Tuesday, 19 September 2017
The Estonia 100 logo symbolises one hundred years of being independent, and we can all contribute to the celebrations. Simply choose your favourite picture and use it to design your own personal Estonia 100 logo. It's easy!
You can design your own personalised logo here: EV 100 logo design
Above is my design featuring the fabric from Nõo parish (where my family are from).
The Republic of Estonia will celebrate its 100th anniversary on the 24th February 2018. To mark the occasion Kalev chocolates have released a collection of sweet treats bearing the EV100 logo. Kalev is Estonia's oldest and most famous chocolate maker. No Estonian party is complete without a bit of Kalev!
For more information, please click here: Kalev EV100 chocolates
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
For my summer holiday this year I decided to travel to beautiful Polska! My brother has been living in Krakow for the past two years and has found himself a nice Polish girlfriend and a good circle of international friends and so I thought it was time to go and see them. After a brief trip in the former capital last year, I wanted to stay a bit longer in Poland this time so we decided to rent a lovely holiday cottage in picturesque Murzasichle. Murzasichle is a two hour drive from Krakow and only 15 minutes away from beautiful Zakopane. What a great week I had!
My brother has found a new home for himself in Poland. What began as a holiday travelling across Europe has turned into a permanent base. Earlier this year he started a hospitality business that has gone from strength to strength. I am very proud of him. I especially love how he has incorporated the colours of the Estonian flag into his logo!
I have visited Poland several times but one place I have been eager to explore is Zalipie. It's a charming village in South-Eastern Poland that is renown for its folk art buildings. It's not a place you come to by chance however, you have to be quite deliberate about getting there as its deep in the Polish countryside. I really enjoyed the one and a half hour drive from to Zalipie from Krakow. I passed by so many beautiful houses along the way with immaculately kept gardens. I was impressed!
The Zalipie folk art tradition started over a century ago, when every single female resident in the village begun to paint her home with floral motives, as a means to cover up particular faults. Cute!
Beautiful folk art!
Even the simpliest of things are made to look beautiful.
As a predominantly Catholic country, Poland has many beautiful churches.
Several of them in the Murzasichle area are made from wood.
Prior to arriving in Murzasichle I had no idea there was a seperate ethnic group living in Poland called the Goral people. They are known to be very good at woodwork and have a distinct folk costume. The Gorals operate the horse and carriage rides in Zakopane and one of their specialities is the production of 'oscypki', a smoked cheese that can be found practically everywhere. It's absolutely delicious!
My Polish home for a week.
This house design is typical for the area and is known as a 'domek'.
There are few cultural similarities between Estonia and Poland. Apart from the bus stops having the same blue signs, occasionally I would come across a house that vaguely resembled an Estonian one in terms of paint colour or window design. Both countries share a love for wooden houses, but unfortunately they don't all withstand the elements. During my trips into Zakopane I saw many houses with fire damage.
A popular tourist spot that is great to visit in both summer and winter.
All the goodies I brought home with me.
Beautiful folk art is one of favourite things!
So what's next on the agenda? My brother and I are both going home to Australia for Christmas. It's been a while since the family has all been together and I can't wait ti see all my nieces and nephews again. After that, it be time to head back to Eesti for EV100 - can't wait!
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Thursday, 31 August 2017
With celebrations already underway for the 100th birthday of the Estonian Republic, I thought I should get myself organised and book my flight to Tallinn for the big day on February 24! I know it's only August but I have to be realistic, flights will only become more expensive as time goes by and good accommodation will most definitely become scarce. Now I can relax knowing everything has been taken care of.
I arrive on February 22nd which is an important date for me, it's my grandmother's birthday amongst other things. One thing I am particularly looking forward to during my next trip to Estonia is exploring the new Estonian National Museum in Tartu. Judging by the photographs I have seen online the exhibitions look absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to see them for myself!
No trip to Estonia is ever complete without bringing home at least half a dozen loaves of delicious rye bread. It's sacred to all Estonians! Let's see how many loaves I manage to fit into my suitcase this time! I'm striving for 10+!
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
The Estonian Stress Buster is on a mission to help stressed-out people across Europe with the awesome power of pure nature. Using facial recognition technology he identifies stressed out individuals and employs the sounds of nature and a pop-up forest to bust their stress. For the permanent cure, the Estonian Stress Buster sends people on a trip to Estonia!
Great ideas keep coming out of Estonia! I love it!
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
The proposal to issue crypto tokens would make the Republic of Estonia the first country with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
‘Estcoins’ could be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone in the world through its e-Residency programme and launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The tokens can not be counterfeited and the government oversight means they can not be used for illegal activities.
As an investment opportunity, estcoins could benefit Estonia and be attractive to investors from the day it is launched. In time, estcoins could also be accepted as payment for both public and private services and eventually function as a viable currency used globally. If there is support for this proposal, then the next stage before the ICO would be to provide a white paper that outlines the value of estcoins and how the investment will be used to develop our digital nation. It is likely to begin as a pilot project that can be scaled up based on demand.
This is an interesting concept with much appeal. More information about estcoin can be found here: Estonia could offer ‘estcoins’ to e-residents
Monday, 21 August 2017
If you are Estonian and love motor sports then you'll be thrilled to know that Ott Tänak won the ADAC 'Rally in Germany yesterday. The win couldn't have come on a better day - Estonia's Day of Restoration of Independence. It was a great win and he has made Estonia proud. Congratulations'!
More information on the ADAC Rally can be found here: Tänak gewinnt ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2017 & Ott Tänak wins second WRC in Germany
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Today Estonians across the globe commemorate the restoration of their country's independence. On this day I think of the brave men who fought for Estonia's indenpendence, those who suffered during the occupation and those who had a vision for Estonia's future and worked tirelessly to make it happen. I thank you.
On this day, the beautiful blue, black and white Estonian flag will proudly be display in my home and the words of the national anthem will never be far from my mind. Elagu Eesti!
National Anthem: Estonia - Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Saturday, 19 August 2017
In 2018, the Republic of Estonia will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The centenary programme began in April 2017 and continues through to February 2020 to mark all of the most important milestones in the emergence of Estonia’s statehood. All Estonians living abroad are invited to visit Estonia during the celebrations. It will be a great time to reconnect with family, see how our beloved homeland has developed and fill our hearts with national pride. I will definitely be back in Estonia next February. There is no place I would rather be!
Estonians worldwide are invited to come celebrate Estonia's centenary!
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Tallinn changes and develops constantly, and even in a few short years, some places can change beyond recognition. In order to show how much has changed in the capital, this test features a collection of images from Tallinn's recent and more distant past. They are set in a comparative test with modern photographs. Put your memory and logic to the test!
To take the test, please click here: Kas tunned need Tallinna paigad aastakümnete tagustelt fotodelt ära?
Monday, 14 August 2017
If you love Anton Hansen Tammsaare's epic work Truth & Justice then you'll be pleased to know that a new film version is currently being filmed in Mõniste Municipality, south-eastern Estonia. The film is based on volume one of the five book series that was originally published in 1926.
The cast of the film adaptation includes Priit Loog as Andres, Priit Võigemast as Pearu, Maiken Schmidt as Krõõt, Ester Kuntu as Mari and Simeoni Sundja as Juss.
"Truth and Justice" is scheduled to premiere in February 2019.
More information (in Estonian) can be found here: Tõe ja õiguse - filmimine on raske nagu eestlase elu
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Great to see Muhu Island feature on the list! It's a truly beautiful place.
Muhu Island, Estonia
Just 45 minutes from Saaremaa, the country’s bigger island known for its spruce trees and beer, Muhu feels like a fairytale with its old trestle windmills and squat wooden houses. The centuries-old Pädaste Manor, the only five-star hotel outside Tallinn, offers gourmet cuisine, a wood-burning sauna and private horse rides around the island, says Tepper.
Here's the top eight locations from the Travel and Leisure website:
The Cotswolds, England
Muhu Island, Estonia
Beara Penninsula, Ireland
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Pueblo Garzón, Uruguay
To read the full article, please click here:
8 Places in the World Where You Can Get Some Peace and Quiet
Monday, 7 August 2017
Feel inspired to visit Estonia by watching this breathtaking video by Norwegian filmmaker Erik Thomas Kirkman. The filmmaker visits Estonia several times each year to spend time with his wife's family who live near Haapsalu. Estonia has become his second home.
It's hard not to fall in love with Estonia's natural, unspoilt beauty. The more you visit, the more you will want to go back.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Introduced as part of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, Easymile driverless buses began operating a limited route in Central Tallinn just after noon on Saturday. The buses are free to use and available between the Mere puiestee (Mere Avenue) stop and Tallinn Creative Hub. Operating hours are from 8:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m, Monday to Saturday. The trial shuttles are scheduled to remain in service through to the end of August and then will be returned to France. During the first three days of operation, the buses had a few close calls but nothing that required an emergency response.
Source: ERR News
More information can be found here: No major incidents with driverless buses in first three days
Sunday, 30 July 2017
Did you know that the first synthetic rubber that had commerical success was synthesised in Estonia?
Ivan Lavrentyevich Kondakov (1857–1931) took a post as pharmaceutics professor at the University of Tartu in 1895. In 1900, he became the first in the world to synthesise a product that had similar properties to natural rubber. He published his discovery in 1901 and wrote the first monograph on synthetic rubber in Tartu in 1912. The method he used, resulting in methyl rubber, is known today as the Kondakov process.
The Kondakov’s invention quickly took on commercial significance, as demand for scarce and costly natural rubber outstripped supply in the early 20th century, especially due to the booming automotive industry. The Kondakov’s invention was the first synthetic rubber that entered production on an industrial scale.
Today there are more than 200 types of synthetic rubber available. The most common products made from these materials include bicycle and automobile tyres
Source: Estonian Research on Facebook
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
The Estonian language is beautiful but can be quite tricky to pronounce. To help you during your next trip to Tallinn, Visit Tallinn has put together this very useful list of Estonian phrases. They're sure to come in handy!
Short summer vocabulary
Hi - Tere
How are you? - Kuidas läheb?
Good - Hästi
I’m on a holiday - Olen puhkusel.
I like summer. - Mulle meeldib suvi.
I like it here - Mulle meeldib siin.
Lovely weather - Ilus ilm
Sun is shining - Päike paistab.
It’s cloudy today - Täna on pilvine.
It is raining - Sajab.
I like thunder and rain - Mulle meeldib äike ja vihm.
Stormy sea is awesome! - Tormine meri on äge!
Winter is coming - Talv tuleb.
Two scoops of ice-cream please - Kaks palli jäätist palun.
Chocolate - Šokolaad
Vanilla - Vanilje
Two more please - Kaks veel palun
Strawberry - Maasikas
Blueberry - Mustikas
Let's have a BBQ - Grillime
Shashlik - Šašlõkk
Burger - Burger
Beer - Õlu
Party - Pidu
I want to ride my bicycle - Tahan rattaga sõita.
Let’s rent bikes and ride by the seaside - Laenutame rattad ja sõidame mere ääres.
I’m going to the Pirita beach - Ma lähen Pirita randa.
I want to swim with the locals - Tahan kohalikega koos ujuda.
Let’s climb the towers of Old Town! - Ronime vanalinna tornides!
I’m afraid of heights - Ma kardan kõrgust.
Don’t be afraid - Ära karda.
I’ll hold your hand - Ma hoian sul käest kinni.
Let’s walk in Kadriorg park - Lähme jalutame Kadrioru pargis.
Will you come with me? - Kas sa tuled ka minuga?
We’re relaxing - Me tšillime.
We’re hanging out - Me hängime.
Source: Short summer vocabulary for your Tallinn trip
Monday, 24 July 2017
The Government Office is creating a web store for the Estonian centenary that will sell merchandise branded with the visual identity of the EV100 or Estonia 100 program.
The store will sell centenary merchandise and will have to guarantee the delivery of all the products as well as working logistics behind the scenes.
The Government Office has specified that the store needs to be available in Estonian as well as Russian and English, and that there needs to be a product search function. The web store also needs to work with all the “most common” browsers, and be adaptable for mobile display. An authentication feature for the customers is not required.
The public tender now open to bidders also includes customer service and correspondence in Estonian, Russian and English, and if needed a way to buy back goods.
What exactly they are planning to sell in the web store is not yet known. According to the tender, the list of products is open—though the state as the commissioning party retains the right to change the selection of the shop at any given time.
Source - ERR News: http://news.err.ee/609041/estonia-to-get-centenary-web-store
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then no doubt you are enjoying the summer and busy planning your next getaway. Last year I spent my summer holiday in Hungary. It's a country I've always been curious about but only recently set time aside to visit. As Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group I wanted to see if I could detect any similarities but there are few. The only time I thought Hungariam resembled Estonian was when I heard it in the background on the TV and the melody of the language, the rising and falling of the pitch, reminded me of Estonian.
I must admit I knew very little about Hungary before my trip. In primary school I had a good friend, Suzanne, who was Hungarian and I remember she often ate desserts with lots of cinnamon. Once I arrived in Budapest I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a very popular city with tourists. I heard a lot of foreign languages spoken on the street and everyone seemed to speak English. Budapest is a very vibrant city full of intersting places to visit. Unfortunately in the three days I was there, I didn't have time to see them all. But there's always next time!
Budapest is divided into two section by the Danube River - 'Buda' and 'Pest'.
I stayed in Pest.
The impressive Parliament Buildings.
They contain the Hungarian Crown Jewels.
This underground station was the only thing I found that
vaguely resembled an Estonian word.
Budapest has many charming old train stations. Some lines of the underground still
use trains dating back to the 19th century. The wooden interiors and individual light
fittings really felt like I was stepping back in time.
The stone bridge with the lion bridgeheads was the first permanent
connection between Buda and Pest.
The Danube Promenade
60 pairs of steel sculpted shoes can be found here to commemorate
the Jews who were shot here during WWII.
Heroes' Square and the Millennium Monument
This is a nice part of town featuring many interesting buildings, sculptures and gardens.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Impressive interior. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower
to gain an excellent view of the city.
Budapest has many lovely parks and gardens.
The Rubik Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor
of architecture Ernő Rubik.
Hungarian post box.
No trip to Budapest is complete without a cruise along the Danube river.
There are many different tours to choose from that depart regularly.
Budapest was an absolutely lovely city that surpassed my expectations.
I will defintely return one day!
This year I will spend my summer holiday in beautiful Poland. My brother has been living in Krakow for the past two years and we will hire a holiday cottage for a week. I am especially looking forward to visiting the salt mines, Zakopane and the enchanting Polish folk art village of Zalipie. Can't wait!
A team comprising Witteveen+Bos, plein06 and Novarc Group recently won a global competition to design Estonia's first movable pedestrian bridge in the old harbor of the Tallinn capital. Their winning scheme, “New Balance 100” — whose name pays tribute to the country's ongoing centennial celebration — was chosen for its aesthetic form and technical balancing solutions. According to the team, the bridge is currently scheduled for completion in late 2018.
To learn more, please click here: Estonia's first movable pedestrian bridge in Tallinn
Sunday, 16 July 2017
A banknote collector recently contacted me with an interesting question. He asked if I had an English translation for the text written on the back of the old 100 kroon Estonian banknote. I must admit I didn't know the answer off the top of my head, but I soon found out!
The extract is taken from the poem 'Unenägu' (Dream) written by Estonian poet Lydia Koidula.
United stand the ends of the bridge (Silla otsad ühendatud)
Bearing a single fatherland (Kandes ühte isamaad)
The truth´s temple hallowed … (Tõe templiks pühendatud …)
Dream – when shalt thou become true?! (Nägu – millal tõeks saad?!)
'Unenägu' (Dream) was written by Lydia Koidula in 1881.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Juhan Liiv (30 April 1864 - 1 December 1913) is one of Estonia's most famous poets. His poem 'Ta lendab mesipuu poole' (He flies to the beehive) is often sung at the Estonian Song Festive. It's a soul touching song loved by many. The below image features text taken from the first verse.
He flies from flower to flower
And flies toward the bee tree;
And the frock shines up -
He flies toward the bee tree.
And thousands also fall on the road:
Thousands are coming home
And they will endeavor and care
And fly to the bee tree.
Juhan Liiv - Ta lendab mesipuu poole (1910)
Ta lendab lillest lillesse
ja lendab mesipuu poole;
ja tõuseb kõuepilv ülesse —
ta lendab mesipuu poole.
Ja langevad teele ka tuhanded:
veel koju jõuavad tuhanded
ja viivad vaeva ja hoole
ja lendavad mesipuu poole.
Kuis süda mul tuksud sa rahuta,
kuis kipud sa isamaa poole!
Kesk kodumaad — siiski nii koduta,
mis ihkad sa tema poole!
kuis püüad sa välja kahtlusest,
kuis ikka leiad sa tema eest,
kuis rõhub rusuja voole
sind, tungides tema poole!
Oh sina, kes oled sa väljamaal,
kuis õhkad sa isamaa poole!
kes väljamaal oled raskel a'al —
kuis ihkad sa tema poole!
Ja puhugu vastu sul surmatuul
ja lennaku vastu surmakuul —
hing tõuseb isamaa poole!
Ei ole sa, süda, väljamaal,
kust ihkaks sa kodu poole.
Sa oled kodu, kesk isamaa raal
ja otsid teed tema poole.
Teed otsin, oh teed otsin ma
ja suren ja ärkan tund tunniga:
kuid kuhu mind viskab ka voole:
hing tõuseb säält sinu poole.