Lots of travelling today to Estonia's second city, Tartu. Stopping at Parnu for lunch and ferry to Tartu for a free evening to explore the leafy university city. Tartu Hotel.
A really long day so let’s see how it went !
We headed for the electric ferry, going over to Koguva & Kuivastu on Muhu to Virtsu on the mainland, then drove two hours towards Parnu. For some reason it was deemed necessary to paddle on the beach (my feet stayed dismissively dry) before being given two hours to walk around Parnu which was to include lunch. I had a cheese and bacon omelette (Sue had pizza) and we started to chat to a Finnish lady sitting close to us before leaving her to Jessica & Adele, walking off to explore the Town Hall, Church of St Catherine’s , the Merchant’s House and on to Elizabeth’s Church, back past the monument (marked on our maps as a picture without a name !) then to the Arch of Independence and the coach.
Another two hour drive and we reached Viljandi. Here we walked over the dried moat by a swing / suspension bridge to the castle ruins which over looked the stunning Halliste river: tranquil and picturesque. The ruins were calming and only had limited red brick restoration which definitely improved the experience.
We walked on past the Folk Music Centre, the Kondes Centre of Naïve Art with its colourful mushroom street lights and huge strawberry on its door step. A boy with a fish was the fountain for the park gardens where there was also a monument to the painter Johann Koler, another strawberry (there were quite a few in the town we were told), the town hall and the monument of Jacobson.
The call of ice cream was too much so we gave in: vanilla with strawberry & mango sauce in a pumpkin seed tuile. Delicious. Returned to coach through Arcadia Gardens.
Another two hours saw us in Tartu and the Tartu Hotel. We went out as to a group to dinner almost immediately to “the tallest pub in the world”: Pussirohu Kalder aka Gunpowder Cellar of Tartu, where I had a rather bland meat stew in a cottage loaf. About 9pm loads of young people arrived (students from the uni ?) to play their own form of table tennis which seemed to take place on converted narrow camping tables.
Ate with Ian, Anne, Sue, Sheila and Howard.