Talinn tales

Our first tea break in Talinn was in this delightful courtyard, where tea was served in a gorgeous handthrown teapot! As we saw more I noticed there were countless potters in Talinn, however am afraid I forgot to take pictures!

The only time we spotted police officers was here, in front of the Russian embassy, they were stationed there permanently as far as I could tell. It was a respectful tribute to Navalny and others who have been persecuted by Russian authorities. Many stopped to check out the posters and to take photos, like us. Estonia has a long, long history of having been occupied by other nations: Danes, Swedes, Baltic-Germans, Russians.....The Estonians are a fiercely proud people who treasure their independence, language and culture. They know the need for NATO and the EU. We noticed army helicopters fly over Talinn once or twice as our visit coincided with a Steadfast Defender NATO ally exercise.

The sea side! For my 61st birthday I wanted to swim in the Baltic and that's what happened, my husband took several images of me, but there is very little to see;-) 
The water's very shallow for a long stretch so I had to wade in until I was knee-deep and as it was mighty cold, I forced myself to just dive in...bbbbrrrrrrr but of course it was more than worth it, I emerged feeling rejuvenated and ready for the new year

Yet another lovely café this time one was transported to Paris....

all those magical doorways....

the puppet-maker-shop!

My favourite shop in Talinn! yes of course I had to stock up and I bought these two, not just because of the titles, I love the Ladybird series! Whenever, where ever I can I try and support proper bookshops by buying books in their shops, especially as there are hardly any close to our home where I can easily lay my hands on English/American copies. One of the things I love about these Estonian bookshops is that they not only sell new books, but lots of second-hand copies as well. We visited the English Bookshop several times (and yes I bought more, saving that for next post). On one such occasion the mother(in law) managed the store and as soon as she discovered we were foreigners she asked us, in English, from where we hailed. Once she learned we are Dutch she told us such a sweet story. Soon after Estonia's independence travel became a lot easier and one of her first trips abroad was to The Netherlands during tulip time. She remembered vividly how she caught her first glimpse of our country: the long strips of land, all neatly next to each other and the enourmous tulip fields she saw from above! That was such a magical sight, she of course visited the Keukenhof. She also mentioned how Estonians look forward to the tulips blooming each year, as this signifies yet another year of freedom! So she was delighted to welcome two Dutch customers in her shop and we in turn were delighted by her sharing.

the peace-bird badges are from a differnt bookshop and are originals made in the USSR, there were literally hundreds of them for sale

so many lovely buildings with amazing doors, street art, sex-for-sale

lots of quaint cafés, decorations, signs, shops in the Old Town

another bookstore, their logo felt really familiar...

old wooden houses and modern-day murals in Kalamaja district

Kadriorg Palace museum  presents a fine example of Baltic Baroque. Both the Estonian and the German name for the palace means "Catherine's valley". It was built in 1718–1725 to Nicola Michetti's designs, commisioned by Czar Peter the Great. We were suitably impressed.

impressive heating system

Abram Arhipov  (1862-1930)
Girl in Red, 1916
I love her attitude

unknown Flemish artist in the manner of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) details from 'Christ driving the trades from the temple'

Situated in the same park lies the KUMU Art Museum, click on link to get a view of the building, it is pretty amazing.
There was lots to see there but I'm not going to bore you with all of my photo's. However, I do want to mention one artist in particular: Elisar von Kupffer (1872-1942). An artist I had never heard of before. His work surprised me in scale and scope. As did the subject matter: pretty naked men....it is poetic, humourous and uncompromising. He has managed to create a world of his own, both in his paintings as well as in the villa he built (1925) together with his life-partner Eduard von Mayer in the town of Minuiso on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland. In time it developed into the Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion. In 1939 an extension was built called The Rotunda to house his giant circular painting Die Klarwelt der Seligen (The Clear World of the Blissful). In 1978 on the initiative of art historian and curator Harold Szeeman, the cyclorama was moved to the Monte Verita Foundation museum complex in Ascona (to save it) where it has been on display since 2020, following a major restoration.  
Seems like this is yet another place we must visit....

beehives in museum garden
notes visitors left
where we descended as we made our way around the entire museum, not the official route as it turned out
Sleeping Dog 1910, Paul Raud

Ene-Liis Semper 1969, video - am afraid I did not make a note of the title

Seagull, 2006 installation  
Villu Jaanisoo 

Elisar von Kupffer

that was Talinn

p.s. have to mention how much we enjoyed eating out, Talinn has much to offer food-wise, from Indian to vegan and everything in between,  it is popular with tourists for wining and dining.....we had 1 evening meal in the airb&b and wine every evening, so much for my year's sobriety, ah well YOLO


Liz A said…
I'm sure Snoopy was ever-so-happy to have you home again ... but what a lovely jaunt you had

I scrolled back to the image of the arm emerging from the sun, with the crescent moon and stars ... quite intriguing
Nancy said…
Saskia~ Boy, what a great trip you had!! That "Girl in Red" is sure a pro at stink-eye!! lol
Saskia said…
To be honest Liz, I'm not so sure he was that impressed, by my absence nor my presence hahahahahaha!! Yes, that hand, the hand of god I think it's meant to be, a shame I did not think to take a photo of the entire painting, a minor mystery
Saskia said…
wasn't it just Nancy!!! it always amazes me how much there is to see/read/learn/taste/do/et cetera away from home (and there's already so much to experience in one's own backyard)



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