Monday, May 23, 2016

Soviet garages everywhere!

In our town, Keila, population 10 000, there are tons of garages from the Soviet times. They built apartment buildings and garage complexes hand in had, it seems. In Tallinn, of course, the scale is completely different. There is even a documentary about garages in Tallinn Lasnamäe region where people hide out, create and just are. Here is the poster (translation: Ant Hill - Beautiful Life in a Garage):

I do not have time to go check out the garages there but I had some time to do it here in Keila.

Here is one close by that has two entrances but overall looks like a medieval fortress. 

Here is the entrance and some car that has stood there for months.

And when the door is open. I never dare to go in. It is just so scary.  But that is where people put their cars and stuff.

Here is another one. Today I saw one lady park her car in front of it, load off some old chairs, put them in, close the door and drive away. So a lot of them are just storage units. That can still cost thousands of euros to buy.

This one is my favorite. I honestly thought that it was a bunker that was build in the Soviet are. It is underground, it looks like a hill from the outside. So odd.

I went in just a little a bit. A guy was working on his car further away in one of the garages and he came out as I was taking the picture to look at me and he was just so scary so we left quickly. Anyone can look scary down there. 

This is how it looks on the top:

Our daughter running on top of the garage complex:

There are chimneys too on top of it:

This is another one next to a set of apartment buildings close by.  People hold on to these dearly, it seems. And there is some business going on selling and buying them. 

Most people still park their cars in front of the apartment complexes. Our little 1999 Polo freezes shut when it is very cold in the winter. But we still rather climb in from the back hatch (that is the only thing that opens) than walk to one of the nearest garage complexes to park the car and then walk back home and then walk back to get the car again (if we had a garage). It would only be worth something as a minor work out. 
Here is a photo of one of the apartment building being renovated. It costs one million euros to renovate it. Yes, seriously. A government loan support system pays 40% of it, but still. It will be great in the future the get the energy rating up and the bills down. Our building is smaller but the energy rating is very low.  

Isn´t it amazing what you can blog about? Like Soviet garages. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Eurovision 2016!

And now for the blog post you have been waiting for, Eurovision 2016!!  Last year I missed Eurovision because life was a bit crazy with the then recent birth of our second child (Maris got to watch a bit from the hospital TV).  Now our little Eurovision baby is already one and we had enough time to watch both of the semi-finals.  How was it? Freaking fantastic!!  When we are older we want to be those nutty Eurovision fans who travel every year to the concert.  The Eurovision song contest is definitely the crown jewel of the European integration project and.  You could think of it as a musical representation of everything humanity was destined to become.

So now to the top performances of 2016!

Ukraine won in part due many Europeans who wanted to show solidarity with Ukraine and or stick it to the Russians.  Interestingly enough, many in Ukraine voted for Russia and vice versa.  The song was about Stalin's terror after WWII. 

Australia got second and they aren't even a European country!  They are just totally crazy about Eurovision so somehow they got to participate.  It was a good song too. Maybe at some point in the future we can have an Earth vision with all the countries participating.  Call me a dreamer but if all the countries can squabble together under the same roof in the UN why not sing together in a global song off! If the Security Council can't decide then why not settle it on the dance floor!  I'm not sure what North Korea's song would be like, but probably something like Belarus' song from 2011

Russia came in third and had a good song with a great performance

I always secretly want Moldova to win, but this year they didn't get into the finals.  Their song was great and I was shocked they didn't make it!

Bulgaria had a good song.  Missing something? Maybe.  Tacky? Yes.  Vintage Eurovision? oh yeah.

The last song to make my top list is Armenia!

Estonia did not make it into the finals and overall got poor reviews.  It didn't make my top list either but in case you are interested here it is! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Tallinn Zoo /Tallinna loomaaed

Last week I went to Tallinn Zoo with my sister and her daughter. It was super warm so we had to go. You never know here when you get a good day with good weather. I loved the anemones there, the entire little forest in the zoo is full of them for a short period of time in May. The kids loved running there.

A lynx: 

Monkeys was the absolute favorite. They kept coming close and the kids turned into monkeys themselves, making noises and running back and forth.

In the tropic house:

Find a mini monkey:

The kids escaping again: 

The elephants:

A great optical illusion, like the kids are so close to them and the fence is super small. But the platform is just higher up. Kids loved it.

And camels:

I like Tallinn Zoo a lot, it is developing, it is beautiful, green, well landscaped and they are trying to make the conditions better for the animals constantly. We love the petting zoo there too with millions of little goats. This time we did not get close because the goat babies were too small. But here is a photo from last year with Matthew´s parents. The goats jumping up to get food. It was awesome. :) So when ever you are thinking what to do in Tallinn, go to the zoo.

Having the sea close by - pure joy

I really, really like having the sea close by, about 10 minutes to drive. There are different beaches, rocky and sandy, sandy being my favorite. Here are some photos taken lately by the sea (previous post have my photos too, like here and here). I added a map to show my turf (as far as I can go, you know, because I have little kids):

Here is one of my favorite beaches called Meremõisa:

This is Kloogaranna beach, the closest, sandy, a little boring to photograph but great for family outings. The tower is old bay watch tower or something like that.

Another favorite place is Paldiski. Here are some photos of the sea being super calm the other day:

The cliff is about 20 meters high, you can go up there and down to the beach and up to the lighthouse too.

The next two are also in Paldiski. I went in the water, quite deep, to get the rocks in the photo:

This is on on the cliff. I love that little tree! Symbolizes endurance maybe.

A photo of me on the cliff too. I do that once in a while, do some silhouettes when the sky is super beautiful.

Yes, Estonia is extremely pretty, especially now when it is green, very green. You are welcome to come and visit any time. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Birthday bash

I recently had a birthday, it was great to celebrate with Maris and the kids. 
 We went to some walking paths in a park near by (tervise rajad).  The weather has been beautiful, it was a great day to spend outside.

 One of the best parts of my birthday was watching the NFL draft!  It's my favorite sporting event of the year.  The 49ers took some really good players, I'm excited for the upcoming year.  With their first pick they took the guy I had been  hoping fore. 

 My original plans were to go to McDonalds and watch Star Trek.  It turned out we wen to Sub Way and watched the new Star Wars movie!  We were too lazy to drive into town for McDonals and Sub Way is the only place in Estonia that sells Doritos.  Their cookies are also fantastic.  The new Star Wars movie just came out for rent on our TV provider.  It was very good, glad to see Abrams in his element. 

We had a fruit pizza for cake, we liked it so much that we made it again yesterday. All in all it was a great birthday.