It’s getting wet

After two hours starting from Tartu toward south we arrived in the Visitor Centre of Karula National Park for our first talgud (Conservation Holiday).
Karula is the smallest National Park in Estonia and is located on the border of Valga and Võru Counties on the land of Antsla, Karula, Mõniste and Varstu municipalities.

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Looking good in the working clothes. (Lena and Bálint)
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Marisol is removing heavy and wet logs from the river.

It became a national park in 1993. Furthermore it belongs to the Europe-wide Natura 2000 network. Karula National Park was affected by the uneven melting of the continental glacier, which is visible in the hilly landscape. It is rich in lakes, forests, grasslands, lakes, small bogs and swamps.

Our work site for this talgud was the Peetri river. Together with other participants we cleaned one part of the river from trees and logs that had fallen into the water. By removing the tree trunks and branches out of the water, the flow-rate of the river increases. This action affects favourable conditions for a suitable habitat of rarely species in the river like the river mussle and also to free the way for migrating fishes like trouts. – Lena

Before and after - You can feel the difference
Before and after – You can feel the difference.

Smoke sauna

After cleaning the river we had the chance to experince an old Estonian tradition the smoke sauna. I had a few sauna experience before, but this was a real special thing. The sauna is a wooden house near the lake with a forest around it. In the wooden house they make a fire to heat up the stones and after the fire they open the window before anybody can enter. The roof of the sauna is black because of the smoke and the ashes.

I really enjoyed the smoke sauna so close to nature and in the future we’ll have the chance to visit other special saunas, so I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂 – Bálint

Boat trip on Emajõgi

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Having fun on the deck of the boat.

On Sunday we enjoyed taking a trip on a boat on Emajõgi (the main river of Tartu). The boat trip took almost eight hours and although the weather was a little cold it was a very nice experience. After leaving Tartu the boat immediately entered into the wild. In Estonia it don’t takes much time to find yourself surrounded completely with nature.

All along the river we saw the wetlands and the inland meadows. From the top of the boat we saw beautiful scenery and lot of different kinds of animals, including some eagles. On the boat there was some musician who provided us some nice music, making the trip more relaxing and peaceful. –  Marisol

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If you’re in Tartu, make sure not to miss a trip on this beauty!