Discovering some of Saaremaa’s treasures
Saturday October 18th. There are still a few hours left before the end of this 21st Annual Conference in Kuressaare. Neeme Rand and his team had in store for the participants a morning’s journey of discovery to see some of the tourist treasures of Saaremaa, this Estonian island so close to the mainland.
Blessed with dry and sunny weather, the excursion went off according to plan, with the endless convoy of buses collecting the participants in front of their hotels before setting off towards the chosen destinations. The first stop, inevitably, was the Kaali meteorite crater, with its 110 metre diameter lake – apparently one of Europe’s largest meteorite craters resulting from a meteorite colliding with the earth between 3,000 and 7,000 years ago.
The second stop was at Karja church, the country’s oldest. It is a historical jewel lost in the countryside, the only damage on it being inflicted by time itself. Many visitors felt, on entering the church, that inner peace which such an ancient religious building can inspire.
A little further on were the Angla windmills, relics of time gone by, though some of them have been restored and now provide a thrill for the tourists. They are certainly worth the trip, and everyone seemed to be photographing them from every angle!
Panga Cliffs were our last stop on the excursion – they are located on the north coast, on the opposite side from Kuressaare, and are also a must for tourists. The site is very well laid out and allows visitors to get close to the edge of the cliff without too much risk of falling over. The cliff path is about 20 metres above sea level and allowed us to have a magnificent view, despite the wind which was blowing a gale in the area.
The last stop of the excursion before returning home was for lunch, which had been arranged in various restaurants in the Kuressaare area. It was a welcome stop, much appreciated by all the trippers, who were happy to have discovered another facet of the island thanks to the commentaries of the Ametikool students who were present in every coach to explain and comment on the various sites which we visited.