The Famous Ruins of Estonia: Pirita Convent

Pirita Convent Ruins Park, Tallinn, Estonia.

Pirita Convent Ruins Park, Tallinn, Estonia.

Her dream was unusual. She would be the founder and the head of a new Catholic Order. Its convents would be a home for both monks and nuns. They would be living separately, but be attending services together in one church. They would be poor, but could have as many books as they wanted.

Such a dream had visited a noble Swedish lady, Birgitta Birgersdotter, around 1345. After 25 years, she got permission from the Pope to establish the Order of the Most Holy Saviour (1370) and to start building monasteries. Sixty years later, her third community, Pirita Convent, was completed on the banks of the Pirita River where it flows into the Gulf of Finland, and became the largest nunnery in Old Livonia. Read the rest of this entry »

Magical Estonian Maritime Museum, Seaplane Harbour

 

The Lembit submarine in the Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn.

The Lembit submarine in the Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn.

A museum must be a calm and sacred place. It must have many walls for numerous masterpieces: paintings, engravings, frescoes, mosaics…. It must have high ceilings to allow gigantic statues from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, or Mesopotamia to be placed here and there. You cannot run or jump in a museum, and of course you cannot touch its exhibits. Moreover, in some museums, you are not even allowed to take photographs. Right? Not always!

Would you like to:

  • let your children run and jump in a museum (and even fly in a flight simulator)?
  • visit a real submarine made in 1936?
  • look at an antique submarine which had a hand engine?
  • sit in a real navy anti-aircraft gun and even control it?
  • go down to the engine room of a real icebreaker that broke ice in the Baltic Sea from 1914, and visit several navy ships nearby?
  • drink a little champagne in a café surrounded by the sound effects of an air attack before inspection of the museum exposition?

If so, you should visit the Seaplane Harbour (Estonian Maritime Museum) in Tallinn, Estonia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Adventures of Fitness Alcoholics in One of the Baltic Capitals

Cruise ship in the port of Tallinn, one of the Baltic capitals.

Cruise ship in the port of Tallinn, Estonia.

Scene one: Early spring. Carcassonne, France.

A couple of alcoholics wanted to find a cognac in the supermarkets of the city of Carcassonne. They were nearly dead after a whole day of storming the ruins of the Cathar castle, Peyrepertuse, in the mountains of Pyrinees. Cold and tired, they needed medicinal help—a good French cognac. The first supermarket. There was no cognac. The second—also none. “Darling, are you sure we are in France, the only country where cognac is produced?”

The third supermarket. There were a couple of kinds of cognac, but they were cheap and unknown. The alcoholics bought one and tried it. Bad idea. The cognac was awful. How is it possible not to find a good cognac in France?!

Scene two: Autumn. Tallinn, Estonia.

The same two alcoholics (my wife and I) wanted to buy some fruit and cheese in Tallinn’s supermarket. Supermarkets in Estonia are almost the same as in France, but with one big difference—they have dozens of kinds of cognac on their shelves. In that moment, these travel bloggers/alcoholics recalled how they searched unsuccessfully for a cognac in Carcassonne, France. It seems as if France exports all its cognac.
Read the rest of this entry »