Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Parliament. Opera Gala. Peat Bog.

Last Friday I was able to go with my host club president to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, where we met with another member of the Tartu Hansa club. We traveled to Tallinn (a 2.5 hour bus ride from Tartu) to welcome and spend the weekend with the members of the Zandzegge Rotary club from Bilthoven, Netherlands. ("Netherlands" is a very cumbersome name to write with by the way.)
This special weekend in Tallinn was planned by both of the clubs and the Dutch Consul to Estonia. The connection between the Tartu Hansa club and the Zandzegge club is that they are both women-only Rotary clubs, which seems to be a rare thing.

After arriving in Tallinn on Friday afternoon, the 13 ladies from the Netherlands, two ladies from the Tartu Hansa club, the Dutch Consul (a man!), and I took a tour of the Tallinn Old Town. It's one of the most intact Old Towns in Europe (I believe), and it was packed with tourists. It was cloudy unfortunately; the pictures are a bit lackluster:

In the old town there were a lot of old things.

Old yellow thing.

Old clock thing.

Land Rover.
After this stroll through the Old Town, we met with the Speaker of the Parliament in the Parliament Building. We then went to the Dutch Embassy where we met with the Dutch Ambassador to Estonia and had a short reception.

The next day we started by going to two art museums. First, the Kadriorg Palace, and then KUMU (Kunst Muuseum). There was a really interesting exhibit in KUMU all about networking, and in one part, you could actually scan your I.D., passport, etc. into a machine and it would search the internet for data about you and give you an overview of your life, essentially. Unfortunately all I had with me was my driver's license and that didn't work at all.

Behold: KUMU
After the art museums I had some free time, so I met up with some other Rotary students who are currently staying in Tallinn.
That evening, the 13 ladies from the Netherlands, the two ladies from Tartu Hansa, the Dutch Consul, the Dutch Ambassador and I went to an opera gala at the National Opera House. (A description of what we saw can be found here: http://www.opera.ee/51294). It was quite a nice show.

On Sunday morning we drove about 70 km east to Lahemaa Rahvuspark (http://www.keskkonnaamet.ee/lahe-eng), the biggest national park in Estonia. There we took a walk in the peat bogs.

Unfortunately we didn't see very many animals...

And by that I mean we saw one duck.
But there were quite a few people picking cranberries!

Berries and mushrooms are actually very popular here in Estonia, and they are often picked fresh from forests/bogs.

In the middle of Lahemaa was a giant wooden viewing platform from which you could see 360 degrees.

Then we walked back...

And finally, we had lunch in an old German manor and took a nice drive along the seacoast back to Tallinn. The end!


  1. Sounds like a great time! I love your photos!! xo

  2. Hey! It sounds like you're having a blast! I made a blog too! Check it out if you have time! :)


  3. Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be sure to bring along a good book!
    Also, what's your address in Estonia? I would love to send you a postcard! It will be a lot cheaper than sending you a letter from the US! =P