Mythic Saaremaa (part 2) – 2-day tour in Saaremaa

Mythic Saaremaa (part 2) – 2-day tour the most secret and special sites in Saaremaa

The tour introduces picturesque places of nature entwined with mythical and holy threads in the central, north-western and southern parts of Saaremaa. We tell you about the mythical ancient time, ancient fight for liberty, about Kalevs and Kalevs’ virgins, Tõll the Great and Piret, Odin and Thor, Kaali Lake, magic and casting magic spells, and also of Saaremaa churches and St. Katherine. During the tour we sing archaic Kalevala rhyming songs in order to experience best the peculiarity and primeval nature of the sites by our seven senses. During the tour, when being in a location with utmost importance, we experience merging with nature with the help of a trainer. We merge with the ancient history of the location via song rhythms and sounds in order to create a bridge to the Golden Age of our forefathers.

Planned dates of the tour (2018) (from may to july):
30.06.-01.07.2018 (Saturday, Sunday)

A tour can be prepared also off-schedule and for that please contact us: marek@ajamatkad.ee

Day 1
• Departure from Tallinn at 7:30 in the morning.
Tumala worship stone. 2 worship stones with many hollows. About 60 hollows on one stone. East Saaremaa.
Purtsa (Pamma) Stronghold. The stronghold is based on the former banks of a settlement on which an old pine grove grows today. During St. George’s Night Uprising in 1344 fierce and bloody battles between the islanders and the German Order took place here. Central Saaremaa.
Pühatu Gorge. A big and deep karst gorge with a triangular opening, which almost always has water in it. Probably it is an ancient holy place (pühate, pühatu – means holy in Estonian). Such kind of place names in West Estonia and Saaremaa are used as toponyms near holy groves. Probably Pühatu Gorge is the biggest and deepest karst formation in Saaremaa and entire Estonia, resembling a kind of mythological well of gods. There are also other karst gorges nearby but they are twice smaller. NB! Walking distance along a forest path and back is about 2.4 km . North-Western Saaremaa.
Kaarma Church, stronghold, holy grove. One of the oldest churches in Saaremaa. The mythological stone sculptures here are very peculiar both – in Estonia and North Europe. Kaarma Stronghold – one of the most attractive sites of a stronghold in Saaremaa. The last scene of the uprising, a bloody battle between the rebels and the crusaders during the fight of the rebels and the German Order took place here during the years 1260-1261. The Põduste River flows in the vicinity of the stronghold, formerly called the River of Turijõgi. An ancient forest grows in the north-eastern direction from the stronghold and behind it there is a holy grove. Central Saaremaa.
Tõll the Great’s sauna hearth stones of. Tõll the Great was the giant of Saaremaa and there are many legends about him. North-Western Saaremaa
• Stop-over at Kesknõmme Village by the sea. North-Western Saaremaa
• Arrival at the accommodation facility in Kuralase Village (North-Western Saaremaa) at about 20.00. Place of accommodation is Loode Tourist Farm (http://www.loodetalu.ee)

Day 2
• 8.00-9.00 Breakfast
Kõlaja yew forest, Sepise Creek, Heimut Hill. The ancient forest of Kõlaja, where besides other ancient trees (oak, spruce, birch, aspen, ash) also yew trees, which have become very rare in Northern Europe) grow. The yew was related to the runes in the ancient times. In the forest, along its ancient banks flows the Sepise Creek and on the other side of the road by the sea there is Heimut Hill covered mainly by a high fir forest. The sea probably reached its steep eastern bank during the time of ancient fight for freedom and for the people approaching by sea it could have resembles a sandstone cliff. This hill by the seas was probably a good landmark for the sailors navigating in these waters. Based on the place names in the vicinity Heimut Hill may be related to the white god Heimdallr in the mythology of the ancient north. It is also worth mentioning that opposite the hill on the other side of the road there is a burial place of some important person known as Suurevare burial site. North-Western Saaremaa.
Tõldmägi. A place related to the legends of Tõll the Great. There is the Viidumäe Natural Protection Area and the highest point of Saaremaa there. You can climb up the watchtower and have a good look at the surrounding area. West Saaremaa.
The second Kaali Crater. The biggest and most mysterious side-crater of Kaali Lake. Located on a hayfield covered with a deciduous grove. Central South Saaremaa.
Piret’s sauna hearth stone. Evidently a holy place related to special power of femininity. North of the stone a place called Naistesoo (Women’s bog) is located. South-Eastern Saaremaa.
Väkra Giant Stone. The biggest worship stone of Saaremaa (height 4.90 m). Round the stone holy fields, holy groves and springs are located. East Saaremaa.
Tooruse Hill and a small oak grove. Its central part is formed by a 3-4 meter-long oak street or a place where about 10 oak trees grow side-by-side forming a natural oak street. It is highly probable that the small oak grove is a part of a giant holy grove. According to traditional heritage the leaders of islanders came to that hill to worship the local main god Tooru (Taara). Around this place other holy groves are located. East Saaremaa.
Pöide Castle Church. This is considered to be the oldest stone building in Estonia. This is also the biggest one-nave stone church in West Estonia. The Pöide Castle Church was a former stronghold of the German Order (13th century). Interesting stone sculptures inside the church. After St. George’s Night Uprising in 1343-1345 the stone castle was demolished by the islanders almost to its foundation. Pöide Church was built on its ruins later. East Saaremaa.
Pöide Stronghold (Kahutsi Stronghold, Iruste Stronghold). One of the most powerful ring wall-castles in Estonia. This place was probably abandoned already before the arrival of the crusaders, who invaded Saaremaa in 13th century within the last stage of the ancient fight for freedom as the stronghold has never been mentioned in the military conflicts between the islanders and the German Order. East Saaremaa.
• Arrival in Tallinn at about 22.30.

COST OF THE TOUR: 130 EUR (regular price) and 115 EUR (pensioner, pupil and student). Extra price for pre-school children (please ask for the price). Further information and registration: Marek Laimets, phone: +372 56 659 543, e-mail: marek@ajamatkad.ee.
The size of the bus depends on the number of participants.

The price includes:
– the bus
– the tour guide and the training of nature perception
– the ferry crossing
– the accommodation in Loode Tourist Farm and breakfast

For extra fee:
– generous dinner at Loode Tourist Farm. Cost 10 EUR. Please book in advance!
– smoke sauna. Cost for the entire evening 130 EUR.

Saaremaa RR, 2.osa. A4

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