And this is why you head to a city like 9 latitude degrees from the Arctic Circle: It’s so Christmas charming!
This past weekend our family travelled with my dad and step-mom to Tallinn, Estonia. It is known, among other things, for its annual Christmas market. I have actually been wanting to visit Tallinn for the entire four years we have lived in England (not sure why we waited until it adopted the euro). Years ago Prague whetted my appetite for good post-Communist tourist destinations and I am also drawn to visit places that fascinate the latent ethno-political cartographer in me.
Estonia borders Russia (take that, Sarah Palin!) and is directly across a gulf from Finland. I have always been curious to see this nation physically connected to the Baltics, but which instead leans towards a Nordic sensibility due to close physical/cultural proximity to Scandinavia. I can’t help but be intrigued by dualities of this kind. (For reals.) A very excellent coincidence is that my father used to travel to Estonia professionally before the fall of Communism to help counsel on privatization of certain industries. Yawn. I went for the beer and wooden Christmas ornaments. Jk, dad! I love privatization!
The most important thing about Estonia though, is of course its history. A recent history of occupation, in fact. Most recently by Communist Russia. USSR sounds so retro now, doesn’t it?
Also, Skype was created in Estonia. WAY TO GO, ESTONIA. I LOVE SKYPE!
It was a wonderful weekend and the boys travelled pretty well, considering the flight lengths and budget airline and time differences and 4 of us in one hotel room and limited sunlight and freezing cold and wet snow and being made to hang out in beer halls. Tallinn did not disappoint. We spent all our time in Tallinn’s Old Town, which is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
“Tallinn is an outstanding and exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a medieval northern European trading city.”
I just call it One of Those Places That Looks Like a Movie Set. Same diff.
Museum of Occupation
Bryan wanted me to take this shot and I said I only would if I could include ‘spaghetti’.
a lesson on beer
Also, can we just give a shout out to nations with the confidence and pride to have pink government buildings? Estonia is right up there with every country in the Caribbean.