Monday, December 1, 2014

Day 9 And there went Estonia///

Low on the eastern horizon on my last miles in Estonia, the sun emerged for the first time since I landed in Helsinki... an orange orb glowing behind long wispy dark clouds.  Where I was swiftly walking along a low forested bluff not far from the shore, there were persistent snow flurries, but the sky was clear far away as it set over the Baltic Sea.  The clock hadn't yet past the three-quarter hump toward 3 in the afternoon.  Two frigid hours more to walk that day.

Lucky to be a woman pilgrim - when I finally arrived in the small village, the only lights I saw were from a beauty salon.  Without hesitating, I walked on in.  Within minutes, my feet were up, I was reclining on a comfortable chair, a cup of hot tea in hand and a platter of chocolate bonbons, chattering with the ladies there.  Men pilgrims wouldn't likely venture into such a shop, but women take care of each other everywhere.

Estonia is a fine place for a pilgrim to walk.  The small roads connecting the villages, at least in the cold and snow, were not difficult paths, nor heavily trafficked.  People were surprised to find a pilgrim - 'praying wanderer' in Estonian translation - but always helpful with a warm place to sleep.  By chance, I met some women who had made the pilgrimage to Santiago (from France, not Estonia) and were forming an organization to encourage other pilgrims with the hope of marking the trail through their country.

I arrived in Latvia, again under dark and flurried clouds, and noticed almost immediately painted yellow arrows guiding me through the forest roads... could they be the Latvian camino?  Onward to Riga...


Michèle Dextras & Jean-Claude Barre said...

Women always take care of each other. Imagine if we ruled the world! Take care Ann.

peter said...

Ah-ha! And now I know why I've had visits to my blog from Estonia, of all places. :)

Sadly, I've found that the hospitality extended to a male pilgrim in Italy is rather uneven. I'd remembered your comments via email, and was somewhat perplexed, especially since they agreed with what a fellow walker I met in Switzerland had said. It was just a few days ago that I realized that a patriarchal society may occasionally be beneficial for women.

Ingus (saulkrasti) said...

It was nice to meet you Anna. Truly an inspiration. I'm looking forward to reading more about your pilgrimages.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ann!

It was so nice to meet you! We wish you a good luck and take care!

Best wishes,

ladies from beauty salon,
Estonia, Häädemeeste

Viktor Koop said...

Hi , Anna ! What about the roads in Latvia and Lithuania? Are you keeping off the highways and taking just country roads? How did you manage to get in and out of Riga?
Take care , Viktor from Häädemeeste.