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Europe » Estonia » Saaremaa » Kuressaare
July 31st 2008
Published: July 31st 2008
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Kuressaare, Saaremaa Island



We left Tallinn somewhat earlier than we would have liked, and headed to the excitingly named Autobussijam to catch our bus to the island of Saaremaa. The 4 hour jaunt involved a short ferry crossing, which was vastly more pleasant and relaxing than any dover to calais trip has ever been. A sleepy drive past tumbledown farm shacks and through lush green forests brought us to the islands capital, Kuressaare...or at least, we thought so...possibly the quietest bus station ever...

Not entirely convinced we were heading in the right direction, we eventually found our hostel and then strolled towards (and without realising, straight through) the town centre. Had a delicious and wonderfully cheap dinner at the John Bull Pub - featuring an old bus as the bar, and a terrace which looked out over the moat of the Bishops Castle - like something out of a fairytale. Oh, and if anyone ever goes to Estonia, order garlic bread, its not what you expect. In a good way.

After dinner we wandered around the castle and the harbour in which it sits - beautifully quiet, and not a British voice to be heard. The photos (if we can eventually find a way to upload some) will do this bit much better justice than anything we can write! Stopped to take numerous pictures including super-dangerous macro shots of bumblebees gorging themselves on nectar away from the madding crowds. Wandering back in the dusky haze, we stopped at the oldest building in Kuressaare, which brilliantly is now a pub!

Next morning we loaded up on pic-a-nic supplies and went to rent some bikes...then set off on a mammoth 22 mile round trip to see one of the worlds most "easily accessible" meteor craters near a village named Kaali. In a country as flat as Estonia, this is not quite as impressive a feat as it sounds, but tiring nonetheless! The crater itself is a tree-lined rocky bowl, about 100 meters across, with a mysterious, rippling emerald green lake in the centre. Apparently no one has checked out whats in the middle yet. We think - aliens. After sampling some of the local Saaremaa brew (a delicious, wheaty concoction which is not quite as easy to find as one would hope) we headed back from this somewhat bizarre attraction, battling an evil headwind along endless stretches of gravelly tarmac, finally arriving back at the rental shop pretty darn exhausted. Had some dinner at the pub and complained about spoilt americans.

Bus to Parnu at 7:45 tomorrow morning...aiieeee....

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