A couple of days ago we headed south to the center of Estonia to spend the day with Norbert's aunts and cousins. One of the aunts owns, along with a few friends, a large beautiful property that holds the second biggest rose garden in Estonia.
When we first got there we took a little tour of the surrounding area....
We spent much of that time picking mushrooms, blueberries and wild strawberries.
The berries we ate immediately and the chanterelle mushrooms were gathered for a gravy that we ate later that evening.
Gathering in the forest like this is a something that all Estonian children grow up doing.
Norbert still remembers all of the types of plants, berries and mushrooms he grew up picking.
The highlight for Norbert was seeing an underground bunker used by the Forest Brothers.
The Forest Brothers were an important part of the Estonian resistance to Communist occupation that followed WWII. They hid and lived in the forest for over 20 years fighting the soviets.
The middle plaque above is a quote from Kalevipoeg, the Estonian epic hero and says:
I would rather lead my life as a poor man than succumb to the will of strangers.
The plaque below it is in honor of the Forest Brothers and states that it was in their hearts and souls that Estonia continued to live free.
The view from inside.
More edible plants...
and a pocket full of mushrooms.
Inside and in front of his Aunt's summer home
All of these pictures were taken while wandering around her property...
A hobbit house? :)
The day ended late with hours spent sitting, visiting, roasting marshmellows and watching a pair of monkeys perform and dance for their cousin!
And then we said good-bye....
We are going to miss our Estonian family!
We are now on a countdown to go home...