Estonia Round Up

Hot on the heels of our Latvia Round Up, here’s our round up of the week or so we spent in Estonia..

What photo takes you right back to Estonia?

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We loved the towers and walled city of Tallinn. Walking a section of the walls was the first thing we did when we arrived, and it reminded us both of York with its old houses and winding cobbled streets.
And we stayed in a couple of fantastic hostels: Terviseks in Tartu, and the just opened Tabinoya in Tallinn – both right in their respective centres and staffed by the loveliest of people that couldn’t do enough for us; We were offered home-made cake in one, and a free sauna in the other ;o)

Summarise Estonia in three words.

  • Friendly – Latvians were friendly, but Estonians seemed even more so. Perhaps it was that more of them were smiling, despite their reputation for being unhappy (they score in the bottom 15 countries in the Happy Planet Index, and only 53% of Estonians described themselves as Happy in a recent survey{citation needed})
  • Medieval – With the cobbled streets, old wooden and stone houses, its easy to imagine you’re walking through the place in a time gone by. And much like the UK was in medieval times, Estonia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. Their saying is they like to live close enough to their neighbour that they can see the smoke from their chimney so they know they’re OK, but far enough away that they can’t see their house. That means there’s lots of space and it’s filled with trees.
  • Slow-paced – And in a good way. There are lots of jokes about Estonians, and one we were told goes like this: “Why are snails so expensive in Estonia?” .. “Because there are few Estonians fast enough to catch them”

You really know you’re in Estonia when…

You feel chilled.

Both mentally, and as we were there during a cold snap in early April, literally too.

The one item you should definitely pack when going to Estonia?

Your smile :o)

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