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Published: August 20th 2014
Onion Road & Kolkja east Estonia 15 Aug (24)
Negotiating the sale of the onions with the locals. I gave them more than they asked!!!
Kolkja & Lake Peipus on eastern border of Estonia 15 August 2014
After leaving Tartu, we drove east to find the 'Onion Road' as it is known by locals. This area of Estonia is very traditional and mostly of small villages which rely on small-plot primary production, mainly onions and tomatoes.
We saw many little stalls along the narrow roads, with the elderly lady of the household, waiting for a sale. We stopped at one house and bought some onions. Apparently they lovely...which we discovered later, was correct. They have chosen onions as their main crop as they can be stored for a long time. All the 'sales ladies' were very short and cutely dumpy and many of them wore a head scarf or hat. The lady I bought onions from, we had a 'conversation' using hand signs and expressions. A younger lady came along to help with telling us the price.
We said our goodbyes and thank you and shaking of hands and went to find the Old Believers Museum in Kolkja Village, which was somewhere along Onion Road. We eventually had to ask a local and the reason why we couldn't find it was it was
very non descript and we didn't drive along the road further enough.
The Old Believers were before the reformation of the Russian Orthodox church changed many of their rituals and beliefs, so the museum displayed the life in the 1800s, much of which continues today. The Old Believers are descendants from religious refugees from Russia who arrived in Estonia three centuries ago after a schism in the Orthodox Church.
We then drove through a couple more little villages, looking for a road which was close to the lake. Lake Peipus forms border of Estonia an Russia. On doing one U-turn, we got bogged in sand. Fortunately, a German 4x4 was passing and Tom found a couple of planks of wood to put under the front wheels. With 3 of us pushing, we got our with not problems. We were bogged for only 10 minutes.
After that we found the massive lake and then headed north along its shore, but most times, we couldn't see the lake.
After leaving the lake, we stopped in at Alatskivi, which was only 20 kms from Kolkja. There was an old manor we wanted to see, which is the most beautiful
Neogothic building in the Baltics, and included the history of the Baltic German nobility and the lives of the servants. It was a grand building. There were several young ladies dressed in beautiful period dresses. At the restaurant, you can also sample Estonian, German and Scottish traditional foods. The manor was designed on Balmoral Castle in Scotland, hence the Scottish connection. The museum in the manor was very interesting.
We then headed for Rakvere which is close to the north coast.
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