Saturday, 16 July 2016


Vana-Juri rocks

An outing from Tallinn to see Käsmu, one of four peninsulas reaching out into the Baltic in the Lahemaa National Park, about 70km to the east. This is the map of the available walking trails .

We parked at the north east corner, where the road ran out, and decided to do a circular walk along the red (hiking) trail along the coast as far as Palganeem, then return by the blue (cycle) trail, exploring part of the green (nature) trail at the end.

We walked through some light woodland to reach the coast. This was our first sight of it.

As I was taking the picture above I noticed what seemed to be a type of orchid beside me. Interestingly, I didn't see another example throughout the rest of the walk.

We headed left and passed the Vana-Juri headland (see photo at the head of this post). Soon there was a great view over the scattered rocks and rushes in the sea towards the offshore island of Sartneem.

We carried along the coast noting the way an area of small sandy beaches gave way to an area of pebble ones.

The Palganeem headland was noticeably more open, but, by the same token, was much more windy. There was a nice view to the west.

We headed along the cycle track which was much easier walking, being wider and more level. Before long, I was delighted when a large Fritillary glided down to land in front of us. A Silver-washed, I think.

Further, the trees looked lovely in the sun; a few scattered rocks could be seen.

The path ahead was similarly inviting.

Later we started to see greater concentrations of rocks and some bigger ones. It's time to say something about these rocks. They go by the wonderful name of "Eccentric boulders" and it seems that they were deposited where they now are by the action of glaciers - and so are equivalent to the Sarsen stones we often see in southern England, for example around Avebury.

One of the helpful information panels explained that an Estonian geologist called Gregor van Helmerson studied the erratics of Käsmu and was one of the people who proved the theory of ice ages as their origin.

Now we were reaching the area of the really large rocks, near the end of our route, and by chance we stumbled on the biggest of all,  Matsikivi (Mats's Rock, but nobody knows why it is called that who who this particular Mats was).

It was not far from here back to the car park, which was now full with people queuing to park - they were delighted to see us.

Conditions: a rather grey start, but overall a lovely summer day.

Distance: about 4.5 miles.

Rating: four stars. Good fun.

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