In western Estonia you can practise bird watching as a real sport in spring. Bird watchers have managed to count an impressive 194 species of bird within a 24 hour period, and that result was only in second place after Spain in the 2007 European bird-watching rally. At the majestic height of the migration in mid-May, millions of birds fill the sky.

The springtime thaw and heavy rains bring flooding to large areas around the rivers, although this is not a catastrophe but something called the fifth season. This is time to head to Soomaa National Park, where you can literally canoe in the forests, along roads, and across the open spaces.

If you concentrate too intensely on fresh impressions, and you manage leave behind an important possession in a remote corner of Estonia, remember that this is not really a problem. You can still retrieve it on the very same day.