thoughts of a deviant
  entry created: Thursday 29 July 2004, 9:54pm (NZ time)
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Location:  Märjamaa, Estonia
Local time:  Thursday, 1pm
Music:  Deep Dish

So I've now seen most of the country, having just returned from the student city of Tartu (pop. 101,000) and the surrounding towns and villages that dot the green undulating countryside of southern Estonia. I wouldn't say it's hilly (certainly not NZ-hilly anyway) but it's more rolling than the featurless northern landscapes I've been getting used to. And quite picturesque too, with lots of wildflowers growing at the roadside, and quaint wooden farm cabins surrounded by large, fluffy green unfenced fields.

My Estonian linguistic skills are ever-so-slowly improving, and I can now piece together some sentences. Apparently my accent is pretty good, but I find it damn hard to remember which different ending (out of 14) to use for a word, depending on the situation.

I'm trying to organise a Russian visa so I can go and visit St. Petersburg and Moscow, but it's not easy. I'm loathe to send away my passport (for an unknown number of days!), but it's about the only way... Still, it's worth it to visit these cities I reckon.

The city of Tartu is built around a (brown) river, and is relatively empty when the students leave on holiday.
Very much like Hamilton, NZ where I grew up.

This old pub is built into the side of a hill, and inside is both cosy and cavernous.

They've a weird sense of humour around these parts...

Tartu's own leaning tower.

Looking east to Russia, from a tower atop Suur Munamägi (literally translated "big egg mountain") - the highest
point in the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). The hill itself isn't really that high, but the area is well above
sea-level, making the highest point 318m above sea level.
(Why, only another 8000m and you've got yourself to the top of Mount Everest there mister!)

Part of Püha Järve ("Holy Lake"), blessed by the Dalai Lama in 1991. (God knows why) (or was that Bhudda?)

More typical Estonian countryside. Picturesque, don't you think?

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