Land of the Bays

Didn’t take many photos today because we spent most of it in the down-pouring rain. Went to a lovely national park fondly called The Land of the Bays. It is mostly forest along the coast.

Christina, our “handler” is a pixie-like ball of energy who speaks really good English. Our group is mixed Germans, British, French, and us yanks. The common language is English.

Christina is striking because she loves her job, loves her country, and is very proud of her city. We made two stops along the drive out to the national park: the first was the site of the Song Festival — not music festival, but song fest. She told us that the actual festival began about 200 years ago, near this same site, with choral groups, folk singers, composers, etc. In 1960 they built the enormous acoustic shell and audience park for the festival, and it is held every 5 years. Groups come from all around Eastonia and there is a parade of the talent through town to the site to kick everything off. 70,000 people come to listen throughout the event. It is also the site where Estonians “Sang their independence” in 1990 in their bloodless separation from the broken Soviet Union.

Our next stop was Eastonia’s highest waterfall, more attractive than the 1960s song shell area, so I got some pix. Nothing like what can be found elsewhere in the world, but Eastonians are quite proud of it.

When we began our bike trek, rain was threatened. We took a short detour (wrong turn) and it began raining as we turned around to return to the road. In another 10 km, it was thundering and pelting down. Toward the end, it stopped, and during our late lunch at a restaurant along the way, we began to actually dry out a little. Our pick-up point was along a rocky beach front, and since it was dry, I again got a photo or two. By the end of the day, we had cycled 52 km.

Saw lots of Saturday trekkers in the woods all along the way, and Christina told us they were locals out picking wild blueberries and mushrooms, as the assets if the citizens of Eastonia are available to all for their own use.