Sunday, August 18, 2019

Different (3912)

They have a language that sounds similar - and which apparently is as structurally complex, a history that is intertwined, they've copied their national anthem (the tune at least) and from a distance they may look the same, but the Estonians are a different proposition from the Finns. And not altogether in a good way.* (Love the flag, though. It's made it's way on to the 'pins of the trip' display on my cap.)

Pins of the Trip
I encountered my first truculent barmaid in a month here in Tallinn - the Finns are unfailingly polite. And national driving styles are particularly noticeable when you're riding a motorbike. All through the nordic countries, drivers are patient and considerate. In Estonia a failure to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre at any opportunity seems to be considered a failure of manhood. I had to dodge 'overtakers without room to reenter the traffic' several times on the trip from Tallin to our current domicile in the south of the country. Also, Tallinn Old Town, sadly, has been surrendered to boozers and stag-partiers so a good night's sleep was impossible there. You just couldn't imagine that in Finland. (We also found ourselves privy to a late night three-hour drunken domestic row on our campsite last night - but I can't swear that the perpetrators were locals.)

Estonia is interesting. It has only been a self-governing country for about 52 years in total. Tallinn has always been a town concerned with making money. A member of the Hanseatic League, it once vetoed membership for a town further east because that would have undermined its position as main portal for imports to Russia.

Anyway, our current location is beautiful.

Baltic sunset #1
Baltic sunset #2
We're on free campsite close to the border with Latvia. It's situated right by the beach and directly on a national walking trail that runs through both countries. We'll walk some of it today. And we paddled in the sea last night.

Now, you know how we decided not to go to St Petersburg? Well, we now have visas (thanks to the perseverance of the Pillion) for Kaliningrad! 🙂 We'll be there in a week.

And (thanks to the indulgence of the Pillion) I'll be playing in the Nürnberg Backgammon Open early next month.

*In all fairness, I have to remind myself of the charming, intelligent Estonian lad I met watching the Jyväskylä World Rally Car special stage at Moksi. He filled me in on the detail of what was going on and and generously invited us to visit him if we passed his way. Nice chap!


  1. The thoughtful Estonians are merely preparing you for traffic conditions and driving habits further south.

    Enjoy the "oblast" (is this the second time we've had that word in our chats?) and maybe I'll let you win Nurnberg by not attending. I plan to win the UK Open instead, in the true spirit of a No Deal Brexit.

  2. The back of a bike gives you an interesting perspective! Sounds like you're encountering some of the things you were hoping to leave in the UK! It's not an adventure if it's all easy! X

  3. Thank you for good words. Invitation is still on, just give a call whenever you're here again!


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