9th August 2006


I went to Tallin last Saturday. Tallin is the capital city of Estonia, just across the Baltic Sea for Finnish people. And it’s quite easy to get there : take the boat in the morning, come back in the evening. Not too expensive either.
Estonian and Finnish langauages are very close, and share the same roots. They however are different enough to sound funny to each other’s speakers. Estonia and Finland got their independance about the same time, in 1917 for Finland, and 1918 for Estonia. But the Soviets took over the country during WWII and Estonia was free again in 1992. Some Finns told me they went there, in 1992. Tallin was greyish, and you would see small Lada cars everywhere. You could almost touch misery. That was almost 15 years ago. Now, it has a very colourful and well renovated medieval Old City, where restaurants smell good from outside and taste good inside, and a lot of brand new fancy cars (and no more Ladas) all around. Estonian worked hard, it seems.
Now, I told you that Finland and Estonia were close, like cousins. Finnish came immediatly in 1992, to spend some money there, since it was so cheap. Some also came to see relatives, some went to do business. And it is obvious who Estonia’s main customer is. Most of merchants speak 4 languages (Estonian of course, Finnish, English, Russian even). And in the Russian style market, a lot of articles are obviously dedicated to those customers : Finland national ice-hockey team sportswears, Lordi tee-shirts, etc. Finnish people have brought so much money to Estonia, that they probably are responsible for a good part in this radical change of the country’s situation.
And another reason why Finns go so often there : alcohol ! beer is cheap, at least on the boat, and probably everywhere in the country but in the capital city. There, prices have risen to a European capital standard, and their future switch to Euro probably won’t make it down.
Altogether, I’d say, Tallin was a nice place to go to, although I would like to visit more the countryside, perhaps another time.
If you have a chance to get there, go for it. I think there’s even cheap flights nowadays.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 at 14:49 and is filed under in English please !, news, voyages. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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