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6 travelers at this place
  • Day19

    Celebrating Summer Solstice in Saaremaa

    June 21, 2019 in Estonia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Firstly I thought it might be best to start with a short science lesson. Contrary to popular belief, the changing seasons throughout the year has nothing to do with the slight changes in distance between the earth and the sun. In fact it has everything to do with the inclination of the earth's axis relative to the plane of rotation. In the northern summer the earth's tilts towards the sun, resulting in the sun appearing higher in the sky at noon time. The higher the sun is in the sky, the more concentrated is the solar energy reaching the surface and the longer the length of the day. Simples !

    Whatever the reason, the simple fact is that today is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. If the days weren't already long enough in the Baltics, today marks the time when the daylight hours are at their absolute maximum. From now on each day will grow progressively shorter - perhaps a bleak reminder that another long, dark and cold winter will be here in just a few short months. Little wonder that the locals try to make the most of their short summers when they come.

    Today I declared a "personal rest and recuperation day". I must admit that I have been feeling a little homesick,especially when I have a lovely new grandson waiting in Melbourne that I have not been able to meet yet. Most of us are also severely sleep deprived and feeling weary from the constant travel. In my case the decision was made during the latter part of yesterday's ride when my backside reminded me in no uncertain terms that it really had had enough. It needed a break.

    Since we have another two nights at this hotel it was a simple matter of choosing not to ride. Apart from catching up on some rest I also wanted to spend some time exploring the Baltic coastline. After the rest of the team left in the bus to punish themselves,I headed off on a long walk instead.

    My original aim had been to walk the shoreline to a group of wind turbines we could see in the distance. As I set off two things become evident. The first is that the beach was not all easy walking. In many parts it was more like a muddy swamp, complete with reeds and small creeks. The second thing I learned was that wind turbines are REALLY big. The further I walked, the further away they moved. Eventually my path was completely blocked and I had to turn back.

    One thing that was a real surprise was just how warm the water was. Although we would not class it as a great beach (due to the muddy sand, seaweed and rocks) I decided to brave the obstacles and wade in the shallows. The temperature was not at all what I expected 60 degrees north in the Baltic Sea. It was really warm. Really warm indeed. I guess that is why Estonians come quite a long distance to swim here.

    Later in the day I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep. It is nowhere enough to make up the accumulated sleep deficit, but I thought it might help a little.

    I am not sure if there are any celebrations planned for this evening. Maybe we will be outside baying at the midnight sun. I guess I will soon find out.
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    Carol Yates

    Sound like it's time to come home 🛫🤗

    Dennis Dawson

    Yes I feel like my new grandson is growing up without me

  • Day16

    Into our third country, Estonia

    August 27, 2017 in Estonia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    An earlier start as we have a big 340 k bus ride and half hour ferry trip to Muhu Island then drive across a causeway to Saameraa Island. Saameraa is the largest Estonian island.
    About an hour in we cross the Estonian border.Read more

    These buildings look like something out of 'Princess Bride' Suze x


    Hi Ree. Loving your photos! All looks very 'medieval' xx Suze

  • Day17

    Minda and Edvard

    August 28, 2017 in Estonia ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Our 2 local blokes. 💕
    Mindaugas, or Minda, was our English speaking Lithuanian guide. He spoke and understood English pretty well, just had a little trouble occasionally translating a word.
    He did an excellent job at guiding us and putting up with the Aussie humour 😊
    Edvardas was our Lithuanian bus driver, who didn't speak much English. He understood some but couldn't speak it well. He spoke fluent Lithuanian and Russian and passable German. He still enjoyed the Aussies, you can still communicate pretty well with sign language and body gestures. Minda often translated between us.
    Edvardas did a great job too driving and backing the long bike trailer, keeping us on the right road and packing everyone's luggage in the minivan.
    Baltic Bike Travel 👍👍👍
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  • Day17

    Saameraa Island, Estonia

    August 28, 2017 in Estonia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    56 km ride today up the Sorve Peninsula. We got bussed from the Hotel to the Sorve lighthouse. This peninsula had considerable military significance, dominating the Irbe Strait and the Baltic Sea route to Riga.
    This was a very lovely ride- flat, sheltered and little traffic. We were able to stop and take photos. There were some lovely quaint houses and working farms. Coast with many white swans!! Just like we would see pelicans, I kept thinking they were 😊
    We went off the beaten track and cycled half the route on gravelly corrugated roads. Not everyone liked that! But we did like our lunch picnic spot.
    Along one of these tracks the front group saw a black snake cross the road. This is not a common occurrence, unlike Australia, so Minda, our guide, harassed it with a stick to get it back on the road for the rest of us to see. He gave up when it decided to strike back at him!! You could tell he's not used to dealing with poisonous snakes!!!! It was quite a big one for here.
    This had been the first time the Saameraa Island had been included in the itinerary, they used to do the smaller island of Hiiumaa.
    Our hotel had a spa centre so we had it booked from 5.30-7.30 pm. I'm not a fan of saunas but I spent an hour in and out of saunas and cold pools and muscles feel great!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mändjala, Maendjala