13.03 Måndag, 11 Mars, 2013
It seems like all I do here is go on cruises! This past weekend, I went on yet another cruise, this time to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Tallinn is on the other side of the Baltic Sea, due east from Stockholm, and is just an overnight boat ride away. I went on this trip with some friends from my corridor in Lappis.
Estonia, like Latvia, is one of the Baltic countries. Also like Latvia, Estonia was part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War and has been occupied by both the Germans and the Russians on several occasions during the last century. Estonia has been independent again since 1991, is now a member of the European Union, and uses the Euro. With a population of less than 1.3 million people, Estonia is a very small country, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t successful – one of the most famous things to come from Estonia is Skype. Although Skype is now owned by Microsoft, it is still mainly developed in Tallinn. If you look at the Estonian flag, you may recognize two of the colors from the Skype logo!
The Flag of Estonia
An interesting thing about the Estonian flag that I think is pretty cool is the fact that it looks like a winter scene. If you can’t tell just by looking at it, try this, and you’ll understand.
Map of Estonia
The language of Estonia is Estonian, which is closely related to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian. However, it is not related to any other European languages and is thus about as similar to English as Chinese. That is to say, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. So, I thought it would be fun to learn to count in Estonian! Üks, Kaks, Kolm, Neli, Viis, Kuus, Seitse, Kaheksa, Üheksa, Kümme. I figured out the numbers because they announced the lottory winners on the ship in Estonian, Swedish, and English. 😉
So now that you know what Estonia even is (because it’s possible you didn’t even know it existed), here are some pictures!
The Estonian flag flying on the ship as we approached Tallinn
Skyline of the Old Town from the water
When it was built, St. Olav’s Church was the tallest building in the world
A Medieval tower in the Old Town
Buildings in Old Town Tallinn
Raekoda, the Town Hall, in Raekoja Plats, the “Town Hall Square”
The Old Town has many churches, yet only 16% of Estonians are religious
A tower on the city wall in the section of the Old Town called Toompea Hill
The Viru Gate, a gate in the city wall leading into the Old Town