Estonia

Tallinn is one of my favorite new cities. If you have the opportunity to go, I HIGHLY recommend it. Tallinn is a very old city that has a medieval twist to it. In the center of the city, there are multiple stands where the workers/owners were dressed up in medieval wear. It was awesome that most of the local people in the main square were dressed up. It was a little but touristy, but it wasn’t on the same level of Rome or Paris. The first night we were there we ate at a traditional Estonian beer hall and it was VERY COOL!! I don’t know how else to explain it. It was an upper class family house years ago that they turned into Old Hyne. We drank honey beer and ate a lot of meat! It was all you can eat, so you can only image how much we all had. It was great, they had a special Estonian beer sauce as well which was great! We went to a few pubs after dinner where we met the locals. I talked to quite a few early 20 year-olds who have never left Estonia before, even though Helsinki is a two hour ferry ride away. I thought that was a huge difference in culture compared to many other European countries. The colors of the buildings were also very different from other European countries I’ve been to. The buildings had a feel of the Bahamas to it which was strange, but the colors were vibrant and mostly pastels. It was beautiful.

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Finland

Lapland was our first stop in Finland, specifically Rovaniemi! It was a beautiful citiy that is also known as Santa’s City! We went to Santa’s Workshop and took a picture with the “ultimate” Santa. The Workshop was perfectly set on the Arctic Circle which was pretty cool. Right down the middle of the park, there was a line that showed the line. So technically I’ve met Santa in the North Pole! It was a neat place where kids were running around in joy. It was beautiful in the summer, It would look stunning in Winter, especially with the Northern Lights illuminating the sky! We didn’t have much time in Rovaniemi, but Jyvaskyla made up for it! It is a city in the middle of Finland. It is a student city, with a major university right in the city. Unfortunately we didn’t see it in its full light because the students are on holiday! Some of us went out though and had a great time! We did some karaoke and met locals. It was a fun night. Then we finally headed down to Helsinki, the city that we were all looking forward too! Helsinki was beautiful. The colors were vibrant and again, it was right on water, like most of the cities I’ve been traveling to recently. The Finnish in Helsinki were different from the other parts of Finland – I like to think of it as New Yorkers are different than people from Texas. We went on a pub crawl and it was great, especially because it was a Friday! They have a pretty neat bar district. However, the ages of the people varied from 18 year-olds to 70 year-olds. Thats not something you usually see!