One day my awesome friend decided to visit me in Estonia. Since it was a weekend trip, I thought it is best to spend it in Tallinn. There is more to do in the capital and then we can both be tourists. I do not know my way around Tallinn and I always need to use google maps or ask for directions. Thus, it was a little domestic trip for me.
When she arrived, Estonia was celebrating Independence Day. I took her to a nice homey restaurant called the Granny’s Place to enjoy some local food and made her eat our famous blood sausages. Afterward, we strolled around the city but because it was cold and dark it was best to leave the city tour for the next day. There was a small parade too, in the city, with people quietly walking in a row holding torches. I started to question my culture.
My friend was wondering why it is so quiet during the Independence Day. Later that night we went to a bar and met a group of British bachelors and they asked me the same question and why are people so sad. Independence day should be happy and full of celebration and people screaming of joy. I never thought about it before, but now I was wondering the same thing. Why are we celebrating it so modestly and it’s rather depressing? We are our own freaking nation now!
The performances on TV are also dark. It should be a great day that we were finally able to break free and become independent. Instead, we just drink and eat at home and watch the “penguins parade” from TV. The “penguins parade” is just a bunch of important people coming to shake the hand of the president one by one. Only entertaining part of it is to see if someone completely messed up with their dress and wore something disastrous.
Strolling around in Tallinn
We were lucky with the weather the day we went wandering in the city. It was sunny! Still freezing, though. But now we were able to see the medievalness in the light.
Tallinn’s old town is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It developed as an important trading center thanks to its port. Tallinn has gone through multiple wars and had to suffer massive bombings, but despite all, it has managed to preserve itself and many of its medieval exterior that was mostly built in the 15th century but some also go back to the 13th century. Because it has been so well-preserved it has become part of UNESCO.
Even though Estonia is super flat, we do have some higher spots here and there. Not including some towers, we have built. In the old city, there are a couple of viewing platforms where you can have a proper view of the center. To my surprise, Tallinn has become very touristy. At every viewing platform, there was a group of tourists and you had to wait for a little to get a good picture. It’s only February, which I also found out is the coldest month in Estonia but still, there are so many tourists.
Art and history
During the Soviet times, Estonians produced 15 million liters of vodka in a year. Our population was a bit over a million. There was so much vodka we could have taken vodka baths, have swimming pools filled with vodka, made our pets drunk too, and there still would have been too much vodka. Those must have been some really depressing times.
I learned that fact from the Estonian history museum. There I finally found and answer or maybe a confirmation to my idea, which explains our miserable nation. It said in the museum that Estonians are one of the most unhappy people in Europe. The reason is probably because most of the time we have been second-class citizens in our own land being peasants or slaves but never the rulers. I guess that has stuck with us. But no worries, we have so much vodka to forget all the troubles!
We also visited Estonian art museum KUMU. Many of the art pieces reflected sadness as well. For instance, I noticed a painting of a woman unhappily sitting behind a table with some cabbages, turnips, and carrots in front waiting to be cooked. I imagine in Spain the same painting would be a cheerfully dancing woman juggling oranges and watermelons in air.
Our lovely weekend ended with a nice relaxing spa.
To sum up? Don’t visit Tallinn. Everybody is just awfully depressed…
Just kidding! It has its charm and the food is actually pretty damn good. Plus it’s just not a carnivore paradise, it has loads of choices for vegans and vegetarians too.