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Road Tripping: Warsaw - Tallinn (Part 2)
Mary Lasprilla   

Road Tripping: Warsaw - Tallinn (Part 2)

As a promised I'm bringing you here my impressions of food, language, people and places from my trip to Tallinn. Admitting the fact of having said previously that most of my perceptions where bad things I have to say that there were good things too. So here it goes:

Tallinn is a small city: about 400 000 inhabitants. If you take into account that I come from a city of 1 500 000 (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) and that I live in one of 1 700 000 (Warsaw, Poland) you will understand why is it that I consider it small. This can be good if you are looking for peace and comfort and you want to move easily from one place to the other (the territory is big but moving around the city center by foot is possible and easy). It can be bad if you are looking for excitement, lot of activity and people (like I do).

I loved the fact that every person in the street that I approached to in order to ask something was able to reply in good English, no matter the age. I believe this makes it easier for tourists and for people who's been in the city for a short time and they can't speak Estonian, the official language. I haven't had that luck here in Warsaw, though. Few people speak good English...I would say that just enough to survive. Now, the reason for this I believe is Estonia's location. As it is so close to Finland, Sweden and Russia all countries with different languages... well, English appears as the best option to communicate (and they take this factors seriously into account).

The old parts of the city are very well preserved. The Old Town gives the sensation of traveling back in time to the 13th or 14th century. Is big and beautiful. Part of it is on a hill so at one point when you are walking around your pace starts slowing down. This is good if you have time to appreciate every single detail and if the weather is nice. But is bad if you visit the place as me when is dark and cold and you just want to look around quickly and walk fast to keep yourself warm.
There is a cozy place in the Old Town to sit, relax and talk while drinking some nice wine (or tea)...it is actually a wines place. I had a glass of hot wine, something my palate is not used to, but very effective to make you feel warm. The place seems to be a family-owned place, so like in most of these kind of places the attention is very good when carried out by the owners.

There is Internet free everywhere so I took the chance to take out my computer and log in whenever I could. And here I have to mention the fact that Estonia is a very technologically advanced country: it is the country of origin of Skype, it has implemented national online voting, it has opened an Embassy in Second life (second after Sweden), among other things.

The food seems to be similar all around this Eastern countries. As winter is not a good season to cultivate anything is not that I had the chance to see that much. As in Poland you find something like Pierogi (dumplings) but under the name of Pelmene. Apparently pancakes are a main thing in the Estonian menu as I saw several places specialized in pancakes. My last lunch there was actually a big pancake with vanilla ice cream and caramel cream (yummy!)

The temperature during my trip was cold, TOO COLD. That's the same temperature I should be experiencing here in Warsaw (even colder) but the Polish keep telling me that it has changed in the last couple of years (some of us call it Global Warming). Anyway, the first day was -11 degrees Celsius and throughout the following days it rose until it reached -7. That was still too cold for me so I had to learn to live wearing five layers at a time plus the sweater plus the jacket plus two pairs of gloves plus a scarf! And of course two pairs of tights, thermal underwear and jeans! I remember a fountain in Kagriorg park, close to the castle with the same name was turned into ice and a guy was skating on it. That's how cold it was!

Now about the language, I found that Estonian sounds like an Asian tongue. Is like listening to some kind of Chinese dialect. But this is of course my weird perception. Estonian is usually described as some mixture of Finnish and Swedish. It has a lot of vowels and many times you see them doubled or even tripled in most of the words (looks like this: virtuaalne teenindusbüroo). Anyway seems to be easier than Polish...and so far everything seems like that (not taking into account Chinese or Japanese).

The Kadriorg Castle. The surroundings where not very nice. Once again because of the weather. No green grass. Only dark and naked trees on dark and naked soil. But the castle itself was very nice. It must look nicer during spring and summer with all the beauty outside too. We could take some pictures of the things inside (no flash, of course) and you can see them in the album.
In summary. It was a nice trip. No the best I've had though. But I must say that the weather is one of the reasons why it wasn't nicer. So if you are planning to go there...wait until Spring or Summer:)


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