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Tag: Estland

Arctic Summer in Tallinn

Who would have thought it?
In the estonian summer we stood in front of this stand in Tallinn. It had  pleasant 17-20° C and the winter was still far away.

I can still remember very well how we stood in front of the long jelly bag hats and puzzled how women should wear them? After all, they almost hung down to the ground?
The nice saleswoman explained it to us. And, as you can see on the second picture: It brings cosy warmth at the current arctic temperatures.

Today I’m standing in the park with my dog and I’m happy that I struck back then.

 

That’s what I call foresight!  Or am I more like a witch?

But how did it come after all, why Tallinn, some will ask themselves, who have missed the description of our long journey there.
Tallinn, the old Hanseatic city, which had to experience so much in the course of history and was able to maintain a relatively original Gothic part of the old town. And, by the way, it is also the capital of Estonia.

As we are already in Estonia, and at least one cultural sightseeing event during a Wima Rally is standard, it was more then obvious that an organized sightseeing tour took place. Naturally optimally organised by our Wima EE

During the bus journey we are introduced by the nice tour guide into the many aspects of the Estonian past, but also the present – with its rapid change, away from the communist satellite state, to a modern and very progressive state.

She describes very vividly the division of society into poor and prosperous, Estonians and Russians. According to her statements, there is still a long way to go before these populations will have a greater rapprochement.

Nature and fauna are not neglected either, the differences and similarities to the Finnish language are briefly explained. And so we are already very well established when we reach the prefabricated buildings of the Tallinn suburbs. Our first stop will be at the Singers’ Fairground.

It was from here that the Estonian national movement started, which ultimately led to the separation from the Soviet Union.

As a contrast to the spectacular tribune of singers, the tour continues into the upper part of the city, which houses many public buildings and the Alexander-Newski Cathedral.

Up there is also a huge observation deck (Kohtuotsa), with a magnificent view of the harbour and the lower town.

Through the alleyway (Pikk) it goes down to the second part of the city, which still has old structures and resembles a labyrinth. Like a pearl necklace, there are old town houses from the Gothic period.

It is somewhat a miracle that so many old buildings and city walls have been preserved and now, lovingly restored, are a natural tourist destination. And there are more than enough of these in the narrow alleyways.

Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to stroll through the alleys and look at the little shop windows. In between there are always restaurants, and with more advanced time, it also drives us to a restaurant near the old town hall square.

The old Hanse is a medieval-style restaurant with traditional dishes that are also served in and on crockery. So, knight’s dinner at Burg Lockenhaus, in Tallinn. However, the price-performance ratio is not so high and a visit to the toilet suggests that the medieval scenery was only constructed as a distraction from the pre-floody toilets.

Or is it because of the tourists?; -)

In any case, the reserves have been replenished and the tour continues through the alleys.

Although the sun shines down warmly, we buy really warm traditional winter caps at the souvenir stall, at the old city wall. With woolly, filled bags we continue to the NO side of the city wall, where along the city wall with its imposing towers, a park and a pond below the upper town invites you to relax.

On a park bench I finally have the opportunity to fill my diary with the events of the last days.

The sun is shining, it is pleasantly warm (rather rarely, without a motorcycle gap) and the park landscape is finally able to bring me down and just enjoy the moment.

The time is over, and we meet again at the bus.

The return journey passes quickly and we have to get in tune with the trash evening.

Each nation represented has prepared a crazy, insane or simply inappropriate action that is presented to the assembled audience.

There is Pinneaple Pen, children’s songs in Dutch, German mass rally a’ la soccer match, spoon and drum music, Viennese waltz, ballet, etc….

Oblique even. The dinner is more than just sumptuous, and the quality is excellent, it’s really hard not to taste everything.

It’s getting late again until we get to bed.

 

 

Wima Rally 2017, Estonian Svenja Tour

We are really here! As we wake up in the morning, we can’t believe it yet.
2750 km without any big problems, no breakdowns, no accidents, often rain, but also many nice and sunny days.

We’ve seen so much of the countries and the people on the way here. Now it’s time to get to know Estonia!

The program of the Estonian Wima’s is very impressive and shows that we will have only little time for other activities 😉

But the most beautiful is, that we can still use today (as arrival day for all remaining Wimas) for more discoveries. The official part of the rally will start in the evening.

The breakfast setting is already working very well, so the  potential has been dramatically improved by the speed and number  of the kitchen crew. After breakfast we mount our now lighter motorcycles and drive eastwards.

 

 

There are basically only 3 goals:

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1116.

The sun is shining, the traffic is very quiet, the navigation was already worked out weeks ago, what could possibly go wrong?

So we set off at a brisk pace, and around Rakvere following the main road. The striking and large castle has to wait until Thursday, as it is the focus of the rally and is therefore only seen from a distance.

So we are quite fast at the turnoff at Sake which leads us towards Velaste. The road is narrow, but has a perfect tarmac and runs in curves along of the steep coastline to the Baltic Sea, so that we can always have a view of the sea. This way we quickly reach Velaste Juga the 30m high waterfall (which is rather unexpected in this flat region) that Svenja has already visited.

It’s true, the waterfall funnel is impressive, the waterfall rather less, the broken-off spectator platform a little more. It’s a pity that this was not repaired. The locked double spiral of the spiral staircase leading to the platform would in itself be a challenge.  😉

So we look over the edge of the vertical rock, which is completely unsecured. For Austrian conditions completely unthinkable. And judging by the traces, the path to here is frequently visited.

After a short stop in the coffee shop on the opposite side of the road  (WC for all, and coffee for Su and Renate, – I use the sun for a little nap) it goes on along the coast until we are spit out shortly before Sillamäe, again on the main road. From the main road, the slab concrete buildings of the Eastern Block era don’t look very inviting, and so we drive straight on towards Petersburg! Yes, that’s already written next to Narva as the  streets target.

Finally, we reach Narva. The city looks different to the cities we have seen in Estonia so far. Both the size, as well as the dimension of the shopping houses in the outskirts of the city are impressive, and at the same time a little morbid.
We find out later that Narva is very much Russian-occupied, whether this makes the difference?

In any case, we are fighting against the increasing traffic swelling and a breakneck roundabout up to the border crossing.
Massive fences, cameras, barriers, etc… give a very gloomy impression.

And that’s where something happens for the first time that hasn’t happened before: we are not allowed to take a picture! A customs officer who explains to us in Russian and Estonian that we are not allowed to stand here, stop here or take pictures. Okaaay?

So we’re moving away from the border crossing. We stop at the parking lot in front of it and take our photos from there. Afterwards we cross the roundabout to the southern part of the Hermanns Castle, where we walk from the parking lot to the Narva to see the border river from close up.  The fortress on the Russian shore also looks defiant and huge.  In addition, children are bathing on the shore. Are they aware of how tense the situation in Estonia has actually been since the Crimean annexation?

In the back country, British and NATO troops are practicing for emergencies, hidden in the woods. This is probably only a small hope for the Baltic countries in the event of a hopefully never happening annexation, as the Suwalki Gap is a bottleneck in the connection with the rest of Europe.

We meet a French couple on a Honda Pan European at the parking lot for the second time, and the name of the motorcycle is their program: For 45 days they have been travelling through Europe, across the Benelux, Scandinavian countries and Estonia you have already come, further south, via the rest of the Baltic States, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and back to Paris.

11.000km are planned for the 45 days, we are impressed.

Only at home do we calculate the average of our last days, and are calmed down again.  😉

We are now on the road for the 9th day, have been in Riga for a riding free day, but nevertheless we have scoured some places of interest on the way. Today only half a day has passed, and I have 2.950km on my speedometer. How many KM would we have unwound on 45 days of pure driving?  Whoever posts the most correct thoeretic kilometres performance to me in the comments  will receive an original Estonian present from me, and I do not care where on this world I would have to send it.  🙂

There, we made it, 3 girls on two Versys and a Duke 390!! came up to this point.
We have travelled the long way here without mishaps,  mostly in nice weather, visited many places, or seen from the way and would only have to drive 130km to arrive in St. Petersburg.  We had only a few involuntary km of road, no falling over or loosing luggage …. And always been happy with our ad hoc booked hotels. Booking.Com App and free european mobile roaming for the win!

 

 

 

Somehow this situation seems so unreal to me and yet, we are really there.

We take this moment with us and turn around. From now on it’s all about getting to know Estonia and the other Wima’s better.

We drive back on the same route to Jöhvi, where we turn south towards Lake Peipus. On the way is the Orthodox nunnery of Kuremaä and there we stop to make a round about the impressive terrain. The whole ensemble is beautiful, both the gardens and the buildings are in a perfect, beautiful condition.

Every now and then an elderly nun is waving through the landscape, and the other visitors also have the classical Russian touch. The whole scene has something like that from Dr. Zhivago and fits so well into the charm of the eastern region of Estonia. 😉

Despite the divine help (yes, we also drank the holy water on the spot) it is now starting to rain.

In the meanwhile used routine we put on our raincoat and drive further south. I recklessly kept the mesh gloves on without pulling the overgloves over it.

After just a few minutes, I realize that this was a mistake. The rain is getting stronger and stronger and the temperature drops to 14°.  The gloves are soaked very quickly, but now it is too late, so heating grips to max. and through. Arriving at Lake Peipus we have to realize that the shore is not accessible. Either the houses of the villages are on the shore, or a dense forest belt prevents access to the lake. So we circle the lake southwards until just before Lohusuuu we see a trunk road that could lead to the lake.

We turn around in the pouring rain and drive back and into the forest strip. Unfortunately, the road also ends about 200m upfront to the shore at a private property. The signs are clear and the black Range Rover with darkened windows in front of the garage brings back memories of various James Bond movies.

But, the whole situation is so ridicolous for me and therefore I simply circle around the property until I stand on the shore of Lake Peipus.

The wind and rain make the lake look like a wide, turbulent sea, ok, the sight was definitely worth it to crawl through the undergrowth.

But now back to the waiting group, which is somewhat protected from the rain in the forest, but of course impatiently waiting.

As the rain is still raining, we turn back into Lohusuu and drive almost directly back to Jäneda. On the way the rain stops and the sun is shining again. Errr, really?

At Aravete we enter the main road again and fill our tanks up to the limit. At the petrol station there is a very modified Austrian Pinzgauer and  a small Wima group that is looking for a gravel road.  In recent years, many Estonian gravel roads have fallen victim to EU subsidies. And as beautiful and important as this is for the infrastructure, it will shrink an enduro paradise. So maps are only relatively up-to-date, but thank goodness I happen to know a gravel track just around the corner.  😉

I show them on the map the approximate start of yesterday’s gravel road and they set out to find it. (and so they did!  😉   )

But we return to Jäneda, now almost dry.

We are back in time for today’s opening evening of the Wima Rally and admire the grown tent city and the many Wimas, from all  countries that have now arrived.

The evening event takes place again in the “stable” and starts with a lot of music, folklore performance, speeches by local politicians and a short introduction to the Estonian language, which, unlike the other Baltic languages, is closely related to Finnish. Yeah, and that’s what it sounds like.  )

 

 

 

Important words are:

Hello –               Tere
Yes                  – ja
No                   – ei
Thanks –           aitäh
Please!          – Palun!
Cheers!         – Õhtusöök (sounds like: tarvesex)

And so the evening finds again a witty end. Even I find in the masses of Wima’s familiar faces from the last rally in Hungary.

For our older members there are again many girlfriends who they meet again and with whom the experiences of the last year are exchanged.

The exact time I don’t know, but since it wasn’t dark yet; -), it can’t have been so late, when I got back to the room and lie down.

 

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Video-Link: https://youtu.be/JlFIZFiOR6U

Kilometres : 410

Weather: Sunny, cloudy and rain, 14-20°

Wima Rally, First Reports

First Press Medias:

(Warning: Estonian can confuse your sense 😉

https://tv3play.tv3.ee/sisu/seitsmesed-2017/852182 First 30sec advertising, then start from 14:30 minutes on

and

http://virumaateataja.postimees.ee/4185613/galerii-tsiklinaised-vurasid-rakvere-tanavatel

 

Bonus:

5 min Parade

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Video-Link: https://youtu.be/QAMYiyssjt0

A hint: It’s easy to spot me 😉

 

on Tour

The author of this Blog is touring through the baltic coutries and especially Estonia.

A lot of Impressions are captured. 🙂

 

Report follows.

Why BiH, MNE and RO?

I visited the Vienna holiday and car exhibition yesterday! 🙂

The main reason was, to receive more information about Estonia and to talk with a travel agency about the most interesting places to visit.

But, unfortunately nothing to find about any baltic country. Not only a single exhibition stand had information about them, on the other hand the whole world was represented. From South Africa up to the Arctic, from England via Mongolia and Japan to the USA.

But, as I was there already,  and –  with the exception of the Ford Mustang Cabriolet – I wasn’t interested in the parallel car exhibition, I used the opportunity to collect information about other countries next to come.

E.g. Romania, planed for 2018?

Romania had a huge stand, and there was really every aspect of holidays covered, even motorcycle tours!

There were lots of different tours offered, some on road only, some mixed, and few with gravel roads only .

One of the prepared routes you will find enclosed on the left, it seems resonable priced, don’t you think?

Though, nevertheless I prefer to travel in small groups, or at my own, always willing to change the direction, if an interesting crossroad offers a different experience.  😉

But, now I do have a rough map for the first planning too.

For more details i wanted to fetch some cards from  Freytag & Bernd at their stand, but unfortunatelyy no motorbike related maps, or further brochures were available.

According to one employee I will have to visit the store, or the     Online Shop later. From my experience it is a lot more equipped with books and maps  too.

As I were already at the south eastern area I checked for Bosnia and Herzegowina as well as Montenegro related information, because Svenja (from Germany) had mentioned this countries as one of her next targets and I got curious.
From my first glance, I must tell, the countryside looks a lot like Armenia, but closer to Austria . Maybe a good training ground for more, probably?

These countries offer a rich cultural heritage over the last 2000 years and untouched landscapes, sounds interesting, at least.

As it seems I really will have to focus on a new bike with spoke rims. It couldn’t be harder than the iron mountain, could it? 😉

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