Advance planning visit (APV) took place from 17th June to 20th June in Tallinn and Hiiumaa in Estonia. In the morning of 17th I had to finish my exam and hurry to Tallinn - to buy some bananas for breakfast and pay for the plane tickets to Hiiumaa.
Katrin at the same time went directly to the airport to pick up first arrivals: José Antonio from Spain and Özkan from Turkey. It was pouring rain and the first impression of Tallinn was not really summer-like. We all met up in the hostel and continued together to Compressor to have some real Estonian pancakes. Toomas and Lisette met us there - already a small meeting to get to know each other and share our thoughts about the project.
After we continued to a real Estonian sauna party to discover the real Estonian culture. We met some friends of Toomas' and Lisette's and had really good time. And we didn't care about the rain anymore.
But we started to care again when we tried to get a taxi to go and pick up Andrei from Romania and Maxime from France who were arriving past midnight. There just weren't any taxis available!!! Unbelievable... but finally... we got one and got to the airport just in time (fortunately plane was late). Back to the hostel and time to end the first night :)
On Saturday we started really early - the plane to Hiiumaa was 9.00 and we had to be in the airport at 08.00.
We had some kohuke, sweet pies and bananas for breakfast and off to the plane we were! It was nice short flight only lasting 30 minutes and offering great views. And even same barbaris candies were offered :)
First sight of Hiiumaa
Welcome to Kärdla airport!
In Hiiumaa a small minibus was waiting for us to take us to Kalana, on the far end of the Kõpu peninsula. We made a stop in local supermarket to buy some things for the evening (we were going to prepare the meals ourselves for the evening) and also to pick up Loore who was coming from Kassari where she is living. Less than an hour and we were in Kalana!
We decided to take the ferry next time when we'll come here!
Workshop area for sunny days!
We made new friends!
Özkan and local boy who was kindly willing to lend us his fishing equipment
Getting to know the place we are going to stay!
Kalana is a beautiful place, just by the seaside in the middle of pine forest. We got ourselves two cabins - small houses for 4-5 people. We discovered the area around us - the places to sleep during the exchange, the seminar room, sauna and surroundings.
Finally also Ignas from Lithuania together with his friend got there - they had to wait for the ferry because the first one was fully booked. We started our official meeting with discussing all the practical things - food, accommodation, insurance, tickets, participant data etc. And we continued with practical food tasting for lunch - some Estonian Thai food, similar to the meals during the project :)
Discovering Hiiumaa in environmental way
To go fast is the way to avoid mosquitoes !
These roads are like made for bicycling!
In front of Kõpu lighthouse!
And on top of Kõpu lighthouse!
After lunch it was time to discover Hiiumaa and see some of the places we were going to visit during the project. As we got the great idea to discover Hiiumaa by bicycles during the project, we decided to do the same during the APV. It was a great experience and we managed to see several places we were going to visit during the project and also find out, that bicycles indeed are the best option to see the island. We also climbed to the Kõpu Lighthouse - the symbol of Kõpu peninsula.
Time to swim!?
Discovering Estonian culture & heritage
Checking out the old military houses...
The far end of the peninsula
This is how me make marinade for šašlõk
In the evening it was time for intercultural/Estonian night. From our side we prepared typical Estonian barbecue (šašlõk) and all helped out. We did it in the traditional way, which some people found totally normal and some not so much... but well this is intercultural learning. Also our guests offered us their traditional food: some cheese, wine, bacon etc. It was nice evening in spite ofmosquitoes. And to end the evening everyone had the chance to experience real Estonian sauna with sea of temperature +10. And everybody did :)
One of the little houses... this has places for 4-5 people
On the last day we stared with the breakfast which was done by ourselves - just as we plan to do it during the project. After that we started with the meeting in the seminar room - it was especially good time for meeting as it was raining again. We discussed the daily plan and all the workshops and made sure that everyone had equal share of tasks. Group leaders could ask about the things they were concerned about and we also divided the days of responsibility to the countries. We discuses about the voluntary action, participant cafe and the final document we were going to prepare.
For lunch we had some chicken and potato combo and real Estonian Kama. Kama rules!
Meeting & preparation for the project...
After lunch we continued with the meeting and also collected all the documents (tickets, boarding passes) from our guests.
Soon it was time to start finishing - we cleaned up our rooms, packed our bags and the bus was already waiting for us to take us back to Kärdla to catch the plane. We said goodbye to Loore and Lithuanians who started in different direction.
In Tallinn it was already evening... we had accommodation in the same hostel as we stay during the project and participants had the time left to discover Tallinn.
See you in 2 weeks!
Heleri from Estonia :)