The first time I knew about Estonia is in high school. Estonia is one of the three Baltic Sea small countries. That is all I learned from our textbook, nothing more. Who knows decades after, I was walking down the streets of Estonia.
I travelled with two history gurus, my sister and my husband. They both know world history inside out and can literally tell you what year War I started or the year when Russian emperor Tsar was assassinated. I only remember vaguely some of the events, I could not even part with their conversation. It is definitely more interesting if you can relate what you see to the history and story behind. For this reason I have to say that I am growing my interest to revisit some history particularly for Scandinavia countries and Russia.
Estonians are related to the Finns and have a similar history background. They were first occupied by Sweden and later Russia till after World War I when they finally became independent. But Russia influence continued during World War II and consequently communists ruled Estonia for a period of time. There are still about 25% Russians now live in Estonia, not to be surprised at Russian resemblance in town.
The smallest states in Baltic Sea, Estonia is thought to be the most westernized. Capital City Tallinn is located on Gulf of Finland, It is considered to be the prettiest city in Baltic Sea. It is also the largest industrial and cultural center. Tallinn old town is a medieval enclave with old walls, towers and cobblestone streets. It reminds me of Quebec City, Canada where the town is enclosed by stone walls, the fortress. The area is within walking distance and it is easy to tour the entire place by foot.
In a medieval town, I was first attracted by the European style outdoor cafes. There are also lots of restaurants with medieval decorations and the waiting clerks are dressed like the people from Middle Ages. They were holding the plates, pouring coffee and busing tables from one end to the other. I felt like walking into a King Arthur movie set scene. It is entertaining by just looking at their costumes.
It costs money to use public restrooms. When I asked a newsstand girl, she directed us to a place upstairs at a very strange location. With four of us together, we thought it no harm to check it out. There are two restrooms inside, one marked for men and one for women except that there is only one entry, and one waiting line. I saw a man walk out of the room marked for women, it was very confusing.
On the way out, I saw a restaurant door half opened, and a picture inside had completely drawn my attention. At that moment I could care less if I was blocking the line, I wanted that shot so bad as you may understand why. I in fact took another shot with the complete picture without the door, but I prefer the striking image half hidden by the glass door. Don’t ask me why.
I was so obsessed with various styles of architecture, either if it is Sweden or Russia influenced, or it is the identity that Estonians tried to establish, there are just so many interesting details that I have hard time to take them all in.
It was hard to snap shoot details of churches or even general architecture details as we moved down the street and I was very overwhelmed by what I saw. So I aimed my camera at anything I found interesting and just snapped it.
The images posted here are random choices. As images surface, I then begin to ponder why they were taken, and what was my state of mind when I pointed my camera at them.
As I start to go over all the pictures, I will include some subject-oriented blogs (relating to my recent trip) in addition to my travel journals.
|bold green window trim|
|what some chocolate?|
|waiter and waitress|
|cafe with medieval decors|
|‘do you know what’s sold inside?’|
|modern building behind medieval towers (outside the wall)|