During the night, the breeze picked up and by morning the powerful force of the wind through the trees made an uneasy howling noise. To our side, a small rusty milk churn tied to a post with a piece of old rope. As the wind picked up, so did the chinking of the churn, a cue to depart and head to our first port of call.
Today’s journey is once again unplanned with the exception of go east for a while and then bear south. Nothing planned and nothing to loose except of course if you park in the village of Vosu. As we pulled in to the barren car park we were greeted with endless graphic posters of car crime. We didn’t understand the words but the pictures portrayed the message quite vividly and left a lasting impression…this place is rife with crime.
With everything hidden away, we locked and double checked we’d locked our motorhome before beeping the alarm. Our brisk walk around Vosu was slightly distracted by the fact that this place didn’t feel safe. Partly because of the posters and partly because the ghostly feel to the abandoned village. Its a walk of just over 3 kilometres from our parking spot, around the village, down the beach and back to Vin..it didn’t take long.
Continuing to drive east we followed the signs to Altja but along the way, a big pink mansion caught our attention. We pulled over and stepped out for a look. The mighty grand manor with beauty mowed lawns and potted flowers turned out to be Sagadi Manor, a forest museum. To the rear, a grand lake, plenty out houses and more walking trails in to the Estonian forest. The roof like many a roof in Estonia is made of asbestos and pieces of it lie all over the grounds of the manor.
The drive through the national park reminded us of an English countryside with green fields, wooden fences, stone houses and plenty cows. We got so lost in our little world that we forgot to turn off for Altja. Never mind, we just kept on driving until all of a sudden Craig stopped. He spotted a huge nesting stork. We stopped for a while watching the bird watch us just as avidly as we watched the bird. In the end, the bird gave up eyeballing us and took flight for an afternoon tea in the park.
Until independence in 1991 no one really knew much about Estonia. Their constant battle with neighbouring countries and fight for independence has been a way of life for centuries. Now they are no longer isolated from the rest of the world and allowed to be free. However, with less than 50 miles to Russia the scares of the Soviet era can still be seen with uranium mines and underground bunkers. Time to now bumble south.
We stopped at a Rimi shopping centre and enjoyed a real good look at all the different foods. The supermarket was well stocked and extremely modern, a complete contrast to manors and mines. With our trolley full of fresh vegetables, meats and every other goody that took our fancy, we departed the supermarket full loaded and all for €37. Wow.
Ten minutes later and once again, we’d stepped back in time to 13th century Rakvere Castle. Perched on top of Linnamagi Hill the views around perfectly summed up Estonia history – pockets of beautiful medieval villages surrounded by horrid concrete apartments with the odd modern complex. Before we left we tootled over to the towns mascot, a 50 year old bull complete with all its tackle.
We moved out of the town and parked up at a small village of Lasila. Once again, no plan just a gut feeling to follow the road and head for a national monument sign. As we don’t understand Estonia it was a nice surprise to find an old rail mansion. Set in beautiful grounds with a simple pond the manor house was currently undergoing restoration. As we walked around the outside one of the decorators invited us inside. Craig went in for a look, whilst I stayed with the dogs. Craig returned a little perplexed as to what the building is used for. Some of the furnishing suggested a school but then photographs on the wall maybe a function room. So we are not quite sure what the building was or is but it certainly looks nice.
With Vin nice and comfy on the grass parking space, it was time for roast chicken, new potatoes and vegetables. Accompanied with a glass of wine and an Estonian desert – sort of cheese cake with sponge base and a bit of jelly plonked on top. Perfect end to an eventful and enjoyable day.
Bumble Verdict: an excellent driving day passing through lots of little countryside villages steeped in history but give Vosu a miss.
Our sleepy spot: in the grounds on an old manor in the village of Lasila complete with old soviet bunker.
Wild Camping GPS position N059.348178 E026.350426
Route: Kasmu to Lasila