Sunday, 19 July 2015

Cesis to Tartu

Into Estonia, seeing a forest folk festival, walking round Tartu, botanical gardens.

Walked round Cesis in the morning. Then crossed the border into Estonia and stopped at a huge supermarket. We then biked up to Estonia's highest point at Haanja and walked into the forest and found a local folk festival going on with people of all ages taking part in singing and dancing on the area in front of the tower. At the back a couple of accordionists played and drank beer. It was a fine event and is very much part of the local culture.

Had a long downhill run and only biked 15km today, I could easily have done more. We then drove on to Tartu. Estonia has many small lakes dotting the landscape and visibly better infra-structure than Lithuania and Latvia, the roads are better, more cars and there are large malls for shopping.

We explored Tartu in warm evening sunshine, much better for exploring and a welcome change. Tartu is a small university town with a central square with a baroque town hall and buildings of all ages around it. We explored the botanical gardens which is one of the best I have ever been in, established 200 years ago with huge nature trees and large groupings of plants with a beautiful large central bowl. Most of the roses were blooming in the rose garden.

Estonian language is also palpable different.

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