Saturday, April 18, 2009

Walk to Rivendell - Week 16 - Muratsi part I

It has occurred to me that some of you may be wondering,'If she lives on an island, where's the ocean? All these weeks and no pictures of the sea. This is a deficiency that I set out to remedy this week.

First the STATS
Days walked or cycled: 5
Miles covered .24
Kilometres covered: 38
Total walked: 260 / 417
Total to go: 199/ 316
Location in relation to Frodo & Co.
Camp in thickets on south side of Great E
ast Road

The thing is, it's not what you see,
but how you see what you see.

Muratsi Sadam (harbour) is typical of the multitude of bays and inlets on Saaremaa suitable for landing small boats. In the 11th century the availability of these almost invisible harbours was one of the factors which made the island pirates so difficult to catch. They so annoyed the Swedish and Danish Kings that they petitioned the pope to authorize a Crusade to the Northern Lands "to bring the benefits of Christianity to these heathen pagans, and to put an end to the depredations of those damn pirates from Oesel!"

As I mentioned last week, this was accomplished,
sort of, in the spring of 1227 when the Oesel (old name for Saaremaa) islanders accepted Christian baptism to escape the wholesale slaughter visited on their Muhu Island neighbours, by the zealous Brothers of the Sword.

Muratsi sadam is a bit more than 6 kms from my home, making this an easy 13 kms. ride.

In the past I have tracked my levels of fitness by measuring how quickly I could get down and back without a rest break.

Last year the local council was able to arrange a grant from the EU for re-development of the harbour. The parking area has been leveled and sanded, a grassy lawn and flag pole installed, and a small sandy beach with changing cabin and children's play things created. Later the jetties will be improved offering better docking for small mainly wooden fishing skips.

So then, one of my favourite places - Enjoy! And yes, I do swim here once the ice is gone.

Next time - more Muratsi, a ruined - maybe haunted mansion.


sonia said...

lovely pictures -lucky you what a great place to swim!

martha said...

Thank you. In the dead of winter and the gray slop of Feb - March I sometimes forget how much of Saaremaa is really fabulous.

spacedlaw said...

The water must be really cold... Brrr.
Great pictures.

martha said...

It probably is - now. I don't usually start swimming until mid-June. After then, as this is a bay and shallow, water temperatures climb up nicely. Some days it gets like bath water in the late afternoon when I like to go down there.

Dina said...

Shalom. Your latest comment at Mediterranean Kiwi's Chania blog caught my eye. What you wrote happened to me several times too (but not in Greece).
I'm enjoying sampling your nice blog.
See you again. Greetings from Jerusalem.

martha said...

Greetings, thank you, you are very welcome.