Monday, August 8, 2016

Trees, Bays, and Bogs

Our drive from Narva in northeast Estonia to Tallinn included a stop in the town of Rakvere. I'd seen Rakvere in the news as they are becoming well known for their distinctive Christmas tree displays, claiming a spot on Huffington Post's list of "The Most Over-The-Top Christmas Trees of 2014." You can see all 14 Christmas trees from 2014 here including Rakvere's tree made of recycled wood that stood over 33 feet (10 meters) high. In 2015, a tree made of recycled windows and standing 12 meters high (39 feet) was erected in Rakvere's town square. I read about the 2015 tree on Estonian World's blog here. Well, it wasn't December, but we checked out this little town with a big town square, and imagined what it would be like at Christmastime.

Next stop? We couldn't miss a stop in one of Estonia's National Parks. Lahemaa National Park is on the north coast and we took a nice hike near Altja, a formerly thriving fishing village. The hike included a walk along the beach, over a small suspension bridge, and views of some large erratic boulders, old wooden buildings along the shoreline, and some interesting wooden fences. We may have gotten just a little lost, but we did eventually found our way back to the car.

Our second hike of the day was a bog walk near Kolga. Viru Bog is known as the most accessible bog in Estonia. It is located about an hour from Tallinn. At the beginning, the bog's boardwalk is actually wheelchair accessible. This wider boardwalk will take you to a lookout tower but from there, the boardwalk narrows down considerably.

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