Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Estonia...the return. June 2018 Part 5

We had one last day in Estonia and we wondered what best to do with it.
We'd return to Palmse and have another try for Rosefinch, might also pop back to the nearby Sagadi Hotel, the one we'd started out at on our first trip. I was interested in trying for Tree Sparrows there.
The main attraction at Palmse were the  Martins,Swifts and Swallows picking insects off the surface of the lake.
It turned out to be a pretty thankless task and a waste of camera shutter life!

Sand Martin

A full frame camera and a short lens didn't give enough reach, using my 500mm became hard going as I was suffering a bad back and couldn't hold it for long.
This was about as good as it got.
Sand Martin    Riparia riparia

After a wander around the wood which again drew a blank, I suggested to Mike enough was enough and he agreed.
A quick check of Sagadi proved yet another blank on the Tree Sparrows so we decided we'd head to Tallin and check in at the hotel.
After three days living rough in hides it was an absolute pleasure to have a proper shower and we certainly made the most of it before setting out to explore the "Old Town" in Tallin.
Tallin is an excellent cruise stop as the ships dock within easy distance of the old town and the locals are making the most of it.
Everywhere is very busy with tourists from all over the world.
Tallin, Estonia
Lots of stalls selling things, open air bars to sit and watch the world go by and indeed open air eating places too.
Tallin, Estonia
What a contrast to our earlier experience in May when all of Estonia seemed closed with not a cafe or restaurant to be found in the places we visited. This of course is the capital city though so I'm sure they are open for business all the year round.
Prices are not particularly cheap though, a 500ml beer was 6 euros in every bar we tried, but the food was more reasonably priced in comparison to the UK at least and in fairness excellent. Having dined out on picnics every evening both Mike and I decided to go a bit mad and ordered the "Golden Pig".
This was a huge piece of roast pork cooked to perfection and served with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes.
I scoffed the lot and washed it down with a dark beer which was equally delicious.
With a 6.00am flight home and the need to be in the airport at around 4.00am it was an early night though so with just one stop at a convenient watering hole on the way back our second trip to Estonia was now concluded.
We were able to write a further report on our observations about both bear hides with some suggestions thrown in.
Without a doubt Estonia is definitely worth a visit, I think a bird watching trip with Natourest would be an attractive proposition for anyone so inclined and I would strongly recommend asking for a night or two in the bear hides to be included. It was a real pleasure to watch these magnificent beasts at such close quarters.
If anyone needs any extra information don't hesitate to ask.
Dave July 2018

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