Saturday, May 26, 2012

Evening Drive

This evening I went for a drive with my host dad and host brother to see Lake Peipus, which forms most of Estonia's eastern border with Russia. The lake is large enough to not be able to see across it, and it's the fifth largest lake in Europe. We drove along the coast a bit, making some pit stops, and reaching our destination of Mustvee before heading back through Jõgeva to watch a bit of the town's laulu- ja tantsupidu (singing and dancing festival). Then we got home and watched the finale of Eurovision, a Europe-wide song competition. Sweden came in first, but Estonia came in sixth (out of 26 finalists)! Here is Estonia's song: Kuula (Listen) - Ott Lepland

And here are some pictures from today:

One week until Eurotour!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Springtime in Estonia

Tonight I completed one of my exchange goals.

There I was, walking home at approximately midnight, when I started thinking, "I have done so much this year... but what else do I still want to do and see?"
I remembered reading about all the wildlife of Estonia, and how it's one of the most forested countries in Europe. I remembered reading about moose, wolves, bears, foxes... but there was one animal, above all the others, that I had hoped to see.

As I continued walking, I realized I probably would never see that animal, and that I was out of luck. My time had run out. So, I despairingly rounded the corner to walk down my street and, to my surprise, there, standing proudly in the middle of the road, was...

...a European Hedgehog.

Thus I can die happy.


In other news...

On the third of June I'll be heading to Turku, Finland to start the infamous Eurotour. Eighty-six exchangers take part in this 2.5-week trip through central Europe.
We will start in Turku (about seven hours north by ferry and bus from Tartu) and take an overnight cruise to Stockholm, Sweden. There we have a few hours, after which we'll head by ferry to Copenhagen, Denmark. Then begins the long, long bus ride... We'll be driving through Bremen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Grenoble, Nice, Monaco, Verona, Venice, Innsbruck, Nuremberg and Berlin.
Then we'll all fly back to Helsinki and head to our respective host cities.

In total we'll be visiting nine countries! (Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Monaco, Italy, Austria)

Of course, look forward to many pictures when I get back in mid-June. I'll have about two weeks left in Estonia after I get back from Eurotour... I'm officially flying back to the US on July 3.


The sun was shining today so I decided to dust off my macro lens and play around with it again:

Alas, a measly beetle was the only insect I could find...