• Menu
  • Menu

Monday, July 17, 2023: Greater Tallinn

These are the gardens of Kadriorg Palace, a seaside cottage built by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine. He died before it was finished, and Catherine never used it.
This beautiful white ball room was flanked by two fireplaces. This “cottage” now houses fine art from around the world.
There were many intricately carved wood panels.
Next we drove to an outdoor museum built by the Soviets called Estonian Open Air Museum at Rocca al Mare. It showcased the different housing structures in Estonia. This is a barn house where everyone and everything lived. The pitch of the roof made of reeds allowed the snow to slide off.

They did not use outhouses. They would just go out in the woods. No one really thought much about trips to the woods because it could be for a variety of reasons. When indoor toilets were invented, they had a real hard time understanding why anyone would poop in their own homes!!

Not everything that the Soviets did was bad. They took great efforts to preserve rural houses, folk dances, folk music, etc. Our guide said that they did this preservation as a facade, a sort of “Potemkin village” to say that people’s lives were okay under the yoke of Soviet oppression. Today the West wishes that they had paid more attention to our indigenous groups and their way of life.

This tree was not for decoration. They used what was available to accomplish a suitable wall structure.
This windmill worked but was labor intensive. Instead of just moving the paddle to catch the wind, the whole house had to rotate.

Mills were run by entrepreneurs. They did not own farm land. Being a miller was respectable. It was needed in every community, and it was a clean profession. On the other hand, every community needed a smith. It was a lowly and dirty job analogous to an auto mechanic today. Every community needed one.

Here is an older woman who is dressed in native garb of the period and rural area that she came from.
This was a beautiful garden path with beans climbing up the mounted strings.
These dancers whirled and twirled to folk songs and dances in their ethnic dances while we ate a farm-to-table lunch served family style.
This was a song for the girls. They challenged a group of men to lift them up to a standing position. It looked like a human tug of war. Girls rule … but maybe they just weighed too much.
The music maker is key to a good time. She was a skillful accordion pkayer. They taught us the steps to a simple dance. It was great fun.
After dancing, I am officially an Estonian lass.
This is called a summer house. It sure looks similar to the teepees of Native Americans.
Flowers and gardening are a big part of Estonian culture. Here is the flower market. The plastic protects from a downpour.
This is a flower box made up of real book spines outside a bookstore.
We went to a history museum and we’re intrigued by this mystical map of the world … on a turtle no less.

The Estonian History Museum is housed in the 15th century Hanseatic Great Guild Hall. Our guide’s explanation seemed similar to the objectives of a Rotary club today: to encourage each other in business, gather for fellowship, and help others that are struggling in the community.

Eating marzipan at the oldest cafe in Tallinn. It had a small marzipan museum. One can make almost any type of sweet structure out of marzipan.
There is massive construction everywhere. They are building a fast train called Rail Baltica. It is meant to connect the Baltics with western Europe and is scheduled for completion in 2030.

Russian railways use a wider gauge (distance between the tracks) than western Europe. Russia did this intentionally to protect against invasion by rail. Now the Baltic countries will gradually replace their rails and railcars to integrate with the west and protect against a rail invasion from Russia.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.