Lake Peipsi: Rainbows
August 21, 2014
“How did you find this place?” Thomas asks me. “With great difficulty,” I respond.
Since this is my very first day driving with a GPS device, I am having some trouble learning the subtleties. Plus that sweet lady up in the satellite hasn’t a clue when, unexpectedly, a main road is closed on the route to my destination. Even my maps have no indication of this small town that lies somewhere between Mustvee and Kallaste. So I read my guidebook, follow my nose, and ask directions of a couple of teenage boys who speak good English. Eventually, I find my way down a narrow country lane to the Villa.
“No, no, that’s not what I meant. How did you know about this place?” asks Thomas, an astonished Estonian.
It’s true. This little hotel is a bit remote. But my guidebook lists Aarde Villa as a “Top Choice” on Lake Peipsi. So here I am. **
Lake Peipsi (Pepsi, not Coke) is not on any regular tourist route in Estonia. Estonia itself is a small country and not at the top of the list of travelers from North America.
Thomas wonders why I am here in Estonia. I provide my usual answer: “Because I have never been here before.”
Lake Peipsi is the fifth largest lake in Europe at 3555 sq km (1373 sq mi). On the far, invisible shore lies the western edge of Mother Russia. During Soviet times, the lake was a popular tourist destination. Now, Russians can travel abroad to more distant holiday retreats.
The Aarde Villa offers a beach for swimming, camping grounds, fishing, boating and bike rental, none of which is appealing now in mid August and the beginning of a chilly-rainy very early fall here in the climes of Northern Europe. So I am satisfied with just taking it easy and shooting some dawn and dusk photos. Luckily, after a late afternoon rain, I catch not one rainbow, but two with parallel arcs.
And as you can image, my dinner of hot vegetable soup, fresh baked fish and roasted potatoes really “hits the spot!”
** Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. June 2012. p 93.