Published: August 3rd 2008August 3rd 2008
A super early start - why schedule a popular bus route at 7.45 am? We were somewhat taken aback to discover we would be travelling to Estonias most popular seaside resort by minibus, rather than the spacious coach which had brought us to Kuressare, but it was nice and air conditioned. The journey went quite quickly, and we arrived in Parnu with plenty of time to kill before our evening bus to Riga.
Parnu is estonias equivalent of blackpool or bournemouth or somewhere, except its really very nice. We left our bags in the (very small) luggage hold and tottered round the town, through a nice park dedicated to Lydia Koldiua, a bit like the estonian princess diana, and looked round the Parnu new art museum. Pretty interesting collection of modern art and photography housed in the former communist party headquarters. Spent a while trying to find a headless statue of Lenin which our guidebook assured us was there, but we think it must have been removed since! We carried on down to the beach itself, stopping to admire the neo-classical facade of the mud baths (for 'neo classical' read 'slightly tacky', but architecturally significant i guess). Nice beach, but then a beach is a beach, so we went for some lunch at the Jazz Cafe.
After eating we found the Red Tower, the oldest building in Parnu - which is actually white, and now houses a fairly authentic emporium for handicrafts. We were both tempted by hats. Carried on and found St Catherines church - we've seen countless beautiful russian orthodox churches already, but this was the first we actually went inside. Gold plated opulence and sanctimony abounds...