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Published: August 2nd 2014
Clouds in Many Forms
When on a passage you have a chance to see many beautiful cloud formations such as these
Next on the schedule for the OCC rally was a dinner in Tallinn, Estonia on June 27th
so we had a few days to make it up there from Liepaja, Latvia. We left Liepaja at 7AM on June 21st
and headed to the town of Kuressaare in Estonia on the island of Saaremaa. It was a very uneventful motor sail with time to enjoy the scenery and the beautiful cloud formations, and the sunset and sunrise as we didn’t arrive until 5:20AM the next day. The Roomassaare marina we stayed at was a little distance from the town of Kuressaare so we shared a taxi with another couple and went into town to explore.
In the early 13th
century Danes invaded northern Estonia and founded the city of Tallinn in 1219, but later sold it to the Teutonic Knights. German merchants then came and it became a member of the Hanseatic League in 1285. We talk about the Hanseatic League often and I’m not sure that we have what this in fact means. Yes, it was a group of merchants who banded together create a mutually beneficial trading zone but what this meant to the local people was that German merchants
moved into the city, organized their own set of rules and basically turned the local population into serfs. Estonia was then taken over by Sweden from the mid-16th
century until Russia defeated the Swedes in the early 18th
century. During the time of Swedish rule there were many social advances especially in the area of education and this time has always been concerned their “golden years”. Estonia enjoyed independence for a short time before WWII but during the war it bounced between Russian, then German and then Russian rule again. With each transition came significant destruction and death. Estonia gained independence from the USSR in 1991, something they are very proud of. We had heard excellent reports from others about the people of Estonia and were looking forward to visiting here.
Here there was the Kuressaare Fortress which makes quite an impressive statement on this side of the island. The first record of it was in 1381 as a convent. It was built in the late Gothic style and is the only one in the Baltic States that have not undergone major renovations. We found out that much of the area of the fortress was open for wandering around
so we took the time to do this. Within the walls of the fortress there were numerous workshops such as glass blowing, pottery and leatherwork where you could purchase many of these hand crafted items. We were tempted with a few of them, but with living on a boat of limited size we were able to talk ourselves out of any purchases this time.
There was a special display going on in one room which we decided to check out. It was about the time during WWII when this fortress was used by the Nazis that occupied this area. Estonia has a history of resisting its invaders, the Nazis were no different. The Nazis responded in the way they always had by rounding up local leaders and killing them. However upon “liberation” by the Russians, Stalin ordered an even more significant crackdown and many of the teachers and community leaders of this island were rounded up and killed by the Russians. This was a very common result of “liberation” by the Russians at the end of World War II.
In 1836 the Castle was taken off the list of military fortifications and gave the town the opportunity to
turn this area into a park. Landscaping of the park began in 1861 and with the opening of the park it began the idea of this area becoming a sea resort. With increased use of the area the park was expanded and a bandstand added. The current one is from 1922, but there had been one earlier. This castle had a moat which has remained as such which is somewhat unique from the various others that we have visited during our time here in the Baltic. In fact, this one even has rental boats that you can row around the moat in!
We then walked through the town and noticed a sign outside one of the buildings marked “wool” we decided to go in to see what it might offer (and helped us with getting out of the cold weather). We found out that they had a very informative display on the various uses of wool and many of the traditional dress of the region. As is common with most countries, you can tell the region a person was from by the outfit that they wore. We have included a couple of the photos that were on display for
you to see a sampling of them. They had beautiful wool items for sale here too, but we are now hoping that summer weather will soon be here and we will not be needing any wool items! Bob has been looking for a wool sweater however for times when it would be nice to have when on watch. Fortunately there was an outdoor stand nearby with lots of beautiful items on sale. Bob succeeded in finding one that he liked – now that we have it, maybe Murphy’s Law will come into play and we will get our summer weather soon.
This area had once been controlled by Sweden for a very long time and you can see that influence remaining. One thing you notice immediately is the style of house construction. Predominantly it is wood with a very traditional Scandinavian design with a great deal of detail work and unique architectural details.
After a day here we left at 9:15AM on June 24th
and figured on anchoring out among the numerous islands off the coast of Estonia. We were traveling in the company of two other boats that are part of the rally and they were interested
in doing the same. About 6:20PM we found a lovely anchorage and enjoyed a relaxing evening on the hook. We had almost forgotten how nice it is to anchor out; we have been marina hopping for so long. It was great to have time to slow down and enjoy this. In fact we figured we had another night before we had to be in Tallinn so anchored out a 2nd
night as well.
On June 26th
we pulled up anchor at our 2nd
anchorage at 5AM and headed to Tallinn where we arrived at 11:30AM. There is a lot to tell you about our stop there so will leave that for another blog entry.
Tot: 1.191s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 28; qc: 109; dbt: 0.0317s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.6mb