Archiv für September 2012

Welcome to Estonia

Estonia – the north-eastern edge of European Union where the language is a nightmare to learn. Almost 50% of the country is forest with 1500 islands. The winters are freezing cold with a lot of beautiful snow.
If you are culturally passionate, you will for sure love all events which can be visited in Estonia because its cultural heritage is full of surprising contrasts coming from exotic to the heroic as well as from the romantic to the modern. Plenty of exciting events, exhibitions, theatre performances, festival and concerts can be visited all year round.
If you are more for historical sights, then visit the wonderful manors that were built across Estonia. Some of them have fallen already into ruins, but a lot of them have been reconstructed and now they are really popular by tourists. Increasing number of the manor houses have been converted into luxury hotels which are set in beautiful grounds and are known for their excellent restaurants, for instance Pädaste Manor on the Muhu Island, The Ammende Villa in Pärnu or Sagadi.
If you are more for relax and spa then Estonia is the right country for you. Seaside resorts and island spas offer a wide range of medical, relaxation and recreational procedures such as mud wraps, chocolate massages and salt treatments. The most popular spas are located in Pärnu, Haapsalu, Kuressaare or Värska.
In case you belong to bargain hunters, then you will for sure love shopping in this country because luxury items, alcohol or handcrafts are cheaper the in most countries of the EU. Do not forget to buy something from the food production – chocolate, preserves, milk products or smoked sausages. Food and sweets are great souvenirs for friends or family back home.
Do you like betting like Estonians? Then the casinos in Estonia will be the right for you. The best one is the Reval Part Hotel in Tallinn. Outside casinos the other legal options for you are betting on horses, scratch cards or stock market.

A Trip to Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is situated in the middle of taiga lowlands along the shores of the Neva Bay and islands of the river delta. This city is fast, cheap and unbelievably deep. It is considered this city is a cultural metropolis with a lot of cultural events all year round. Famous Kirov ballet and Opera society show their performances in the unique theatre Mariinsky. If this is not your cup of tea, you can try any of the night clubs which are usually open until early in the morning and during the White nights they are open all day long.
Admiralty building is one of the sights which should be seen. It was the main navy staff and now it is a navy university. However, the most important sight of Saint Petersburg is the Alexander Nevsky Monastery – the oldest and most important monastery of the city.
Peter and Paul Fortress is the oldest building in the city. In the past it defended the city and it was a jail as well where a lot of political prisoners served their sentences.
There are more than two hundred museums in this city, a lot of them in historical buildings. The largest one is the Hermitage Museum. The Kunstkamera collects curiosities from all over the world and it is sometimes considered as the first museum in Russia.
The last ten days in June are called White nights and people in Saint Petersburg celebrate till early in the morning. It is a famous festival of dance which includes performances from folk to ballet.
If you prefer shopping, than this city is the right one for you. You can buy whatever here, from valuable china to cheap boxes. Doll in dolls are everywhere. Original products can be found in Lomonosov factory. There is also increasing number of luxurious shopping malls with French, Italian or Russian haute couture.
The best accommodation in the newest and the most expensive hotels can be found in the centre. The biggest hotels from the past are father from the centre and also from the public transport. Official prices are always high. Discounts are possible if you book online or using travel agency.
Saint Petersburg is a mixture of styles and life extremes. It is wonderful and sad crumbling away at the same time. However, it is worth to see it.