Saaremaa - pilgrimage to the old family homestead
Jun 17, 2009
Jul 20, 2010
On the weekend I took a trip to Saaremaa, a large island to the west of Estonia where my grandparents originally lived. After spending a morning walking around Kuresaare, the main town in Saaremaa, I took a taxi to Piila, a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere, about 30 minutes drive north of Kuresaare. I was able to find the old Piila church that I’ve seen in many old family photos and also saw what was left of the house where my grandparents used to live. It was currently being occupied by about a half dozen sheep from the neighbouring farm. After having completed my pilgrimage to the old family homestead I still had about two hours to kill before the bus back to Kuresaare arrived. I decided to walk around the area a bit and found an old abandoned vehicle depot that I believe was probably used to store, service and distribute farm machinery to the collective farms in the area. Since there were no more collective farms (and a noticeably substantial amount of unused farmland in the area) the vehicle depot was no longer required and was now just a collection of deserted sheds and repair bays. I poked around the empty building for a little while and then made my way to the bus stop to catch the bus back to Kuressaare and then on to Tallinn.