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In the vicinity of Tallinn: the Jagala Waterfall and more.

I like Estonia. It feels like home. I’ve been several times, which is why my last trip was entirely devoted to places off the beaten track. In this post, I want to talk about my day in the vicinity of  the Jagala Waterfall, which is just a stone’s throw away from Tallinn. The goal of the day was actually to find a movie location, but visiting the Jagala Waterfall and the vicinities makes a great day trip even if you couldn’t care less about the movie.

The idea goes back years ago, when a student told me about visiting a movie location of “Stalker” (a 1979 Soviet movie by Tarkovsky). This information had lingered at the back of my mind for years waiting for the right moment, which came in July 2017.

A part of the movie was shot inside an abandoned hydropower station near the Jagala Waterfall. The power station was what we wanted to find. Pinpointing it on the map took some stubborn research, but I succeeded. I will put the location and ways to get there at the end of the post.

We started the day from the waterfall. The Jagala Waterfall is a popular local destination, and deservedly so.

In order to reach our destination, we went up the Jagala river and crossed it. On the opposite bank, the river had receded and we found ourselves walking on a flat bare limestone riverbed. 

We also found this fancy bench between two limestone towers, but we didn’t dare to sit on it.

We found a log to sit on instead. We were taking a break and soaking in the sun, when we started noticing sticks embedded into the limestone.

The whole surface of the riverbed was covered in them. They were straight and crystalline. We started wondering what they were and spent a fair amount of time exploring the shapes, sizes and breakability of the sticks. We later found out they were fossilized belemnites.

After this short burst of curiosity, we moved on to pursue our goal and to find the abandoned power station. We were bitterly disappointed to find it fenced off. But we wanted to get a better look. We couldn’t just turn back and leave. (Would you?)

There was no fence on the river. So it hit me, “If the river is fenceless, what can stop us from wading down the river to get a better look?” After a heated discussion and a trial wade, we built up the courage to go. The current was strong and the bottom was rocky, but we made it. We walked around, got a better look and didn’t even tumble down once.

Having reached our destination, we went down the Jagala river and crossed it again. On the opposite bank, we stumbled upon a wild strawberry field and had a wild strawberry feast. We then returned to the waterfall and strolled to the bus stop to return to Tallinn. 

All the photos were taken by and are used with the kind permission of Petr Filippov, who was my travel companion on this trip and multiple others.

This is our route. The exact location of the power station is 59.454226, 25.1723.

You can get to the Jagala Waterfall by bus or Uber
If you go by Uber, one journey will cost around 15 euros and you will get right to the waterfall. If you go by bus, one bus journey will cost 2.30 euros and you will get to the bus stop in Koogi, which is 1.3 from the waterfall. You need to take bus 154 or 152B. They both depart from and arrive to the Baltic bus/train station in Tallinn, but have many stops throughout the city. You can check the schedules here.

This trip was made in July 2017.

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