Beautiful Parnu

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 29, 2010

Drove from Cesis back toward the Baltic coast through very beautiful and lush farmlands. As we reached the coast, we stopped to see the Baltic, and found it to be very warm, not too salty water, and very shallow for a long way out, with fine sandy beaches seeming to stretch endlessly along the coast. There are lots more families camping and sunning along the coast here, and the weather is warm and sunny.

On to Parnu, Estonia where we are ensconced in a crowded but clean and grassy campground very near the town centre. We rode our bikes through narrow and quaint old wooden buildings from the 18th C to suddenly find ourselves amidst huge ultra modern hotels, hot sandy beaches, thousands of young people and families on the clean shores of the Baltic. It was a scene very reminiscent of, say, Waikiki beaches, or maybe Florida in holiday season. And yet, just a few metres inland was the old town with its decorative 18th C tsarist villas, cobbled narrow roads, and 15th C wall gates. Amazing!

June 30, 2010

Laundry in the morning, then into Parnu for a walking tour. Just the two of us and a knowledgeable, well spoken 17 year old young man for a guide. It is billed as a "free" tour, but our donation was gratefully accepted. It was at least 2 hours, and we learned much about this delightful little town of just around 43,000.

Following the tour we joined the hoards on the beautiful sandy beach, Parnu, being roughly level with Fort Nelson in BC, is snow and ice for much of the year, but it sure turns on the summer resort switch at this time of year.

Wow! Another wonderful serendipity moment! We rode into Parnu for one more look in the evening, and as we arrived at the town square, a troupe of Estonian traditional dancers, accompanied by three autoharps, was just setting up. So we watched them for an hour… totally free, and the audience was mostly townsfolk, not tourists.

Interestingly, the main tourist population here is Finnish. They come over on the ferry for the beaches, and for the spas, and they are not impressive… they all seem to be of a certain bulk, and not terribly friendly except within themselves. We'll see whn we get to Helsinki if this is a fair generaliztion, or just the campers..

If you haven’t heard, our renters, Sarah and Aaron, had their baby yesterday, a second girl, named Clio. Sarah said the whole experience was magical, not the least because Clio was born at home… yes, at our house on Chamberlin Road. We are thrilled for her.
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