Experience Something Different in Eastern Estonia
This small size is an advantage to anyone wishing to explore and experience more of what Estonia has to offer outside the nation’s capital, Tallinn. A one-day excursion to eastern Estonia promises a varied collection of things to see and do, with the most interesting of these being a visit to the country’s oil shale fields located around 2 hours drive towards the border city of Narva. The oil extracted from this region is exported worldwide and also serves as a fuel source for the generation of electricity in this country. Oil shale has long been Estonia’s main industry in this part of the country and the numerous ash ‘mountains’ are a visible reminder of this long history, with a climb to the top of these can provide an excellent view of the surrounding area.
Should you wish to go one step further and experience first-hand what life was like for the miners of yesteryear, a visit to the Kohtla Mining Park in Kohtla-Nõmme is a must. What better way to learn more about this industry than to join a tour group, don a miner’s helmet and light and head underground to walk in the footsteps of real miners and experience their moist and confined work environment. Each exhibit shows how the mining process was undertaken at different times in the past. There is around 1km of tunnels and an underground miner’s train takes visitors from one exhibit to the next in complete darkness. After returning to the surface and the welcoming daylight, take a leisurely walk around the grounds and see some of the old buildings and mining equipment.
TEXT ROBERT BROOKES, PHOTOS KRISTI REIMETS