The present-day bus station in Haapsalu was formerly its train station – sadly, rail service ended long ago, because the train station is really cool and has some history. (There’s a little railway museum there that I didn’t get to visit.)
Happsalu is a really nice town – not touristy at all and not really a “beach” town because it is on a bay. But you can tell locals visit in the summer. The town has a marshy area where migratory birds stop, and there’s even a viewing tower to watch them (though it doesn’t seem to be very close to the marsh). I think I missed the peak of the bird migration by a few weeks. There were a couple of dozen swans and a few other birds out in the bay but not really many. Even with my zoom lens I couldn’t zoom in that close to them.
There’s also a little castle in town. I didn’t bother go to inside – just took pictures of the outside.
Otherwise, you can walk along the loopy bayfront and see swans and other birds. There’s a nice promenade for part of the way as well.
I can’t really describe why the town is nice – it simply felt pleasant and comfortable, like a nice place to chill for a couple of days. I had only a few hours there, but that was enough for the kind of visit I was on.
Estonia has a number of islands off the coast that are popular to explore. In planning this trip, I had considered trying to see one or two of these island, but it seemed too time consuming for the limited time that I had. I can imagine coming back to Estonia in the future to explore this area more, at a more leisurely pace. I didn’t feel this way about Latvia at all (even though I liked Riga, not sure I’d go back). I didn’t get to the Lithuanian coast to know what it was like.
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