to 4000 year-old Kaali Crater, a result of a meterotie impact equivalent to Hiroshima bomb. On to Kuressaare to check in at Staadioni Hotel.
Did a tour of Tallinn by coach. Stopped at the Song Music venue and went inside then on to the beach (less sunny than yesterday, and the Russalka Memorial. A 90mins drive took us to the ferry terminal for Muhu Island from Virtsu. The ferry was totally quiet in its journey being electric !
We visited Koguva Kola and its outdoor museum. A number of the old thatched cottages are still lived in and used as well as barns dedicated to exhibits of old machinery and craft exhibitions. On one wall there is a boat turned upside down ready to be “sacrificed” at the end of the season (ie burned) . Karja Kirk was probably started around the 12th Century. It’s simple, pointed ceiling with symbols of magic and strange sculptures outside in the walls.
On to Saaremaa and the Angla wooden windmills (the last five on the island) are quite an imposing sight in the flat landscape. More machinery on exhibition which demonstrated local life. We were encouraged to try the local drink of Kama (the only place where it can be bought) which turned out to be a cereal mix with kefir, fruit and sugar. It was interesting and tasty - I was able to buy a packet of the cereal locally to try at home.
We went on to the Kaali Meteorite Crater Field which left me with no feeling whatsoever ! I could not understand why people said “amazing” and “beautiful” – it was a clearing in the woods with a small lake in the middle ….
Across the remainder of Saaeemaa to reach our hotel: the Stadioni. So called as it is immediately adjacent (inside, even) a newly refurbished open air athletics stadium leading down to the beach and next to the woods.
We walked into the little town (the centre being dug up and mostly inaccessible) for dinner at The Windmill. I had an excellent smoked trout. We were back at the hotel by 21:15 having seen the castle at sunset which looked stunning. Definitely to visit tomorrow.