A trip to Ida-Virumaa

August 5, 2020 I undertook a trip to Ida-Virumaa. The preparation took quite a long time, because I wanted to to capture as many different things as possible. Initially, the plan was to start the journey through Tartu County and drive along the Tartu-Jõhvi highway to Ida-Virumaa, but this plan became a little different, as time would have started to run out.

The final plan was as follows: Tallinn – Lüganuse – Iisaku – Kuremäe – Voka – Toila – Kohtla-Järve – Tallinn.

It took a whole day. I started early in the morning and was back late in the evening. The weather was pleasantly warm, the sun was shining and the wind was not very strong (important for flying a drone).


The first place was Lüganuse. The plan was to take pictures of the church, the War of Independence memorial and everything else that would be of interest. Lüganuse received me completely without people. Only one person could be seen during the whole stay. There were sheep in one household near the church. They talked to each other pretty diligently.

Above all, I wished to photograph the church with a drone. It turned out well. The wind was not strong, so flying the drone was an easy task. Below are two pictures of Lüganuse Church.

Lüganuse church tower.

Lüganuse church.


Iisaku greeted me with a nice weather. There were a lot of foamy clouds in the sky that I like the most when taking pictures.

I had a plan at Iisaku to take pictures of the church, the singing stage, the community center and the bus stop. In fact, I also wanted to take pictures of the new town hall, because I had read that a new attraction of Iisaku had been completed there – the town hall. But I had read sloppily, because it was only a presentation of the winning work and the town hall did not yet exist in a new form.

First place then the church. I also got into the church. I took a lot of pictures of the inside of the church. Beautiful church. Then I flew the drone at the church. But, as is customary, it was then that a much larger cloud, compared to other clouds, appeared above the church. And the wait began. Fortunately, the clouds moved relatively quickly and sunlight soon arrived. One can’t wait indefinitely with a drone in the air, the battery will become empty.

Iisaku church.

Interior view of Iisaku Church.

After the church, a monument to the freedom fighters of Alutaguse, a singing stage and a community center were capture in pictures. At the singing stage, some local drunks were having a small meeting, but fortunately the picture could be taken so that they were not in the picture. The community center is located right next to the singing stage, so there was no need to drive anywhere.

Memorial to the freedom fighters of Alutaguse, at Iisaku.


At Kuremäe, I had only planned to take pictures with a drone. I thought that no one would be allowed into the Kuremäe convent at the moment, because there was a risk of a coronavirus (two nuns had been infected). But surprisingly, the convent grounds were open. There were also quite a lot of tourists.

I let the drone fly and took my pictures. One of these pictures is also shown below.

I did not go for a walk on the territory of the convent, because it had not been taken into account and there would have been little time to get to other places.

Kuremäe convent.


Going to Voka was about taking pictures of two things. One was the tractor exhibit (pictured below) and the other a special building belonging to Voka manor.

Tractor at Voka.


Arriving at Toila, the weather was beautiful. Although the temperature in the sun seemed like 30 degrees, in reality the air was cool.

First, the obligatory tour of Toila-Oru Park. I have been there many times before, but one always has to go through old places again. One can always find something completely new. This time a new detail in the park was the monument to Konstantin Päts, which can also be seen in the picture below.

Konstantin Päts’ monument in the park of Toila-Oru palace.

I walked around the park for a while, taking pictures of the park at the location of the palace, as well as the Hõbeallika spring and the Hõbeallika cave. After that, the drone flew. Below is also a picture from the air. In addition to the image taken by the drone, the port of Toila is captured.

It turned out that there was no bridge over the Pühajõgi River, but there was no warning about it. Therefore, there was an unnecessary walk through the park. I have nothing against a walk, but they could still have notified that the bridge had broken down.

Location of Toila-Oru palace.

After the park, the path took me to look for the following items. The first of these was a water tower, which is quite unique.

Toila water tower.

The Toila spa and singing stage were also captured. I let the drone fly over the singing stage, too.

There was a competition on the square next to Toila spa. There was a crowd. An ambulance also arrived. Someone may have needed urgent help.


Kohtla-Järve is a strange story for me. I have visited all towns in Estonia and a huge number of smaller places, but I had come to Kohtla-Järve only once in my life, and even then only to the bus station there. I had only seen the outskirts of the town through the bus window. But now I took the town more seriously.

I arrived in Kohtla-Järve when the people there had already finished their work day. Therefore, the town was quite peaceful and there were relatively few people.

I had written down a lot of places I would have liked to see and capture, but unfortunately there was no time for that. There was still a long way to go and the fatigue was quite significant. So I only went through selected places, deciding to go back again another time and visit other places as well.

First, the old windmill and a magnificent water tower at the entrance to the town were captured in pictures.

One of the water towers of Kohtla-Järve.

Then I wished to fly the drone to photograph the ash mountain and the industrial area as a whole. I had chosen the most suitable place with the help of the maps, but when I got there, the sad reality became clear – the road was being repaired significantly longer than the TarkTee map of the Road Administration claimed. Therefore, this plan failed in my chosen place.

Nothing doing, back to downtown.

In the town center, I visited the town government building and “admired” the monument “Honor to Work”.

Monument “Honor to work” in Kohtla-Järve.

In addition, I visited a pretty nice central alley, which is right behind this monument. There were many decent pigeons lining themselves nicely on the edges of the fountains to get some food from passers-by.

Virula Square at the end of the central alley is peculiar. It looks like a pedestrian square, but there is a small area in the middle which cars can pass through. Therefore, those who have not visited, be careful. The square is illustrated by a large-label alcohol shop.

Then into the car again and on to the cultural center. The surroundings of the cultural center are tidy and clean. The building itself properly maintained. At the same time, the coat of arms of the Estonian SSR on the building was disturbing.

Kohtla-Järve Culture House

When the pictures had been taken, I headed for the school building completed in 1939. The building is nice but abandoned. Behind the building was a gathering place for young people. When the car had been parked, I went to take pictures of the building. An unpleasant surprise was the smell of a dry toilet spreading all around the building. I don’t know if it was just a problem of the day, or if it smells there every day.

Kohtla-Järve school building

When the school building had been explored, I drove to the VKG industrial area. The plan was to take pictures of the area with a drone. Below is a picture of this flight. The sun had gone behind the cloud by that time, so the pictures were a little gloomy.

Industrial town Kohtla-Järve.


When the town of Kohtla-Järve had been photographed and viewed, the way home began. The traffic was not very heavy, but there was also some rain in Lääne-Virumaa. Looking at the clouds one would have expected more water.

Late in the evening, at home again. The whole trip was about 12-13 hours.

1 thought on “A trip to Ida-Virumaa

Comments are closed.