Otepää winter capital of Estonia

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I had to go to Tartu with my class on Friday, we arranged to stay until Saturday night in the South Estonia. We spent Friday night in a private house we booked for ourselves.

Wooden chalet in South Estonia

Wooden chalet in South Estonia

http://www.flickr.com/photos/guillaumespeurt/sets/72157632854197149

Night with classmate

Arriving in Otepää

The trip actually start in the morning in Tallinn, we met in the city centre and go by cars to Tartu where we met the company we are doing project with. Once the visit of it and the discussion passed, we were free to do what we wanted. Five of us drive by car to Otepää, the Estonian winter capital, and the four others took the bus to the city. I was one of the bus traveller and was surprised to see that we managed to be earlier in the city… much more earlier.

Estonian countryside in Otepää

Estonian countryside in Otepää

The house we rented wasn’t in the (small) city centre but outside. It took about 20 minutes to walk there following the main road, between the hills and forest. The landscape is really nice. When we find the house we started preparing the arrival of the rest of us. I choose my bed, on the couch and downstairs!

When they came we had a long discussion for what we will do next… too long for me. We finally went to the shop to get drinks and food for the night and morning, and then ate in a restaurant.

Awesome snowtubing

Estonian tradition, sledging is a must do activity for whoever visit the country during winter. Easy, cheap and fun, it is one of the think which can make me go out in the night by -10°C ! We paid five euros for almost a hour of ride in slopes. I was grandly surprised by the quality of the track. You go really fast and the slope is steep! The first time I did, in the dark, I have been really afraid 😀 I wasn’t expecting such thing.

Little squirrel with wine bottle

Little squirrel with wine bottle

After that we stayed in the house, eating chocolate fondue, had sauna, and talked. I fell asleep at 4h and I woke up with a squirrel teddy. Awkward time.

Quick city tour

An early morning with a new friend (the one with fake fur), I hardly left my comfortable « bed » and dressed up to not get too cold. The girls made a nice breakfast: little pancakes! Once finish they started planing how to fill the day, I said that I don’t want to stay more in the city to do snowtubing and that I preferred to be in Tartu earlier than them to see the city in the daylight. Two Chinese girls wanted to join me to be even earlier in Tallinn.

We have been led by car to the coach station where we expected to buy bus tickets to Tartu. It was not the case, city is too small and we must buy from the driver. On Sunday there are many buses, mostly coming from Valga and going to Tartu, something like every hour. Good for us, our next bus let us one full hour to visit the city.

Ponies and children

Ponies and children

I have to say that the centre is not so good, better stay in the « countryside » because except the Town Hall and the church of Saint Mary, you won’t find any interesting things. I must say that behind the Town Hall was a « winter tent » with children’s activities and ponies :) and that was cool. The funniest moment for me was maybe when one the Chinese girl get in the bus, a old soviet style bus, and ask me « is there wifi here? » very seriously! 😀

 

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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