Tallinn revisited

Posted by jswt | Posted in Estonia - Tallinn, General, Latvia - Riga | Posted on 09-04-2013


A week in Tallinn, Estonia.
Not much to say that wasn’t covered in my previous post from when I was here for NYE a couple years back, except that it was more fun with my friend S in town, and a cheesy Vengaboys show 😛

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Relaxing in Riga

Posted by jswt | Posted in General, Latvia - Riga | Posted on 25-12-2011


So after a week in Lithuania, it was on to Riga, Lativa – we were progressing positively through the Baltics and it was getting better as we rolled along. Riga was a very, very cute little city with a gorgeous old town. It was still a little post-communist, Latvia having only declared it’s independence in 1991, but it’s 2 million inhabitants seem to be developing a healthy identity.

Riga is happy to let you know that they’re the home of the very first Christmas tree, so we made the most of the city by taking a Christmas bus/walking tour of the city:

What they don’t mention so much is that it came out of the “House of Blackheads” – a giant home in the central square that was home to ‘a number of unmarried merchant men’ back in the 1500s. These ‘unmarried gentlemen’ really enjoyed the company of black men, and had imported a number of them, and were legendary for the parties they would throw where people could come, be merry, and ‘sample’ the black men. One year, the ‘unmarried merchant men’ decided they needed a little more colour in the place, so they decorated a tree outside their place, and *bam* – the first Christmas tree was born. So next time you put up your Christmas tree, try to think of Jesus, and not the haven of homos in Latvia, who would throw orgies and pimp out black dudes who started the whole thing, ok? 😛

We had one afternoon of chilly wandering, where we found a wonderful second hand bookstore that served tea while you read, and did a little shopping. We’d agreed that our Spanish trip was our Christmas present to each other, so aside from a couple pops out for Christmas shopping, and to hit one of the (many) Christmas markets around town, I was mostly a homebody. We were staying in a great hotel with a really good internet connection, and since I knew I’d be limited for time the following week I bunkered down a bit and rocked the tail end of a project I’d been working on all leg and wanted to hit a milestone before the new year (nailed it!). Chris had to work Christmas day, and I had a mid-day flight to Tallinn, Estonia, so we had a little morning festivus before heading off on our separate Christmas paths…

The city was beautiful, the people were friendly, and Christmas in the town that was the home of the Christmas tree seems like a suitably festive way to have celebrated this year. 🙂