Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Of Saaremaa: Fairy Tale Land

Many colleagues have joked about the Baltic countryside being kind of a Tolkienesque land, with lots of pleasant countrysides with ridiculously charming old barns and stone houses and tiny villages with a pub and people dutifully minding their flower gardens. Not that the Latvians are short, but there is a Hobbit-shire quality to a lot of it. But Saaremaa beats it all. It has all of the above, but the centerpiece of the main city of Kuressaare is this castle. Germany may have castles that look more like the kind of place a Disney princess might live, but Kuressaare features this stout looking fortress, original from the mid-1300's, has a cool portcullis and a moat and looks like the kind of place that would be easy to defend against orc attacks.

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