Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hello Wellington!

We arrived in Wellington, New Zealand today, and we were very happy to get out of our travel case and have a look around.  Our host family were so excited to meet us both, and to find out a bit about where we live in Germany. 
This is the view from our house. We sat on the windowsill, where we could see Wellington harbour, rail yards, the sports stadium and even a cruise ship. 
As you can imagine, travelling so far was exhausting.  One of the children here made us some sleeping bags, and we were happy to try them out and have a nap while our family went shopping. 

After we woke up refreshed, we went for a walk with the family to the playground.  On the way we saw a familiar crest on the front of the German Embassy!  Home isn't so far away after all.
It was wonderful to sit in the sunshine and breathe the clean fresh air in New Zealand.  Hans was in a playful mood and had fun climbing in a tree.
It is spring here, and the bees are buzzing in the flowers.  Great big fuzzy bumble bees! Gardens are beautiful at this time of year with blooms of roses everywhere.
Once we got home, we sat for a while watching the harbour in the late afternoon sun.  We can't wait to explore Wellington!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Last day in Tallinn - we are preparing our journey back home

 This is a handmade soap with seasalt and mint. This things, and we mean naturald things, are becoming more and more popular in Estonia. This is just one example. Behind us is Lotte, Estonian very own kids cartoon character. It is very popular, kids really like it. There are even mugs, phones and many other accessorises wiyh Lotte. It's even translated to other languages.
 We are in chocolate sandwich! They have they'r very own chocolate factory. Yummy! We take some of it with us.
 Beside the chocolate they make candies and cakes too. There is little cafe in old town called Maiasmokk/Sweettooth where you can buy some delicious sweets. The chocolates and candies are in every shop in Estonia, so don't worry if you don't make it there. There is also some shops in malls.
 And this is a story of our hostess. We met her at There is hint on the picture - she likes to knit, mostly kid's socks. If you are intrested more take a look to facebook soojad jalad/warm feet. Handcraft has become more and more populat in Estonia. And not just knitting - everything handmade is very precious. We have yarn shops, bead shops (mainly web shops) and shop that sells things from what you can make your oen candles and creams. That art was forgotten some time ago (not for all people afcourse) but has now risen from ashes.
We met a nice estonian lady who wears theyr national costume. It's not the only one, it depends of the location. She was kind enought to keep us company on our way back. Intresting thing about estonian women - since they are so beautifyl, men around the world are looking for them, from USA, india and so on. Some ladies our hostess knows are married to foreign man, most of them moved away from Estonia. So this was Tallinn, Estonia. There is also a zoo and botanical garden and other nice places in Tallinn, but we leave it for the next time. Acually, if we visit Estonia again some day, we should visit country side , there is lot to see: lakes, swamps, forrests, plants who are eating insects, witch well (yes you read it cirrectly), wild animals, national museums how the life was a long time ago and so on.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

At the Estonian beach

We told you Estonia is half surrounded with the sea, finally we got proof of it. This is a Pelgulinna beach, very popular during the summer, very hard to find a free spot on a sand. And there is also a great part, lot of free grass to sunbath and play with kids. Very nice place to visit. Since it's cold when we visited it, we kept our cloths on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outside of old town

And finally we are leaving from Old Town. This is the square park, still nice an green.
 This is typical woodplank house in town. It is restored, one of the oldest one in Tallinn (but not the oldest one). This kind of houses in typical in other towns in Estonia too, but not in country side. In countryes the typical houses were made of the tree-trunk, they were massive. With small windows and doors, the oldest ones had floor made of dirt. And the ceilings were very low. Roofs were made from the straws (thached roof).
And this is typical slum street, i does look better now than it did a century ago or more. One book is coming from these streets, it's called Vutimehed. Kassisaba poisid/Football guys. Cattail boys (free translation). It talkes about poor estonian families through boys life, It took place when there was German in lead, so they had some conflicts with them. The name cattail is the region name in Tallinn, near to Old Town.
So finally one more picture of the church, you saw the towers on so many pictures before. So this is a Kaarli Church. There is only 2 churches in Estonia that has two towers, this is one of them. The other one is not in Tallinn. And it looks very very pretty when sunset is "landing" on it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today we visited the Old Town (fourteenth part)

 So we are going to take a closer looks now. We love the inside peek! It's almost like going back in time! 
 We rally wish we could see how did it all look when it was it's "time". As you can see there is hole in the wall where we can enter. These towers look really old, wish we could look inside.
On of the old classical movies has party being filmed in old town. It's called Viimne reliikvia/Last relic. A medieval love story with lots of adventures.
 The times are troubled - there's a revolt of peasants going on. To secure its safety a monastery chases for a relics of a holy Brigitte. A nobleman promises to get it if he gets beautiful Agnes as a reward. But she fells in love with a handsome adventurer.
 The monastery has to act shrewd now and play double game. The movie is still the best achievement of the Estonian cinema. Based on a novel.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Today we visited the Old Town (thirteenth part)

 Now we went out of old town, this is the outside look of the Towers Square.
 Guess where did the place got it's name? That's correct - many many towers.
And thos sqare use to be moat asweell.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Today we visited the Old Town (twelfth part)

 This is Old Town city wall. It was biult in 14th century, to keep pagans away from the city (silly isn't it?).
 It is now open for everyone who wish to visit it.
 There is also historical info.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Today we visited the Old Town (eleventh part)

 And this is the oldest church in Tallinn, built in 14th century.
And the door and windows are crafted also with care. Inside furniture is made from wood, painted and looks much smaller than newer churches.
  The clock is one of the oldest in the city, specialy made, it hase angels in the corners.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today we visited the Old Town (tenth part)

 This is the house of Brotherhood of Black Heads. You can read more on the sign. The oldest document that is found to tell us about black heads is from 28th march 1400.
  It is brotherhood that connected single merchants and ship owners. They were tightly connected to church too. That brotherhood was unique - it's only in Estonia and Latvia in Europe.
This is the house of Canute Guild. It is first time mentioned on 1326. At the beginning it was spiritual brotherhood but later it joined the best handcrafts men. Mostly from Germany.
 There were jewelers, gloves makers, watchmakers, hat makers, bakers, painters. It was closed on 1920. As you see Estonia have been important through the history because of it's location - it connects many places through land and sea, so it was very good for exchanging goods.
 The reason why there have been many wars in Estonia. It has been under Germany, Russia and Sweden power. History tells us that when the country was under Sweden, it was "good old sweden time".

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today we visited the Old Town (ninth part)

 We saw so many souvenir shops in the city! It's impossible to come back with empty hands.
In the window you see some typical souvenirs - things made of wool, wood, linen, all the things that have pic of Tallinn on them,
 and dolls with estonian national costumes.
 Walking around the old town, we saw another market outside. There were really beautiful amber jewelry, knitted and felted clothes. Really suits to that picture. So if you are visiting Estonia on the cold part of the ear - don't worry, warm clothes are being sold almost on every corner.