Estonia – Special sauna oil

Estonia. 60 degrees north, the sun burns bright and the light it scatters makes the colors shine more intensely, everything is brightly colored: the sky, the huge stones that pave the streets, the facades of the houses and the roofs of the red tile. It is 22:00 and the sun is just starting to say goodbye, and it will only go down only for a few hours. Tomorrow morning at 4:00 will shine again.

We are in Tallinn , the capital of Estonia, situated on the same longitude as Alaska or Siberia … and outside are plus 20 degrees Celsius. Very unusual. People are smiling with the whole face , everyone is happy that they managed to beat the winter. Because I can imagine in winter is not so good to live here.

But now, in May, the days are beginning to grow, every day a little bit longer until the sun will not go down at all after mid-June. The nights here in the northern have something magical, tremendous. The endless light of the day cheats your senses, makes you stay awake all night without getting tired, but after two, three days you’re done. We returned yesterday at midday back home and I slept nonstop until next day morning (when I had to get up and go back to work) and I am still tired. But no matter how tired I am, I would like to share the experience I have had as long as it surrounds me that magic from the north..The Land of fairy and magic …

Perhaps you wonder why this country? Having 4 free days, we decided spontaneously to make a small trip, and since everyone goes south, we have not found any flights to Spain, Portugal or Italy, in the west there were rainy clouds and the storm and the weather forecast showed us that the heat and the sun were going to the north-east … so let’s go, why not? Flight with Ryanair at 60.00 EUR per person, hotel with wellness area and spa (indoor swimming pool and sauna were much better than expected) 70.00 EUR / night and  in only 2 hours we were ready to go (we already have a routine in packing)  without knowing absolutely nothing about this country . When I tried to find which currency they have I noticed with surprise that since last year Estonia also have the euro  – shame on me – I did not even know this.

From the airport in Tallinn to the hotel we take the bus (2.00 EUR / person) which stops directly in front of the hotel. The Meriton Grand Congres & Spa hotel,  4-star rated and is perfectly located at the foot of the old town. But be careful there are two categories of rooms. Standard room – refurbished with new furniture, comfortable bed, small but clean bathroom, flat TV and carpet on the floor and classic room where they still have furniture from the 90’s, old TV, yellow bathroom and parquet (probably only replaced the carpet and the renovation will take a few more years). The difference between the two types of rooms that cost the same, is huge. And to reward this difference, you get free entry to the wellness area (swimming pool and sauna) free of charge from the classic room between 7:00 and 22:00. The standard room is only between 7:00 and 11:00 in the morning, then costs between 8 and 12 EUR per day depending on the day. So now what do we do? We decided in the beginning for a classic room and we receive a stamped card that allows us free entry to the pool. The next day we changed the room (the bed and bathroom bothered me though) and we received a luxurious room overlooking the old town. Oppss, when changing the keys and moving the luggage, we forget to resume the stamped card for the spa … and so we have for the next 3 days the perfect room and free entry to the pool :-).

If you cross the street in front of the hotel you can climb directly to the top of the old town. Here, the Orthodox church across from the royal palace is patrolling all over the city.

Orthodox church in Tallinn

The city dates back to the 1100 sec. and is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. The wall that surrounds the city still retains 24 towers with round roofs like some red scarf hats. In fact, the whole town reminds me the stories of my childhood, narrow streets, small colored windows with windows in the squares. There’s a restaurant in which even now there is a fireplace, although the outside is almost in the summer. The thick walls of medieval buildings are much heavier. The streets are baffling and from time to time it ends abruptly with a small terrace from which we have a fantastic panorama over the lower city to the blue sea that is seen in the distance. Yes! the city of Tallinn is located directly to the Baltic Sea and from the center there are just a few steps away to  the port. From here, cruise ships start towards the northern sea and in just two hours you can get to Finland by boat. But we stay here. The city is far too interesting and at every corner we discover buildings and markets that are more beautiful …

Tallin old town
Tallinn old town
 The Estonian language sounds strange, the words are endless and almost all end in “i”, for example hotel means hoteliii with a focus on “i” and it seems to me that all the words are diminutive – even the alcohol stores that could be found here on every corner of the street are called alcoholiiii  although the bottles of alcohol are immense (at least 1.5 L.) ).

Yes ! this is the only problem that hurt in my eye – dozens of young people coming from other northern countries (mostly Finns) spend their bachelor party or just the end of the week being completely drunk.

In the evening returning tired to the hotel we want to relax for a few moments in the sauna and as we enter the wellness area we get a bottle named “saunaölu”. So,so, special sauna oil I’m thinking – trying to translate … but no, the bottle contained … beer!

Saunaolu is beer

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