The town of Pärnu is known as famous summer season resort among Estonians. It's fourth-largest city in the country, but with lest than 40 thousands citizens it's still quite small town. Its location at the coast of Gulf of Riga makes it nice summer vacation resort for people from around the country.
Couple fellow Erasmus students suggested me to go there and look around. I decided to go at the begining of May as there was no chance for me to be still around in summer. The weather also started to be much nicer with spring coming in so let's go and explore together.
As usual the trip started at Tallinn Bus station near my Erasmus home. For this trip I was acompanied by Flora, who I got to know better during our trip to Stockholm. By now we became much more than friends so you can expect Flora to join me more in the future ;). But now let's move on to the trip and how we liked Pärnu.
The journey is quite easy and short. Well everything in Estonia is near thanks to it's size, so no surprise there. The bus dropped the travelers, us including, in the center of the town. During the time of our visit the bus station was under construction. As a result the buses stoped quite randomly in the streets around the construction site :D.
We planned one day for exploring the town and hopefully enjoying local beaches. Technicaly speaking we didn't plan pretty much anything except how to get there and back. That way the day was predetermined to be full of exploring, surprises and hopefully some nice spots to photograph.
One thing that hit me pretty soon was how empty the town was. No people in the streets and many buildings up for sale. A bit sad view, considering it's supposed to be one of the more touristy places in Estonia. The tiny center of the town really feels like spa town. Coffee shops, little design stores and souvenir shops along the streets would make it feel very nice, if only half of them wasn't closed. I don't want to make it sound like it wasn't nice, because it was. But the feeling of crushed economy stayed with me for the rest of the day.
Scattered all around the town we found pieces of art. Either grafiti paintings, little statues or just little random details behind the windows. Before leaving further from the center it was time to visit local tourist info center to get a map and some possible recommendations. One interesting tip about the info center is for campers. If you are in need you can take a shower here. It costs about a euro or two if I remember correctly.
With most of the center explored it was time to see the true reason why it's called the summer capital of Estonia - the beaches. Walking from the center first you find a park and actual spa. Both pretty empty at the time of our visit. The park was pretty nice and featured a water way to the sea with fountain and remnants of old fortification. To our misfortune the weather wasn't cooperating too much. Strong wind was throwing falling snow and rain into our faces :(.
Park and spas behind us it was beach time, yay :). The beaches are really nice for chill time and for beach sports. I myself can't unfortunately see them that nice for actuall water time, unless you enjoy long walks in shallow water of course. The beach spans almost two kilometers along the coast next to the city. I can imagine many people having fun time there when it's hot.
Our initial wish to take a swim here was crushed hard by strong wind and storm coming. At least we enjoyed the beach and sand together. Now when I think about it, in warmer weather we would probably be fighting over the beach with loads of people so there is a positive side to it as well, right?
With the wind getting even stronger we quickly explored the rest of the beach, found couple nice playground places and went back to the town. Hiding from the wind we decided to visit Pärnu county enviromental center, which sounded quite interesting. Ther we figured it was meant for school children to learn about nature, but it was nice anyway.
After spending some time there, having a snack we headed back to the town to catch our bus. Not being in a hurry we followed the path along the river, where we found some painted garages there. Also the river could possible be nice to canoe on in the summer.
All day walking around and piffling on the beach we were pretty tired. Time for coffee for Flora and hot chocolate for me :D. Conviniently there is a little coffee place right next to the bus station so we wouldn't miss it. It was so yummy.
The time to leave came and we boarded the bus. Tired after the day we slept on the bus. Tired back in Tallinn but happy for a nice day with lovely Flora I went to bed :).
Bellow you have the places I mentioned in the text ;).