First thing this morning we revisited our favourite rides from yesterday and got to enjoy them with no queueing. Then we tried out some new ones, watched a “4D” Lego movie, had ice cream – and actually spent some time looking at Miniland, the Lego miniatures at Legoland. To my surprise the kids were not really interested in this, so I spent some time there on my own.

The miniature models varied quite a lot in their level of detail and sophistication. At one end of the scale were some of the architectural details. Looking up close it was obvious that these models had been built by someone who knew all the itty bitty Lego pieces by heart and could utilize them to their full potential, picking just the right one for each spot. One of my favourites was this pillar from the park of Amaliehaven. For comparison, a photo I found of the original pillar, a sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro:

Photo by Dave, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Statue of Liberty stood out at the other extreme, crude in its lack of detail: the folds of cloth and the curves in her face were jagged and coarse, 4 blocks wide in places. I wonder if maybe it was among the older models, or perhaps built on a budget.

The grand finale of this summer break: a two-day trip to Legoland. We arrived this afternoon and will spend most of the next two days in Legoland. Adrian spent almost all of this afternoon and evening at the window of our hotel room which overlooks the park, waiting for tomorrow’s visist.

At the playground in Kadriorg park, waiting for time to pass.

Today we take the ferry back to Stockholm. The drive from Tartu (where we stay) to Tallinn (which has all the connections to the rest of the world) is over 2 hours, plus city traffic in Tallinn, plus a lunch break of uncertain length, so I aim to arrive an hour before we really want to be at the ferry terminal.

Kadriorg is a large beautiful park very near the harbour and it’s become a tradition to kill that extra hour there. (Well, except for one year when we got stuck in a traffic jam due to a bike race in Tallinn and used up the hour, which is why we have it.)

We went for a walk in another bog, with my father and his wife (on the Riisa hiking trail in Soomaa bog).

The path passed right by several small pools with platforms that made it easy to climb into and out of the water, so we tried out the water.

Bog pool water is brown like Coca-Cola.

Given how small the pools were I had expected them to be warm from the sun, but the water was quite shockingly cold. Only a very thin layer at the top was warm. If I swam very carefully, almost gliding without moving my arms, I could keep in the warm layer. But then I turned back and swam through water that I had churned up with my legs, and it was cold again.

No trip to Estonia is complete without a visit to one of the adventure parks with their treetop obstacle courses. This year Adrian joined us, and had more fun and got further than I had really dared to hope for. Ingrid on the other hand was super disappointed that she didn’t make the length limit for half of the tracks.

Taevaskoda, “Heaven’s Hall”, one of the most scenic spots in Estonia with sandstone cliffs next to a winding river. Do the kids spend any time appreciating the view? No. They found a Pokestop.

Two views from the top of Estonia’s tallest “mountain”, Suur Munamägi. The name could be translated as Great Egg Mountain but it is neither particularly great nor really a mountain, more of a Big Egg Hill. It is all of 318 metres high, but only 60 metres relative to the land around it, and even those 60 are a really gentle slope. (It is called the Big Egg Hill because there is also a Little Egg Hill.)

We happened to be nearby so we drove there and climbed all those 60 metres to its top. The viewing tower adds another 30 metres so you can at least see past all the tree tops. Not that the view is particularly exciting, anyway.

It was more fun looking straight down. There was a cross-country cycling competition going on while we there and the route passed right across the top of the hill. In a way it should be kind of impressive for the race to pass the top of the country’s highest mountain but I am pretty sure that the cyclists had much tougher and steeper sections elsewhere.

We went for a bog/forest walk with our Estonian friends, in Meenikunno bog.

I wanted to take the kids to somewhere typically Estonian. We’ve seen enough forests in Sweden, but there are no bogs around Stockholm.

The first half of the walk went through a bog along a plank path. In the forest it was an ordinary path on the ground. The ground was waterlogged so funnily enough we got through the bog with completely dry feet but got them rather wet and muddy in the forest.

Everywhere in Estonia there are small locally-grown cucumbers for sale. The kids eat them like fruit, instead of apples or bananas.

We’re in Tartu. After a day of driving, grocery shopping and unpacking, I needed some fresh air in the evening. By turning the walk into a geocaching walk, I got Adrian to join me. It was a good thing I had him with me – one of the caches was so high up in a tree that I couldn’t have done it on my own, but with him on my shoulders we were able to reach it.

The second cache was hidden next to a decrepit old house. To my eyes it was picturesque decay; to Adrian it looked so old that he was afraid to go near it in case it fell down.

We’re staying in an apartment in Tigutorn, “the snail tower”. The convenient location is good, but even nicer is the parking spot that’s included in the deal! Last year I spent so much mental energy daily on finding a place for the car. It’s nice to not have to think about it at all.