Thursday, 30 December 2021

Saaremaa has reached coronavirus herd immunity

The Coronavirus pandemic has ended on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. Saaremaa Hospital chief of medicine Edward Laane said coronavirus vaccinations and recoveries have reached a herd immunity point in Saare County. According to the lastest study, 86% of Saaremaa's population is immune and that number is higher at 90% for risk groups.

Last year Saaremaa became the epicentre of infections in Estonia when a volleyball team from Italy spread the virus to the local population. For two months the island was cut off from the mainland when it went into lockdown. Resources at Kuressaare Hospital were stretched to the limit by the crisis and a field hospital was established by the Estonian Defense Force. Over 100 volunteers came to assist on the island.

The people of Saaremaa must be feeling a great sense of relief right now from this news. More information can be found here (in Estonian).

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Eesti Post releases commemorative stamp of Olympic gold medal winning épée team

The Estonian women's épée team won gold at the Tokyo summer Olympics this year and to mark the achievement, a commemorative stamp has been issued by Eesti Post. The stamp shows fencers Katrina Lehis, Erika Kirpu, Julia Beljajeva and Irina Embrich jumping in the air while holding the Estonian flag. 10,000 stamps have been issued with a face value of €5.90.

The stamp can be purchased on the Omniva website.

Monday, 27 December 2021

Estonian Australians enjoy two extra days of Christmas

Christmas Day and Boxing Day fell on a weekend this year so for a lot of countries they miss out on two public holidays. In Estonia its back to work as usual today but for my family in Australia, they are all enjoying an additional two days off work. The rule regarding public holidays in Australia is that if one falls on a weekend, then the next work day (usually the Monday) becomes the official public holiday. If two consecutive public holidays fall on a weekend, then Monday and Tuesday are deemed public holidays and people are entitled to time off work. This is one of the things I like about Australia, it's a very fair country.

As it's summer in Australia right now, no doubt many people will be enjoying themselves at the beach. Lucky them! 

Friday, 24 December 2021

Merry Christmas! Häid jõule!

May the celebrations begin! Merry Christmas everyone!

I like these language maps!

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Most popular words searched on Google in Estonia

Each year the search engine Google releases its annual data report revealing the most common keywords and phrases searched online. In Estonia, the Euro 2020 football event was at the top of the list followed by politics and electrcity prices.

The most popular person, according to Estonians and their Google searches, was ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" host Grete Lõbu. President Alar Karis also made the list of popular people, as well tennis player Anett Kontaveit and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

The most popular Google searches in Estonia for 2021 are:

Euro 2020
Valimised 2021
Grete Lõbu
Elektri börsihind
Tambet Sild
Avatud Talude Päev 2021

The most popular events 2021:

Euro 2020
Valimised 2021
Eesti Laul 2021
Australian Open 
Eesti Vabariigi aastapäev
Tartu maraton 
US Open 
Eurovision 2021
Ironman Tallinn

The most popular brands 2021:

Nordpool - Coop  - ERR - About You - GME - LHV - Zalando - Delfi - Kanal2 - Elering

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Thursday, 16 December 2021

The Story of Building and Using Dugout Boats in Soomaa Estonia

The Soomaa region dugout boat culture was recently added to the UNESCO protection list. 

Monday, 13 December 2021

The world's first Christmas tree was in Tallinn Estonia

Latvia claims they had the world's first Christmas tree in 1510 but the truth is Estonia did it first in 1441. Later the tradition spread to Germany and then the rest of the world. Great things start in Estonia!

Friday, 10 December 2021

Classic Estonian drink: Vana Tallinn

It's Friday. A good time to sit back, relax and enjoy a Vana Tallinn. This spicy rum liqueur was created in Estonia in 1960 and is usually served on ice, in cocktails, coffee or in food recipes. Many Estonians bring out a bottle of Vana Tallinn when its time for celebration.

Here are eight Vana Tallinn cocktail recipes for you to try.  To view, click here: Vana Tallinn

Saturday, 4 December 2021

WHAM!'s 'Last Christmas' sung in Estonian

I enjoy listening to classic English songs sung in Estonian. This version of Last Christmas is known as Viimane Talv in Estonia and is performed by Jaagup Tuisk, Uku Suviste and Koit Toome.  

Ott Lepland: Jõulud rõõmsaks

Ott Lepland has released a new Christmas single for the festive season. 'Jõulud Rõõmsaks' has received positive reviews and the lyrics can be found on the YouTube page. Enjoy!

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Tallinn Christmas Market now open

Voted the best Christmas market in the world in 2019, the Tallinn Christmas Market opened for business last Friday with a beautiful spruce tree from Kuusalu as its centrepiece. The public Christmas tree tradition began in Tallinn 580 years ago and is now a custom practised throughout the world.

Lots of traditional Estonian food is on offer at the market including roast pork and sauerkraut,  various sausages and soups. Craft mulled wine and homemade jams, preserves and sweet treats are also avialable.

The Tallinn Christmas Martket is an absolutely delightful Christmas market with something for everyone. You can learn more about it here: Tallinn Christmas Market

Soon to open for the Christmas season in Tallinn will be Gingerbread Mania / PiparkoogiMaania. This year's theme is 'Muusika'. The exhibition opens on December 8. For more information, please click here.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

A nostalgic look at Estonia

I love photographs, especially old ones which capture a glimpse of a bygone era. Every photo tells a story and it's fascinating to study the seemingly trifling details. As the years pass, many things change or disappear in society but thank goodness we have photographs to remind us of what once was!

Haapsalu - early 1900s

Tallinn - early 1900s

Pikk Street Tallinn - 1910







Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Apteeker Melchior to premier in February 2022

If you have enjoyed reading the medieval detective series Apothecary Melchior by Indrek Hargla then you will probably be keen to watch the film. Apothecary Melchior will be released in cinemas across Estonia next February. Can't wait!

Thursday, 11 November 2021

The history behind Estonian surnames

Estonian historian Fred Puss recently gave an interview with Raadio 2 to discuss the historic background of Estonian surnames. It wasn't until the late 19th century that most Estonians acquired surnames, before that they were often referred to by patronyms, eg. Han's son, Jaan's son etc. 

Landlords were a major factor in the selection of surnames. There were some that were good to their peasants, but there were also those that did not behave respectfully to their workers. "This was reflected in surname selection, as well," Puss said.

The worst names were usually given to single men, who had not gotten married and were economically less well off. Puss said bad-sounding names, such as Koer ("Dog"), Paks ("Fat"), Laisk ("Lazy") and Limukas ("Weak-willed"), later disappeared since they were not passed down to the next generation. Surnames such as these were usually given to servants and farmers with a family earned themselves better names.

When Estonians were able to choose their own surnames, they often referred to books for inspiration or chose the name of  plants, birds or animals. One of the most popular surnames in Estonia is Tamm, which means 'oak'.

Statistics Estonia has a database of Estonian surnames that you can search and discover some fascinating facts. To learn more, please click here - Surname statistics

After entering my surname, Lestal, I found there are currently 17 men and 15 women who share my surname in Estonia (all distant relatives from Tartu). The funny thing is however, across the globe in Australia, are another 18 Lestal's who are descended from my grandfather Alexander who migrated there in 1948. 

To read the full Raadio 2 interview with Fred Puss, click here.

Monday, 8 November 2021

Blini Pancake Cafe – an Estonian owned cafe in Perth Australia

An Estonian couple, Anett Kamara and Tanel Akolov, from Jüri in northern Estonia have brought a taste of the Baltics to the city of Perth by opening the Blini Pancake Cafe in 2020. The couple originally fell in love with Perth while they were backpacking around the Australia and have been living there since 2014.  

The couple were recently interviewed by SBS and asked about the idea behind the creation of Blini Pancake Cafe. Akolov said "we wanted to represent Estonian food as not many people know about it."

Blini Pancake Cafe offers a variety of sweet and savory pancakes

Blini Pancake Cafe is located at 339 Albany Hwy Perth WA 6100. You can view the full menu here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Anett Kontaveit: Estonia's greatest tennis player

Estonian tennis star Anett Kontaveit is on fire this season. On Sunday she won the inaugural Transylvania Open and became the first Estonian tennis player to qualify for the WTA Finals to be held in Guadalajara. Kontaveit has has taken home four titles this year and has won 26 of her last 28 matches. Now ranked the eighth best female tennis player in the world, Kontaveit is also the highest-ranked Estonian singles player of all time. 

Anett Kontaveit is known to be a passionate, competitive and proud Estonian. In this video you will learn more about this outstanding player.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

November 2 is Hingedepäev (All Souls' Day) in Estonia

Modern Estonians are not known to be religious yet many admit to being spiritual. For hundreds of years Estonians have celebrated Hingedepäev, the day when it is believed that the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead is thinnest. Honouring the memory of ancestors is important to Estonians and so the custom of placing candles by windowsills and on graves is a nice way pay tribute to loved ones.

Hingedepäev poem by Uno Sikemäe

Puud vaikusesse tardunud on talves,
nad varjudega puudutavad maad.
Ma sõbra kalmu juures peatun palves,
kui taevavõlvil tähed säravad.

Siis küünlatulukesi aknalaual
ka kadusoojas helendama lööb,
õrn tähesära armastuse haual
kui hingevalus helgib läbi öö.

Sel ööl sa kuuled tulijate sammu
ja märkad puude varjus ootajaid.
Taas kordub see, mis ununenud ammu,
näed silmi teelt su poole vaatavaid.

Sel ööl kõik hinged koju tulla tahaks,
sel ööl ei seata riivi koduust.
Sel ööl ei panda võõraid hääli pahaks,
sel ööl käib ringi palju igatsust.

Saan oma leinavalust teada anda,
kui lilleõit su kalmu peale säen.
Võin oma palveid veelkord üle anda,
on hingedele selleks jäetud päev.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Adam Rang: The sauna is a social network

The British sauna enthusiast Adam Rang, who lives in Estonia, recently held a TED talk about the oldest social network in the world. The sauna. The world can learn a lot from Estonian sauna culture and hopefully one day we will see the Estonian word 'leil' (sauna steam) become part of English lexicon.

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Estonian Halloween ghost stories

Estonians don’t traditionally celebrate Halloween however the custom has become more popular in recent years. It's always fun to dress up, decorate the home and throw a party!

In celebration of Halloween, the VisitTallinn website has compiled a collection of eight ghost stories, all set in Tallinn. The most famous scary story from the Old Town is called 'The Devil's Window at Rataskaevu 16' and I also quite like 'The ladies of Toomkooli 13'

The Devil's Window at Rataskaevu 16
Once, long ago, the then-owner of the house at Rataskaevu 16 fell on hard times. Things were looking bad until a stranger came to him with an offer: allow the stranger to host a party in the upper left room of the house and in return there would be a bag of gold. The owner was extremely happy and promised complete privacy. No one would even go up the stairs while the guests were there! The guests arrived, and all went up to the little rented room, a lot more people than the room should have been able to fit. 

As the party upstairs progressed, the owner got curious and snuck up to see what was happening. As he looked through the keyhole, he saw a wedding in full swing. But his hair turned white with fright because everyone at the party was on hooves, with horns on their head. And the beautifully decked out bride was accompanied by none other than the devil as the groom. 

The owner ran down the stairs and hid the whole night. When morning came, and the roosters called out and the entire party rushed out of the house and disappeared into the morning mist. By noon, the owner was brave enough to go up to the room where he found his bag of gold only to have it turn to dung in front of him. No money for him. Ever since then, the devil has a habit of using the room whenever he wanted and so the following owners walled the whole room in.

The ladies of Toomkooli 13
Two ghosts haunt this house: the Gray Lady and the Black Lady. Both thought to be Estonian girls, and both had the rotten luck of having the attention of the von Uexküll family men. The Gray Lady was a maid in the house, and she was beautiful. She got the attention of the lord of the house and was forced to become his lover. But soon he grew tired of her and killed her one night. He had her walled into the basement's wall, but she might have been alive then still because now she appears in a grey dress and with long ragged nails as if she had tried to claw her way out of somewhere. She tries to strangle men sleeping alone and has a manic laugh.

The Black Lady was a girl from the countryside. She fell in love with the lord's son and he with her. They were going to get married, but before that, she had to meet the family. The young man brought her to Tallinn, and his family was very upset and unhappy. But there was no changing the young couple's mind. The wedding preparations went ahead, and everything seemed fine until one morning the bride was missing. The groom looked far and wide but never found her. He should have looked real close, though, because she never left the house. His father killed her and buried her into the basement. Now she walks around in black looking for the lover that never came back.

To read more Estonian ghost stories, please click here Top 8 ghost stories of Tallinn

Sunday, 24 October 2021

A look at the coronavirus pandemic in Estonia

It's concerning to see the coronavirus infection rate steadily on the rise again in Estonia. During recent weeks there have been multiple deaths each day and hospitals are feeling the strain of trying to find additional intensive care beds. There still appears to be some resistance towards wearing masks in public and being vaccinated in Estonia despite the success seen in other countries (e.g. Germany). Only 55% of the Estonian population are fully vaccinated yet the vaccine has been freely available for some time now. Whether it's fear, lack of knowledge or ignorance that affects their judgement, the fact of the matter is, vaccination saves lives and significantly reduces the chance of ending up in intensive care if you contract COVID-19. As of today 1,461 people have died in Estonia after contracting the virus, two of the youngest victims were an eleven year-old girl who died in March and a newborn. In the last 24 hours Estonia has lost seven more senior Estonian citizens.

When I visited Estonia in August I was amazed to find the majority of people I passed in shopping centres and restuarants were not wearing masks and adhering to the two metre social distancing rule. People appeared unconcerned that a deadly virus was lurking and did little or nothing to protect themselves. We have been living with this pandemic for almost two years now and have seen the death toll, it's nearing five million worldwide now. The count is updated everyday, country by country, on worldometer: covid live update. Just because we are tired of the situation and the restrictions placed upon our lives, it doesn't mean we should stop being viligant. The virus is still here and until we have reached herd immunity we should all be wearing masks in all indoor areas and keeping a safe distance. 

There are estimated to be 15,510 active cases in Estonia.
Most of the cases are in Harju, Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi and Võru counties.

Estonia is using the Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen vaccines. 
AstraZenca is being used for the over 50s.

It is not get fully known how long immunity lasts after vaccination, there are multiple ways of determining immunity level including but not limited to antibody levels, therefore some experts recommend booster shots.

Why wearing masks is important.

A crisis phone line has been created to answer any coronavirus-related questions and for psychological first aid. The free number to call is 1247 (wíthin Estonia).

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Estonian film Vee Peal (On the the Water) submitted to the Academy Awards

Peeter Simm's film Vee Peal is up for consideration for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Oscars. Vee Peal (On the Water) is a coming of age film set during the Soviet occupation and is based on the book with the same name.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Estonian innovation: Creating energy from bogs

Researchers from the University of Tartu have developed a way of making sodium-ion batteries from peat.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Alar Karis becomes the sixth President of Estonia

Today we say farewell to Kersti Kaljulaid as President of Estonia and welcome Alar Karis who was sworn into office today. Kaljulaid served five years as Head of State, she was the country's first female president. Alar Karis is a former University of Tartu rector, auditor general and head of the Estonian National Museum. I wish him every success.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Learn some Estonian during Estonian language week

There are approximately 1.1 million people who speak Estonian as their native language. Around 922,000 of them live in Estonia and another 160,000 can be found scattered throughout the world. Estonian is a southern Finic language, most similar to Finnish and has been influenced by German over the centuries. Estonian is a beautiful sounding language, often difficult for English speakers to learn but once you become familiar with its 14 grammatical cases and unique vowel sounds (Õ,Ä,Ö,Ü) all you need to do is practice, practice, practice.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

October 4 marks the start of Estonian Language Week

The third Worldwide Estonian Language Week will take place from 4 -10 October 2021. Language enthusiasts are encouraged to participate via the KeelEST website to increase their knowledge of the Estonian language. Many tutorials, games and quizzes can be found on the website. 

Why not test yourself? More information about Estonian Language Week can be found here.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Discovering Hiiumaa

Few countries in Europe can boast they have over 2,000 islands but Estonia is one of them.  Northern Europe is home to many islands, Sweden and Norway have the most (over 200,000 each) and over the centuries Coastal Swedes have had their influence in Estonia. Not all of Estonia's islands are inhabitable, but those with populations are unique in their own way and offer respite to those who want to get away from it all.

Hiiumaa is Estonia's second largest island. It has an area of 989 km2 and is 23 km from the Estonian mainland. According to the latest statistics, 9,381 people live on the island of Hiiumaa in one of its 185 settlements. 

Port of Sõru.

This year I decided to include Hiiumaa in my summer holiday to Estonia as I had never been there before and was eager to explore the island first-hand. 

Map of Hiiumaa

After I left the Estonian mainland at Rohuküla I crossed the Baltic Sea by ferry and arrived at the Port of Heltermaa. I then travelled on to Lassi where I stayed in a quaint countryhouse for the next four nights. Prior to arriving I was told that Hiiumaa's water contains high levels of iron and is unpleasant to taste, therefore I was advised to drink bottled water. Each day I explored different parts of the island.

Kärdla centre

25km from Heltermaa Harbour is Hiiumaa's largest settlement and only town - Kärdla. It was smaller than I expected; it had a supermarket, post office and a small selection of cafes, restaurants and other shops. It's a quiet place with few people around before 10am.

Tahkuna Lighthouse

But you don't visit Hiiumaa for the shops, it's all about nature. Being outdoors and exploring new places. Hiiumaa is surrounded by coastline and sometimes you might find yourself deep in a forest, then shortly afterwards near a picturesque harbour. Such beautiful contrasts. Hiiumaa is also home to many famous lighthouses, Tahkuna Lighthouse is the tallest in Estonia standing at 427m above sea level.

The memorial to the victims of the MS Estonia disaster.

Also located at Tahkuna is the memorial dedicated to the children who died onboard the 'Estonia' in 1994. The bronze bell rings out to sea during strong winds.

The incline of the monument has a visual and emotional impact, intended to call to mind the last moments of the ship.

To the west of the island is one of Hiiumaa's most famous landmarks - Kõpu Lighthouse. It was built in 1531 and is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world. Kõpu Lighthouse is renown for its unique shape and impressive history. It is still an operational lighthouse to this day.

Kõpu Lighthouse 

View from the top of Kõpu Lighthouse.

I came across this memorial by chance when I took a wrong turn in search of the Hill of Crosses. This momument is dedicated to the Estonians who were murdered here during the occupation in 1941.  I felt sad when I saw this, not only for the victims but because my own great-grandfather was murdered in a forest (Albu) in 1941 along with four other men. The exact location of their executions has never been revealed therefore it is impossible for me to lay a cross in their memory.

Hill of Crosses

In the forest bordering Reigi and Puhalepa parishes lies the Hill of Crosses. In the 1700s a cruel landowner banished 500 Swedes from Hiiumaa and had them sent to Ukraine. Before they left, each placed a cross here to mark their departure. Today, people still come and leave crosses, there are hundred of them scattered throughout the forest. This forest is also full of different types of mushrooms and it was here that I found my first death cap.

Russian Orthodox Church

This is the only Russian Orthodox church on the island and is an attractive building surrounded by a stone wall. I would have liked to have gone inside but unfortunately it was closed. Very often when I visit churches and cemeteries in Estonia, I find frogs there. This time I did too.

Hiiumaa is a wonderful place to visit if you enjoy the outdoors. There are many harbours, beaches, and forests to explore that you don't have to share with too many other people. Life is very relaxed here, the perfect environment for nature lovers who enjoy hiking and camping. 

During my four days in Hiiumaa I visited every lighthouse, peninsula and key attraction. Of all the things I experienced, perhaps my favourite was the simple pleasure of watching the sunset over the water.  Regrettably I didn't take any photos of this - but there is always next time!

Thursday, 16 September 2021

My 2021 summer holiday to Estonia

A trip to Estonia has been long overdue so when my brother suggested we should go in August I was only too pleased to accept. We have both been to Estonia many times before but never together and so I was keen to create some new memories. We spent three fun filled days together in Tallinn before I set off to Haapsalu and then Hiiumaa.

I haven't flown anywhere during the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic and I was concerned about airport delays before my departure. To my relief everything ran smoothly, I encountered no problems. Even at Tallinn airport I was expecting some kind of inspection of vaccination documents but there were none, I simply walked through arrivals as usual. My only complaint was the weather, it rained on and off most of the time I was there. Apparently this August was one of the wettest and coolest in years.

One thing I like to do each time I visit Tallinn is to walk around and see what has changed. This time I noticed that the Kaubamaja supermarket has closed down and a new Prisma has opened up not far from Viru Gate.  When I visited the Apollo bookshop I was surprised that they were no longer accepting cash payments, only cards and when I took a look at the Coca Cola cinema, the ticket booth was gone, replaced with a row of ticketing machines. It seems a lot has changed since I was last in Tallinn three years ago. When it came to dining, most of my favourites were still there but some restaurants had disappeared with several new Indian ones in their place. That really took me by surprise because I counted at least four.

Whenever I'm in Tallinn I'm always on the lookout for new experiences but I also like to visit my favourite places too. Coffee and cake at Maiasmokk is always a must. I like going there knowing my grandparents went there in their youth. I also like walking up to Toompea and buying stamps at the old post office there and invariably I walk through the the door of the Raeapteek.

A place I've wanted to visit for quite some time now is the Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Maarjamäe. It's easy to get to, just drive towards Pirita and you will see it on the right.

 Several members of my family died as a result of Soviet terror and I wanted 
to see their names on the wall and pay my respects.

Estonia lost a fifth of its population due to the Soviet occupation.
So many people perished, many of whom are in unmarked graves.

The Electronic Memorial can help you find family names in the database.
The memorial is a very impressive structure that needed to be build.

Over 75,000 people from Estonia were murdered, imprisoned or deported by the Soviets  
The Memorial to the victims of communism is dedicated to all of them.

Afterwards, we made a brief stop at Pirita.

The ruins of Bridgettine Convent in Pirita.

The convent was destroyed in 1577 and has been a place of fascination ever since.

It's always nice to visit Käsmu and take a dip in the Baltic Sea.

After my five days in Tallinn I travelled on to Haapsalu. I have never been there before and discovered it to be quite a sleepy town, with few people around during the day. During the weekend the streets become livelier. 

Haapsalu is famous for its old railway station. It was built in 1904 and is known for is long 216 metre platform.

Many Russian Tzars have visited Haapsalu by train. They had a separate arrivals pavillion.

The history of Haapsalu station.

Today Haapsalu station is inactive but a museum of sorts, dedicated to old relics.

One of the main tourist attractions in Haapsalu is the Haapsalu Episcopal Castle. Construction began in the 13th century to create the residence of the Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek and continued for the next three hundred years. Up until the 17th century the Swedes used the castle as a defensive stronghold but after Estonia fell to Russia during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great partially demolished the castle wall and it fell into ruin. Today, the castle houses a museum.

When the castle was operational it would have thrived with activity.
Many Bishops ruled here over the centuries and hundreds of people were employed.

Many of the castle rooms have been restored.

Mediaeval finds reveal Haapsalu's past.

St. Nicholas Cathedral. The Bishop of Ösel-Wiek had his throne here.

Legend of the White Lady.

To learn about any new place, a trip to the local museum is alway worth a visit. I found Haapsalu Town Hall Museum quite interesting.

Many famous people have passed through Haapsalu over the years including Pjotr Tsalkovski, Lord Mountbatten and Phillip Jakob Karell.

Example of an 18th century home.

Haapsalu has many traditional wooden houses that have been there for hundreds of years. They are typically build close to the road with no front garden. This house located at Ruutli 4 is over 300 years old and Peter the Great stayed there in 1715.

Haapsalu used to have a thriving Swedish population but they were forced out during different periods in history. The Coastal Swedish Museum in Haapsalu is dedicated to the Coastal Swedes who used to call Estonia home. 

There was not a unified Estonian-Swedish dialect, but several.

More information can be found on their website. 

After my nice stay in Haapsalu, I left the Estonian mainland and caught the ferry over to  Hiiumaa. As Estonia's second largest island, I have always been curious about Hiiumaa but never ventured over. The ferry service to Hiiumaa departs twelves times a day from Rohuküla, near Haapsalu and takes 75 minutes. I found the crossing over to be very pleasant, the vessel was modern, clean, with everything you need.

I spent four very relaxing days in Hiiumaa but I will tell you all about that in my next blog post.