Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 August
We arrived in Pärnu and explored the tiny town then headed to the beach. We had experienced the inevitable rain on the 120km drive but now the sun had won through. The beach was almost empty. A group of English tourists and another group of Chinese tourists, both mature age, were relaxing in the weak sunshine or paddling in the water.
There is an elephant slide in the shallow waters and a group of families with young children playing in the water. It is a shallow beach, you need to wade some distance to reach water deep enough to swim in. The kind of beach that is great for families.
There are coastal meadows along the shore with a board walk through a small area.
They are trying to repair the coastal meadows here. During the 1980s they removed the cattle, but the reeds and willows took over, and the endangered birds and frogs lost their habitat.
Now they are returning the ‘Urban Cows’ to the meadows and an ecologically balanced environment where cows eat the reeds and provide fertilisation for the orchids therefore allowing birds and frogs to propagate. Such an interesting scenario.
We passed a playground. Just like in Finland, we marvelled at the way children are able to run jump and climb over the equipment in what we would see as dangerous risks. The children are agile and confident. We continue to see this in older children, on scooters bikes and skateboards. They appear independent and confident.
The next day we headed to the Soomaa National Park for an excellent adventure.
We spent our last morning in Estonia in town. Bruce took some photos inside Church of the St Martyr Catharina. A donation was required and the women who look after the churches make sure you pay. They can become very persuasive (aggressive).
We found nice coffee but with terrible service in a trendy shop. You can’t have everything.
The weather started grey. Pärnu must be a popular stopping point between Riga to Tallinn. Most tourists we saw were the silver haired set. We even came across some APT tourists from Australia.
One of the attractions was the flower bollards in the pedestrian precinct. With the increasing world-wide threat of terrorism, these certainly made an attractive and effective protection – but in a small town in the south-west of Estonia?
We continued our walk down towards the beach and along a garden path. There was a Fred Flintstone car and a vegetable and herb garden and more bees. By now the sky had lightened and everything looked pretty.
We left Pärnu and Cyber Serena once again directed us off the major roads and through the country roads, past farms and forests. Our exit out of Estonia was as low key as our entry into it, a sign on the road and a couple of video cameras. Did they notice the red French number plates?
Good bye Estonia, Latvia is next.