The country of flower fields and wilderness camping
The Estonia! A so bucolic country, colored by wild flowers and free camping areas fields...
We enter into Estonia on 6 July 2015. Seven months after leaving, we're back in Europe!
The Narva border - between the Russia and the Estonia - is the most beautiful that we have spent up there. The separation is made naturally by a river, and on each shore was built a fortress to protect each country. Admire you even!
In Narva, we are greeted by Mael, a colleague of Esigelec (School of engineer of Thomas) mission there down. Advantage of the cool docks of the city to reminisce old memories and talk about travel. Narva is a russophone 95% city, where poverty is quite high, ranging from pair with alcoholism and AIDS rates. In short, not the city where we dream of living. But it has still some assets. For example its Narva-Joesuu Beach 15kms from the city, where we spend the evening of the next day around a barbecue arranged by the sea. Time is not the most ideal for a barbecue, but it is such a pleasure to eat grilled we quickly forget the wind and a few drops of rain. Lack of grid on place, boys play the Scouts and tinker a small wooden grid that is largely the case!
After this good evening, told Good bye to our friend and plant the tent for the night.
Discovery of the Estonia
In the morning, we discovered that Eurovelo 10 passes by! This route makes all the way round the Baltic Sea and is very well shown in Estonia. It follows all day... and continue the following day. The eurovelos, this is really cool: these roads for bicycle largely avoid major traffic, pass through small paths and lovely places that are not marked in the guides. And what a pleasure to release the map and just be guided by panels!
In Estonia, what change in landscapes from the border! It is much more varied than in Russia: wheat, wild fields fields, a few bits of forests and across daisies, poppies and other wildflowers. You can see many storks, and some raptors that soar above the fields looking for their dish of the day.
Man in all this, arrives to ask his touch quite gently, with wooden houses, well-tended gardens (they must mow every two days to have so perfect lawns!), shallow and still active wells, and some windmills.
Because the wind, in this country so flat and beachfront, Yes, it is present! We drive three days with the wind coming from one side and then another, in these bucolic landscapes. But the climate is not very bucolicthe wind increased rain and Sun above our heads - but especially not bad clouds and rain! Nevertheless, the view from the tent is every day the sea; and it is cool.
Tallinn, potes, the Sun... and even a bit of bike!
250kms after Narva, we arrive at the Tallinn airport the minute where Thomas (a friend of Thomas) comes out of the aircraft. We will spend a week with two friends in Tallinn, small Estonian capital - only 400,000 people, which is 1/3 of the population of the country. And for this week, the Sun is at the rendezvous!
We discover a medieval town very well kept, Let's enjoy some lively bars (nights tallinoises aren't a crazy atmosphere but between friends could find our account!). Once again the free walking tour City gives us a good basis to better understand the country and the city. For the night, the youth hostel Red Emperor Hostel We offers place to meet friends with a very nice staff and helping.
In the middle of the week, we ship all four with bicycles in a train that takes us to Paldiski, at 60kms from there. Return to Tallinn bicycle over two days with grill on the beach and night to 4 in our tent.
It was nice; Thank you friends for coming and for sharing a little everyday without too much complain to have evil ass!
Estonia, suite and end
After all that, we take the road to the South a little tired by this week's fiesta! Our friends however won the Sun that they had brought with them. In short, it rains, it rains (Bergère...). Thereafter, the road is still pretty, but sometimes a little monotonous. What is cool, is that the cars drive well in Estonia, people always double with a good distance. Can take time to escape from the roads to find small ways lost; or even once, get lost on a beach stones and then in the tall grass...
What are these tall grasses which have probably given freedoms cravings to our micro... that in hiding, did a triple somersault from the bike and went into hiding in the grass... Thing we discover over 60 kms away (after asking the tent in the falling rain, for the first time of the journey I think!) … Serious and hard decision not to return the next day to go look it up... Seen the incessant rain, there may be not survive taking freedom!
It continues our route, under a sky that is struggling to emerge and become dry. EuroVelo 10 obliges, it crosses many riders that took a few weeks of vacation to come and discover the Baltic countries. There is so much that it is impossible to stop every time to discuss a bit as it is often...
Shortly before Pärnu, in a village, we spend the night in camping, the first for months! A small Granny opens her field to travellers, and for € 6 we have hot shower, shelter electricity, all with a wonderful dry seaview... and the Sun which is back! Our only neighbors are the campsites-drivers very nice Swiss. The next day, so visit the old town of Pärnu -very nice - sunshine, and enjoy a moment of relaxation at the beach. Too cool! Pärnu boasts of being the summer capital of the Estonia and indeed there are many animations and life here.
The exit of the city is a little less cool, with 30 km on a highway full of trucks with traffic responsive to work in multiple places... But in Häädemeeste (nice Estonian names, eh?) Good it was just for the example, after I stop with the complicated names), you get a little too pretty road... with "after" a free camping ! Barbecue, wood, timber-timber, dry toilet, faucet, free wifi (and ripe Wild raspberries to point)... The Estonian luxury! It made the acquaintance of a Grenoble cycling couple with whom we spend a nice evening game!
In short, we are 15 km from the border and the following day, Wednesday, July 22, we turn for the first time since long our first border without border! Two flags, a Panel... We are in Latvia !
-that's it, we found Europe. And with that, it is also the euro found. The first day, we have even a little trouble to instinctively recognize tickets! But what a pleasure to no longer have to do conversion!
-We've been tagged by the modernity of the Estonia. The WiFi everywhere into trains, broadband even in lost corners, access for persons with disabilities everywhere...
-did you know that Skype has been invented by Estonian students? (And then bought by the Swedish...) Now yes!
– free campsites… Dealing with little havens like that? It is RMK (Riigimetsa Majandamise Keskus), the Estonian national office of forests; There are many identical areas in Estonia. And learned that the last day - the loose! -, but they have even a well-made super application where you can find all these campsites "wild", walks, etc. RMK is an organization that depends on the State, deals with the cutting and sale of wood; suddenly, they have plenty of ways to create beautiful things and equally much to the pedagogy of small and large concerning ecology and forest. They have houses like those that there was near our campsite, with games, great photos and above all... a webcam above a Raptor nest where 3 babies slept!