Destination: Soomaa national park and surrounding areas
Soomaa national park is made up of 4 vast peat bogs, explaining the translation of Soomaa, meaning Land of Bogs. Kuresoo is the largest of the many, located at the heart of the park.
Springtime is particularly peculiar in Soomaa national park. The snow withdraws causing a flood in the national park. Known as the fifth season, this is the perfect time for canoeing along paths and through villagers' front yards. Local people are well prepared for the floods and anticipate their arrival like a visit of a rich relative. The fifth season is also known for romance, as according to local myths, this is the time when two old time lovers meet, the river spirit and the bog spirit. According to these legends, the river and the bog are a home to their many sons and daughters, wandering in the forests or hiding in the water.
Exploring the myths and legends
Estonians are eager songwriters and storytellers, so it's no wonder that with every wondrous natural spectacle comes a fable. Stories of the bog can often be mystical, even eerie. It's best to capture the real character of the bog in the dusk, as the fog slowly glides across the dark pools of water.
"Bog ogre" is the head spirit of the bog, often disguised as an old, grey-haired and bearded man, an elk or a wild boar. He is the protector of the bog, proud to welcome nature wanderers into his enchanting home, but is known to play tricks on those who mistreat his hospitality.