Poor little Estonia
▣ Highly recommend ▣ Boring but safe ▣ Shit. Boring, strenuous & dangerous ▣ Incomplete
What I thought’d happen
Chilled out ride across the country stopping at a few lame touristy places
What actually happened
Blown away by every single place I discovered.
I drove another 30 minutes or so and arrived at Rummu, a creepy town with a sinking abandoned prison on the outskirts.
The town itself is more just a cluster of run down apartment buildings. The atmosphere is intense. By chance I took a wrong turn and rode through the backstreets. A blind black cat with pale blue eyes crept across the road in front of me, turning it’s head slowly in my direction, sending chills down my spine. Freakyyyyy.
The abandoned prison is EPIC. Not only is it abandoned (ooooooooh), it is sinking in crystal clear water. AND not only is it sinking, it is sinking in a lake caused by the giant alien mound/crator/quarry next to it. WHAT THE FUCKKK. Estonia you have blown my mind. This place is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Words can’t even describe.
I drove on to the west coast to the city Haapsalu, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I thought I’d be able to find a cheap hostel easily but it turns out it’s just the summer playground for Estonia’s fat cats.
Haapsalu itself is actually a really beautiful town. It is picture perfect, unlike the pockets of rubble in Tallinn. The cobblestone roads are perfectly bumpy and the houses are crisp, newly painted weatherboard. But the cheapest, most dodgy accommodation I could find was 30E. To put this in perspective, I paid 10E a night in Tallin for a place with a pool and a sauna.
Haapsalu is surrounded by forest so I did consider camping. And then I realised I couldn’t be fucked. Strange that. So I drove on.
I continued through the forest, on my way stumbling upon the crumbling Ungru manor ruin. Built by count Ewald Adam Gustav Paul Constantin von Ungern-Sternberg (seriously what a name) it was a replica of Merseburg castle in Germany. When the count visited Merseburg he fell in love with the daughter of the castle’s owner. When he proposed to her, the young lady claimed to be so fond of her father’s castle that she wanted to live there for the rest of her life. After that the count promised to build exactly the same castle. Having received a promise from the lady to marry him as soon as the castle is ready, he hurried back home, where in 1893 construction begun.
Unfortunately just as the castle was complete the beloved lady died. The count himself then fell ill and he died as well. According to his wish he was brought back to Haapsalu and carried into the manor, where he spent, though already dead, his only night.
This is why relationships suck.
What I learned today:
- Estonia isn’t a shit hole
- Not having to pay to see tourist attractions is awesome