thoughts of a deviant
  entry created: Thursday 8 July 2004, 3:35am (NZ time)
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Location:  Tallinn, Estonia
Local time:  Wednesday, 6:35pm

That song was written by Crowded House about Auckland, but it seems to apply to this country at the moment. It's mostly been rather grey and wet, and the locals are grumbling about it and how it's such a shitty summer. It's almost like winter for me. But as soon as the clouds disappear (however briefly) the sun heats the place up pretty quick. Makes it hard planning what to wear each day when it goes from cold and rainy to hot n sweaty within half an hour.

It's been a reasonably busy week of sightseeing in Tallinn and also out in the countryside, and already I'm sure I've seen more things here than many Estonians have!

On the 3rd we went to Laulupidu - the Estonian song festival that comes around once every five years, meaning I was pretty lucky with my timing. It was a mass choir of 21,000 singers - mostly in traditional Estonian costumes - singing traditional songs of independence (from the Soviet Union) etc. Kinda cool.

We've done a lot of driving through the countryside (which tends to be pretty damned flat) to various attractions, but tomorrow I'm off to Helsinki Finland for a couple of days. Looking forward to that. Hopefully the weather doesn't suck.

The dome at Laulupidu containing the 21,000 singers.

The Alexander Nevski cathedral - a Russian Orthodox church built in 1900
atop Toompea hill in Old Town, Tallinn. I love the impressive (and very
Russian) 'onion' domes, and the interior is amazing, if a little gaudy.

The Koluvere Loss (castle), built in the 1500s.

A picturesque little river crossing heading to the castle. Kind've reminds me of Holland.

Cliffs and the beach at Türisalu. Not exactly the Caribbean, but still a nice peaceful place.

The Keila Juga (waterfall). Normally at this time of year it's more of a trickle, but there's been so much
rain lately that, well... see for your yourself.

Padise Klooster - an ancient fortified commune dating back to the 14th century.

Me. Leaning.

A view from the top of St. Olaf's cathedral. The Tallinn cityscape is dotted with many of these church spires rising
from the streets. Note the Alexander Nevski cathedral domes.

The Tuhala river disappears underground, travels for 1.5km, then fills a large chamber, where it
eventually floods out of the ground again via this small well (the 'Witch's Well').

Typical Estonian countryside. Purdy.

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