Just because Estonia is in lockdown, it doesn't mean there isn't anything to do outside this spring. The Estonian Institute and "Found in Estonia" podcast has six recommendations for you.
Mathilde Roch-Penet, 27, is from France and has been living in Estonia for 4.5 years. She first came to Estonia seven years ago to study textile design and, although after that she's been travelling a lot, she says: "There is something magical here that always brings me back!"
You can listen to Mathilde on the "Found in Estonia" podcast here.
We are living in these uncertain times and have more and more restrictions. But we can still appreciate things outside our homes and in Estonia we are still able to go for a walk. I personally love walking and even more so in nature. Estonia is covered in forests and "rabad"- bogs. My favorites around Tallinn are Pääsküla raba, in Nõmme, which is easy to get by train or car. I recommend going early in the morning, even though there are rarely big crowds, it's still quieter. Viru raba is a bit further from Tallinn but it is also a really pleasant one. Bogs have this magical atmosphere and fairytale look with their wooden pathways and lakes – I always feel like walking in a Miyasaki anime!
2) Maarja Nuut
While walking or being at home, if you are looking for some Estonian music to listen to, I really love the artist Maarja Nuut. She has a particular style of music that always makes me feel like I'm floating, relaxing and you can easily hear the beautiful Estonian language in her songs. Some of my favorites are "Õdangule", "Une meeles" and "Hobusemäng" where the video clip is filmed inside Linnahall, an iconic piece of architecture in Tallinn, and also Lasnamäe, a very characteristic area of Tallinn, an opportunity to see these places if you've never been there!
Unfortunately, museums and art galleries are closed, but architecture is still possible to see and admire around us. I love to take long walks towards the Kopli area, and stop by Põhjala tehas. This complex of old factories, originally a rubber shoes factory, is slowly being renovated and a lot of young artists have studios there. If you go, stop at Karjase sai bakery, which is owned by young Estonians, you will not regret it and as a French person, I can tell you their pain au chocolat is delicious! You can also order their pastries for home delivery.
4) Jägala waterfall
Need a bit of fresh air? Take a trip to Jägala waterfall, it's 35 minutes by car from Tallinn, and well worth the drive! Going during a cold winter can be magical as the waterfall freezes and you can admire natural ice sculptures. It's still a beautiful and refreshing spot to enjoy even when the ice melts.
5) Tiigrisilma tree house
Do you need a change from being at home all the time? For a weekend, I went to Tiigrisilma treehouse, located in Kohila, not far from Tallinn and also accessible by train. This tiny cabin house is built in the trees and in the middle of nature. It's an amazing place for recharging, getting some good energy from the forest around you, taking a deep breath and enjoying quiet time. There is also a hot tub, an outside grill and adorable goats! A perfect weekend away in beautiful Estonian nature.
And at last, if you feel a need to quiet your mind and move your body, I am here for you. I am an Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga facilitator, this practice is a dynamic style of yoga, a moving meditation. I facilitate online classes in English, so you can easily practice with me and others from your home. Taking time for yourself, with yourself, deepen your practice or discover yoga! There is no time, no experience needed to try something new for you. Moving and breathing will allow you to quiet down your thoughts, discover your body possibilities and enjoy your own time.
This article was first published here on the Estonian Institute website.
Estonian Institute in collaboration with podcast "Found in Estonia" brings you a series of recommendations from English-speaking local foreigners. Estonian Institute is presently developing its web environment at Culture.ee to make integration and cultural exchange more accessible.
Editor: Helen Wright