Published: June 11th 2008June 9th 2008 9 June
Perfect timing, eh?
"Suur Töll and Piret" sclpture depicts the mythological giants of Saaremaa's history. Sorry, but I couldn't resist this one!
THIS IS A SLEEPY TOWN, quaint and laid back. Not the resort town I expected. I discover a supermarket away from the town square, discretely tucked into a cluster of old buildings, and can't resist buying a smoked herring (prepared the way I used to eat it in my youth) from the fresh fish counter. It tastes even better than I remember -- tender as a rainbow trout.
I rent a 24-speed bicycle at Bivarix, a local bicycle shop. Don't ask me why anyone would need that many gears in this flat country! Sure nice, though, to be able to cover a bit more ground in a hurry, rather than hoofing it everywhere. First order of the day is the yacht harbour where I talk to sailors from England and Germany who are heading north to Finland and Sweden for the season. If they were going west I'd offer my services as crew and hitch a ride to Germany. Instead, I'll have to stick to my original plan of taking the ferry from Tallinn next weekend.
The main attraction here is the Bishop's Fortress, facing the sea to the south and fringed by a park and a
The 14th century episcopal castle
or bishop's fortress was built not to repel foreign invaders but local tribes people.
moat on the other sides. Apparently, it is the best preserved medieval castle in the Baltic. It houses an (in my opinion) well designed exhibit ranging from prehistoric times to today, as well as Estonian fine art. It's one of those places you'd like to revisit a few times, with its gothic hallways, hidden passage ways, watchtower, stone steps winding this way and that, and even boasting a lion's den to swiftly execute sentence on some unfortunate perpetrators.
There are more photos below