Friday, February 24, 2012

Head Vabariigi aastapäeva!

Happy Estonian Independence Day... again!

Estonia is unique in that it has two independence days; one celebrated on February 24 (today) to commemorate the country's first independence in 1918, and the other celebrated on August 20 to commemorate independence from the USSR in 1991.

There was a military parade held in the center of Tartu today, so I went and watched a bit of that with friends.

And even some videos too...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tartu Ski Marathon

Last Sunday was the 41st Annual Tartu Ski Marathon.

No, I didn't participate... My cross country skiing skills and physical endurance aren't up to par with what this 63km marathon requires... However I did go and take pictures, which requires neither cross country skiing skills nor physical endurance.

The weather wasn't bad; it would have been fairly warm if not for the wind, and it only started snowing at the end of the day. All in all it was a good time.

The Tartu Marathon is one of the largest cross country skiing marathons in Europe.... In fact, this year it had 5111 participants take part in the 63km race and 1633 in the 31km race.

 Here's a quick video of the marathon's start:

A lot of people take the marathon very seriously, while others...

...are just awesome.
...or just have awesome hats.
The whole marathon is broadcast on live TV, meaning there are cameras everywhere along the course. They are even mounted on snowmobiles and a helicopter.

 And finally, at the finish line...

The ski marathon is just one of the numerous marathons that are held near Tartu. Later in the year there is a rollerblading marathon, running marathon, and two biking marathons... It's an active place!