Tag Archives: The Baltics

Being in Tallinn – first impressions (including match report: Estonia – Faroe Islands!)

So, here I am, having slept 15 hours after one long day travelling to Estonia yesterday! I haven’t seen too much so far since I spent most of my time sleeping but the few impressions I got so far are stunning! The old town still looks like a snapshot from the medieval times and foster that impression, the market at Pikk is covered with stands selling traditional such as wooden cutlery and hats made from sheep wool. Prices are more than moderate (despite the obvious tourism spots) and even though I haven’t even made my way to a supermarket, I have spent very little on groceries. However, with an exchange rate of 15 kronen worth 0,96€, the costs of 10 kronen for 1 beer (in the hostel though)  are considerable disastrous 😉

The city at night is like a re-enactment of medieval living styles, with fire player and celtic music and bright yellow streets lights which illuminate the square!

About the match I watched: Estonia won 2:1 over Faroe Island with two goals in the extra time, which have them just the succesful entry in the 2012 European Championships campaign they needed. With Italy, Slovenia, Serbia and the so-called “Northern Ireland” in the group, booking a ticket to Poland/Ukraine will not be easy. The stadium is fairly nice, with 5,470 spectators dressed in blue. The ban of cigarettes and booze are no obstacles to a joyful evening out. Most likely I will return in October to watch Estonia take on Slovenia! While I saw a team that tried really hard and could have beaten the football no-names Faroe Islands by 6:0,  a lack of precision and a “non-eager-enough” attitude once the opponents scored left a bad impression on the Estonian possibility to qualify.

Before I will finish this post I need to mention something about the lack of pictures presented on this blog: Since I was smart enough to purchase a digital camera with the amazing memory card of 10MB, I could take 1 picture until the memory was full. So I will buy another memory card in Tartu and start including pictures in my posts!

Update 1: I am sitting in the train towards Tartu! 1st class, since that costs like 1,60€ more than the 2nd 🙂 I am getting free snacks served at my table and can use the (regardless to mention) free Wi-Fi! Trains from the outside look like the Cold War never ended but once you approach the railroad car,  warm and friendly atmosphere is striking you!

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Arrival in Riga, Latvia: Hot, sweaty but boy, what a coffee!

Just landed in Riga, Latvia from where my journey to Estonia will continue. In Bremen, I had to pay the ridiculous amount of 50,00€ for the 6 kilograms I had packed extra 🙂 Flight was easy-going and now I am waiting inside the airport for my 12 o´clock coach towards Tallinn, Estonia`s sparkling capital, which will hold the title “European Capital of Culture” in 2011. In Tallinn I am planning to stay for two nights, eventually watching semi-pro European football and getting used to the country, culture and language.

But right now, I am simply enjoying a good mug of coffee, purchased with an excitingly new currencies (which name I have already forgotten!)

Update 1: Got on the coach at the bus station. Included in the fare is a bottle of water and studentu brokastis!

Update 2: Despite only being applicable to the taxis, but I feel quite “home” already: They have yellow license plates…

Update 3: Crossed the Latvian-Estonian border some minutes ago! Estonian border control checked our passports, so business as usual!


X minus 15 days: Estonia is calling for me!

Today is monday, which means I only have 15 days left in good ol’ Germany before my plane takes off for a great 5-months adventure in Tartu! Regardless to mention that I am a little nervous, since I have zero experiences with nor the country neither the broad Baltic region. Despite a language barrier (which I am confident to overcome with both English and a very basic Russian which shall be improved during the five months) it is the cultural differences that cause most uncertainties.

Just today, I have found the list of courses I am planning to follow. Now while not everything is super exciting to mention, I want to stress the fact that I am enrolled for the following course: Religion – a necessary good or evil influence on society. Sounds hot, hu!? In addition, the course Theory of ordinary behaviour sounds rather interesting as well.

However, I have a place fixed for the time being. It will cost approx. 90€ per month (which may eventually rise in January when the country gets the EURO) for a room of +-16qm. Well. these 16qm will be shared with another student 🙂 Nice and cozy! The (international) student house is located within walking distance from the main university buildings. While three rooms (so a maximum of 6 students!) share 1 kitchen and bathroom, a big café at the ground floor acts as a meeting point for all.

All in all, in case it has not become clear: I am so so so much looking forward to going there 😀