Ok, I know I said I’d stop using the A word when talking about every city we see.
So Tallinn, Estonia is [click this link].
It is one of the oldest capitals in Europe, and is absolutely stunning, which comes across in two seconds if you are standing in one of the beautiful Old Town squares:
Get off the main square even a few streets and you’ll avoid a lot of the cruise ship crowds. Sometimes having the entire beautiful, charming, medieval street to yourself:
Note: trying out a new little web trick. Click the first picture, then a player thing should pop up. Use the left/right arrows or swipe to browse them. When done, click the little “x” in the upper left to get back to this page. 1
Addressing the business side of our trip.
Or so I was led to believe. Because Lauren found a trendy department store place on the edge of old town and convinced me that we should take a look. “Market research” she called it.
Well. This is what market research looks like:
Yep. I hold the stuff; she tries it on.3
Then she told me this “sweater” was very trendy:
…And I told her she looked like a flying squirrel. 4
But it’s not just Old Town.
I took a little three hour adventure outside of Old Town this morning to do laundry.5 And I ended up in a sort of business district. Which was also awesome:
Clean, shiny, new. With well dressed ladies and gents everywhere.6
So Tallinn is a pretty amazing capital all around – it’s not just the awesome old town. I’ll eventually do a full “country profile” post,7 but at a glance we are very impressed with the country. Some quick facts for those interested:8
- about 400,000 of Estonia’s 1.3 million citizens call Tallinn home
- The population is about 70% Estonian, 25% Russian, at least 2 American tourists9, and the rest a mix;
- Interestingly, in Tallinn about 50% cite Estonian as their first language and the other 50% Russian. There are some interesting political issues at play. I’ll save that for a future post.
- Estonia is about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined;
- Joined the EU and NATO in 2004;
- Adopted the Euro currency in 2011;
- GDP = $35 billion
- GDP per capita = $27,000
- Budget surplus/(deficit) = -0.2%10
- Debt to GDP = 9.9% 11
So that’s it for now.
Thanks for reading,
Sherpa (& Flying Squirrel)
Note 2: I hope it works. ↩
As crazy as it sounds, the pics do not do it justice. It… Is.Gorgeous.↩
…lovingly. No, seriously. We both laughed! ↩
Yep. Seeking out self-service laundry is the unglamorous part of this trip. ↩
I think I was near a mini-hub of private equity, investment funds, and other financial service firms based on the signs. ↩
…if I can ever get caught up… ↩
Lauren and I, obvs. ↩
…basically the gov’t balances the budget. Awesome ↩
Also awesome in this day ‘n age. ↩