I came across Haapsalu on one of the blogs I was reading in preparation of this trip to Estonia. Just a week before I left for Tallinn I had no idea of what I wanted to see. So when I read about the charm of Haapsalu, I was sold. Especially since it is a seaside resort town and I wanted to go along the western coast.
So in the morning I walked to the main bus station and got on the bus to Haapsalu. Getting around Estonia is easy if you don’t want to drive. Buses are cheap, well equipped and run frequently. In less than two hours I checked into my home for the night, Beguta Guesthouse. I chose it because it had great reviews for its breakfast. Too bad than that I was leaving already with the bus at 7am. Planning is sometimes not my forte.
Never mind, going to Haapsalu turned out to be a great idea. Already the Russian aristocracy knew that and therefore Haapsalu has an impressive train station. The bus stops right in front of it, so you can’t miss it (of course I missed it and looked for it the next day while waiting for the bus).
Haapsalu was the seat of the Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek and therefore also has a castle from the 13th century. There is even a legend of a white lady which appears in August. Can’t say that I have seen her but that there is even a legend with a lady involved, already tells you a lot about this Bishop seat. Quite love the juicy bits.
You learn a lot in the museum about warfaring bishops and I loved the many stairs going up and down all over the castle. From the ramparts you get a great view over the city. I am sure it’s better when the weather play along. But I was happy nonetheless. The forecast predicted five days of constant showers and I had only a couple in between.
Most of the buildings in the old town are wooden structures. I loved these colorful houses which haven’t lost their charm despite the rainy weather. For a more virtual look, please click here.
The most prominent example of this wooden style is the Kuursaal though. It stands on the seaside promenade and when I passed it in the evening the weather was kind enough to provide a spectacular blue sky. Apparently it’s the finest wooden building in Estonia. It definitely looked amazing, so it can for sure be the finest. It houses currently a restaurant, no idea though if it is any good.
But I also liked the floating polar bear which looked longingly back to the shore and the gazebo. Not sure if there is meaning behind this, I mean maybe it is that cold in winter. But in August it was definitely funny. Yours, Pollybert