Welcome to Estonia

October 18, 2008
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Today was filled with excitement and discovery. Tallinn was absolutely amazing. The tour guide was really hard to understand, and it helped me to really appreciate Tanya, our guide from Russia. She spoke really quickly and in a heavy accent. It was very hard to understand her.
The scavenger hunt was really enjoyable. My group very quickly got lost, and we entered a T-shirt shop to ask a few questions. It turned out to be a good 30-40 minutes. He helped us answer most of our questions on our scavenger hunt, and as a result, we skipped a lot of the places. We still saw a lot of Tallinn though, due to the fact that the map was really bad and our sense of direction was pretty poor. We ended up stopping to talk to a good number of people, most of which were Estonian. It was nice to meet all of the people, even though most of the conversations were pretty short. I do wish that we had at least learned the name of the man who had helped us so much.
After lunch, we had the chance to explore (thanks to the rain). I spent some time at that marketplace to try to find a keychain that I liked. That was about when I learned that I am pretty bad at haggling. I did get my keychain for ≈$6.00 instead of $7.50, but that was because there was a vendor who was actually selling it at that price. The only person I actually tried to haggle with was on the phone. When I told him that I had found it at a better price, he actually told me to go to the other place.
I learned that many people in Estonia speak English very well. Apparently, some learn their English from watching American movies. Estonia—well, Tallinn is a very beautiful city. I really liked it, even more than St. Petersburg. I wish that I could have more time to explore Tallinn. I didn’t even get the chance to explore the Kiek-in-de-Kök museum. I hope I get a chance to return to Estonia.

Tallinn turned out to be my favorite destination of the entire trip. It was like a medieval fortress (Old Town) with beautiful architecture on the top of a hill. Below, there were trees and houses, creating a beautiful view from the top of the wall. The view from below is like looking at something from the Lord of the Rings, only for real. Everything is set near the Baltic Sea. The suburban area is very modern and a large number of Estonians speak English. I would really like to live there sometime in the future, or at least visit years from now to see how much it has changed.





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