Exploring Tartu by foot

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Emajõgi

walking along Emajõgi

walking along Emajõgi

spot the ducks ;)

spot the ducks 😉

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let’s make things easier for you

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Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square)

Kissing Students-statue

Kissing Students-statue

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Looks exactly like Diego... Maybe they're related ;)

Looks exactly like Diego… Maybe they’re related 😉

Cathedral ruins

Cathedral ruins

Decorations on the lampposts; you could

Decorations on the lampposts; you could “build” the persons by spinning the wooden blocks, quite a neat idea 🙂

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At the bus station (bussijaam), I bought lovely apple nectar, and Yaris snapped a picture of me “advertising” it 😛

There will probably be many posts like this with mostly pictures, because “a picture is worth more than a thousand words” 🙂 So far I’m loving it here; the weather’s been great (there was one windy day… Tuesday I think, but other than that it’s been sunny, hot and wonderful!), the people are great, and I’ve survived with my very limited Estonian skills 😉

//jz

Elamisluba ja ID-kaardi

Residence permit and ID-card – check!

Two of my future classmates met me at the dormitory, and we walked to the Population Registry Office together. The woman spoke enough English to help us fill in the paperwork, and we got our Estonian ID-codes 😀

Because we’re girls, and girls like chocolates, we stopped by at a Kalev-store (Estonian candy maker). I bought a bag with the 7 favourites of Kalev’s confections (very similar to the Fazerin Parhaat-mix we get in Finland). The bag (it was big) was only 2,40€ (wouldn’t have bought it had it been more expensive). I figured it’s a good way to try each of the confections without spending a fortune buying each separately. So far I’ve only tried four; Mesikäpp (chocolate with honey crumbs inside), Tallinn (rum flavoured wafer candy, surprisingly good!), Tõmmu (rum flavoured fondant candy, surprisingly good for a rum candy!) and Ananass (pineapple flavoured wafer candy, didn’t taste like pineapple, more citrus-y, but it was good nonetheless) 🙂

I also got a confirmation e-mail from my student insurance company, which makes me feel much more at ease… I won’t have to worry! I can’t believe there are people who go without insurances… of course you hope you won’t need it, but that if you do and you don’t have one?! Thankyou mom for convincing me it’s a good investment 🙂

What else..? Oh, I’ve met 2 out of 3 roommates; a girl from Germany who will only stay here until 24.8 because she’ll study at Tartu Ülikool (Univesity of Tartu) and move to their dorm (Erasmus program, 6 months), and a guy from France who will stay here (at Eesti Maaülikool, Estonian University of Life Sciences) for half a year (also a six month Erasmus program) 🙂 both of them are nice, and it’s so much fun for me to speak English and bring back my French a bit 🙂

Today I also got a preliminary program for our orientation week (24.8–>) – seems nice! A lot to do, a lot to consider, a lot to learn 🙂 I will most certainly not join the trip to the local beer factory (with a beer tasting included, 5€ to join), but I’m strongly considering all the other trips 🙂 It’s all starting to feel real now; I’m here, in Estonia, in Tartu, going to start my university studies, wow…!

I can’t believe how fast today has gone by! It’s already almost dinnertime! I still have some tuna-tomato-bean-pasta left hahaha Been eating it for 2 days already 😛 And I have at least 3 or 4 portions left in the freezer… gosh…
Oh, did I mention watermelon is supercheap over here! In the supermarket it’s 0,25€/kg!! (prize has been between 25 and 40 cents from what I’ve seen, supermarket, market place…). The nectarines are delicious, as are plums and apples! I love this place! 😀

Off to have some food now 🙂

//jz

P.S. As you can probably tell by the number of smileys I’ve used, I’m liking it here! The city, the weather, the atmosphere, the town, the people, everything 🙂

Tere tulemast Tartusse!

Or simply “welcome to Tartu!” 🙂

I arrived here on the 15th (this past Saturday). The night between Friday and Saturday I got roughly 5 hours of sleep (and I spent at least one hour crying my eyes out because I was so sad to leave the dogs, cats, frogs and snails (maybe my family too) behind. 😥

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We came to Estonia by ferry (2½ hours from Helsinki to Tallinn), and from there to Tartu by car (186 km, about 2 hours). I absolutely fell in love with the Estonian countryside! The fields that go on for as far as the eye can see, the old trees growing right next to the road, the cute little houses along the way… everything was so beautiful!

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20150815_155437I can’t wait for my blister (got it yesterday…) to heal up so I can get back to exploring the city full time. I’ve ventured into the nearby park, the grocery stores and the city centre (once, with a classmate).

Tomorrow we’re going to sort out some residence permits, and I will try to get my hands on a map of the city (can’t believe I haven’t done that yet… oh well! I haven’t ventured far enough to get lost yet! 🙂 )

I was in complete denial of this whole moving-living-studying abroad thing until now. I knew it was going to happen, but I chose not to accept the fact it was happening this soon. However, I’ve settled in quite nicely… but I’m scared of the language! Ma ei räägi Eesti keelt veel (I was trying to say “I don’t speak Estonian yet”..) I walk around with my “Smooth travelling in Estonian”-book (Sujuvaa matkaa Virkosi), I read every single sign at least twice, I try my best to pick up anything someone says… We’ll see how it goes! On 25th of August a course called Estonian for foreigners will start, so I’m hoping to learn something before that, and a lot during that course… I don’t like not being able to communicate properly…

Luckily I have 6 years to learn!!

//jz