Parnu – From Beach to Bog

Susan: “So. You want to go bog walking do you?” Michael: “Yep. I want to go bog walking”.

And so it began.

Soomaa National Park is famous for its bogs. Bogs are one of four kinds of wetlands. They are wetlands that have accumulated peat. Some of the peat layers in Soomaa are 7 metres deep. Historically, they have provided isolation and protection to Estonians. Probably because of the witches who live there. Probably not because of the 43 different mammal species who inhabit the surrounding forests.

So, we started the day by heading out to Soomaa National Park in a Jeep  We caught a haabja, or Finnish-Ugro single tree boat to find some of the mammal species.

We found the remnants of beavers. But no beavers. Nor any other animals actually. Still, it was fun. Did I mention I like boats? Probably.

We went for a walk. Saw an old gnarly tree that is good luck. Still no animals.

Got out of the boat. Went for another walk. Still no animals but…there was bog. And bog is cool. See how the forest just disappears, all in a line. It’s like that the whole way round the bog.

Apparently. Because as you can see, the bog is huge! And there is nothing there but bog. It’s all squishy when you walk on it.

Then we found out that there are bog ponds. And they are clean. So after our lunch, we went swimming. That’s me deciding whether I should swim. I put one finger in to the water and realised it was warm. So, no brainer. Swimming it is. And boy was it good!

So, given that nothing could beat the bog swimming, we went home. And then we saw Estonian dancing. It was just like our folk dancing, although ever so slightly cooler.

After thoroughly enjoying yet another countries dancing, we headed out for another traditional Estonian meal. This one was also fantastic, as was the restaurant.

I’ve slightly cheated here as the dumplings on the left are not from the awesome restaurant. But they are awesome dumplings nonetheless. And check out the crockery on the right. I’d love me a set of those!

And that was Parnu. Not as good as Tartu, but not bad either.

Oh and you ask – where’s the beach? Unfortunately no photos, but let me describe. The beach is sandy, good so far. The water is brown, hmmm….not quite what I was looking for when I said beach. Anyway, I’d say that while it might be the best in Estonia, it’s got nothing on Australian beaches. Lucky that there is plenty of other fantastic things in Estonia I say.

Onto Saaremaa!