Arriving in a town on a Sunday, when there is a bit to see in it is not the best. Not here in Estonia anyway. All museums are shut on Mondays and Tuesdays and reopen on Wednesdays, usually at 11am. And so, I arrived in Tartu on a Sunday. Not the best day obviously but it does make for more imaginative planning for Monday and Tuesday.
So yesterday I ran around Tartu trying to find these dotty orange cups they have here in hostel (B&B)Terviseks. They're lovely bone china, nothing fancy but ever so joyful to look at and feel so nice in the hand. Apparently this is what every household had as they were manufactured somewhere in the Ukraine. Unfortunately, all the second hand shops I visited only had clothes. What else to do?
Oh yes, get my photos burned on CD. Get some photos printed for postcards. And go the movies. I went and saw Pirates of the Carribean. What an interesting cinema. No high school student selling tickets or popcorn in sight. Instead, the whole cinema was run by women in their 50's and 60's. What a great change and refreshing to see too. And the film itself screened in English with Estonian AND Russian subtitles keeping everyone happy. And after the film, everyone put their rubbish in the bin. How respectful. None of this leaving your crap for someone else to clean up regardless of the fact that there is a bin on the way out. Honestly, seeing how Estonians conduct themselves makes me think it would be nice if Australians adopted some of this respectful behaviour. Especially what they have shown on the road. (I'm not saying all Australians are disrepectful and I'm not saying all Estonians are but there is a lot more aggression on our roads than I have seen here that's for sure - and a lot more tidiness too.)
And, I also ran around trying to get in contact with my German friend Reinhard who had so kindly provided me with a (very) thorough itinerary of his 3 week cycling tour throughout the Baltics including towns to be visited, days to be spent there, kilometre travelled and accommodation possibilities. It seemed that we were going to meet up in Tartu following my unplanned plan. But, after two fruitless attempts at trying to reach him at the hotel he had written on said itinerary and then reading through email that he had booked himself into a hostel he thought I was staying at (but wasn't!!) this really needed a phone call. My hostel owner kindly offered his mobile and so it was that last night we caught up. Didn't think that it would actually work this unplanned plan but it did.
And so it was that today, Reinhard accompanied me on yet another teacup buying mission. This time to the depths of the suburbs in what was a kind of 2nd hand warehouse. I was in heaven. They had some beautiful Soviet crockery which I know will cost me a fortune to ship home but....It's only a couple. They're light. And rows and rows and rows of books. And furniture. And clothes. And toys. Even Estonians, it seems have a throwaway culture although by the time it reaches a second hand store most of the stuff has had a good go at life. Unlike our 2nd hand stores where people throw out new stuff. And a big gold star to Reinhard for his patience too. But it wasn't in vein. He bought some teacups too.
So tonight, we'll go out for a hearty meal and tomorrow we'll again go our separate ways. Me hoping to fit in a visit to the toy museum before heading southeast and Reinhard heading northwest (with no stop in the toy museum). And then, maybe next time I blog it will be from Latvia?
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