Journey to Setumaa

                                 Journey to Setumaa (by K.Toom)

Some things about our journey to Setumaa. We started from a little town Võru. We visited it’s church and beside it the momument for the people of Võru who perished in the shipwreck in 1990. Sorry, didn’t take pics there. After that we visited a new suspension bridge on the lake Tamula that takes u to an island there in the middle of the lake. (Look at the pic ‘bridge’). Near the bridge we could see some swans swimming there. That is not a very ordinary thing on our inner-land lakes, on the sea bays yes, but not on lakes. By the way, this bridge is called ‘tourist trap’ because the road to it isn’t ready yet and it’s so narrow that the bus had to stop and we moved on walking some 800 meters. The bus driver could hardly find a place where he could turn the bus around…

The next stop of our journey was in a village called Rõuge where we visited it’s old church and then a primeval valley called the Nightingales’ Valley. From the watchtower on top of the hill we had a wonderful view all around the valley. It’s especially beautiful now at this season of the year. Trees are just getting into leaves, so u can see lots of variations of green… And there in the valley u can see the deepest lake, it’s 38 meters!!!! So, we looked around there and enjoyed wonderful weather and had picnic, and then we stepped down from the long stairs to the valley and walked some 1-2 kilometers and reached to the ostrich farm!!!! It’s really exotic for us, though… now there are already some 20 ostrich farms. In this farm we could see and feed one mail and 3 femail ostriches. Later the farmer tried to sell us an ostrich’s egg. It costs 400 crones (some 25 euros) and he said, it’s enough for 12 omletts.

From Rõuge we drived to the village called Vastsellina. We visited the ruins of it’s ancient order citadel (pics ‘Vastseliina’). That was really a big surprise for me because i thought it’s just a site of an ancient settlement. These ruins are on the top of the hill, surrounded by a stream deep down on it’s foothill. Over the stream there is a large park where all kinds of open air events take place, like concerts and performances and folkparties with bonfire. The park is really beautiful now, and very many nightingales jugging there all time now…

Our next stop was in Piusa, where we could see old sand caves (pics ‘Piusa’). Some centuries ago people dag sand from there. Hard to imagine how they did it, must have been really very hard thing to do. Now there are long underground galleries and large rooms there, the area is more than 4 hectars. Unfortunately most of caves were closed and we could enter just into one of them. It’s because bats hibernate there, 6 different kinds of bats, and as this year spring came some weeks later than usually, they still are there sleeping.

Next stop was in a village called Värska. There we visited a tavern were they serve food that was typical for that area 1-2 centuries ago. And there was a museum of Setumaa, it’s an open air museum that consists of houses and everything that was needed there…

Last thing to do us was to drive to an old Setu village at the border of Russia. It was really depressing to see how abandoned that area is nowadays. No young people there now, only old who have nothing to do there (i mean, no work at all), so they just drink all time… All houses and yards were so ugly and dirty… really depressing.

Though the last expressions were not so good, we may say that this was really a very enjoyable journey. Weather was just wonderful  and nature is really very beautiful.

                               By K.Toom, editor of local newspaper in Northen Europe and member of Democratic Women Organisation for Scandinavia. Member of Free University René Descartes.         

Free University René Descartes. Abs( internet- Madrid)

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Acerca de socioecoabs

Interested in social and political questions and particularly in women liberation and people´s self determination right around the world. Master in Social Sciences: Paris V. Sorbonne.......Sciences, Human Rights, Historical Memory, Oriental culture, Languages: French and English, Music, Travel, etc..........
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