josephbrowning (josephbrowning) wrote,
josephbrowning
josephbrowning

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Estonia: Baltic State or the Sam's Club of Liquor for Finland?

Another packed day filled with fun, food and adventure. We began the day with the Super Buffet at the Hotel (it really is super - love the cloudberry jam) and headed off into a giant "ferry" to Estonia. That's in quotes because this isn't some wee tiny ship, but something humongous and rather unbelievable and the Finns inform me that we were on the small ferry - the big one goes to Stockholm.

We met more of the organizers of RopeCon today, including Jukka (not to be confused with the prior Jukka) who's studying English Philology , Timo (who reminds me of a strange mix between the two Mythbusters, and who is licensed for demolitions and fireworks), Nina (a long-time con attendee - but that doesn't mean she's old!), Wizu (which is short for his nickname Wizard, who one day wants to become a big cheese), Petri (who we technically met before, but who is now dearer to Suzi for his gift of Bear, Moose, and Boar sausage). Also with us was the steadfast Katri, but Outi couldn't make it with us today and her comments and company were missed.

So we clambered upon the "ferry", disembarked and made the largest liquor run that I have ever seen - which, considering I spent my formative alcoholic years in New Orleans isn't a mean feat. Finland has a heavy tax on liquor and many Finns take the ferry to Estonia specifically to buy stockpiles of liquor. This has lead to enterprising Estonians creating the first Sam's Club of Liquor for the Finns. Timo had an order waiting - you can or online for pick up later and they even deliver to Finland with a big enough order :) - so he wandered off to the back to pick it up. So, Suzi and I started in and the first thing that hits you over the head with the proverbial surrealistic pillow is that there are women handing out small samples of alcohol - just like we in the states would have someone handing out a sample of a cracker or a jam or some sausage. There's about 5 or so of these sampling stations throughout the store (which is ginourmous) and each station had anything from 3 to 5 different samples.

So after we load the trunks of the cars (yes, that's plural on purpose) with the purchased libations we head off to old Tallinn for lunch. We climb up the wall via the roughly 150 step staircase and land next to a beautiful old church, but time is precious and we press on to our medieval culinary experience. So, for the next 2.5 hours we feast in medieval style in a building from the early 1200's, eating and drinking and talking in great company. The food was truly amazing as was the service and the conversation. Did you know that the UK is the Western Soviet Union and that there's a Finnish saying that roughly translates as (spoken between two women) "You can see nothing of my face behind your hairy bush?" Neither did I, but now both of us do.

After the feast we toured the town (loved the walls and defensive fortifications) and I purchased Suzi some amber earrings and myself a pair of amber d6.  A brief two hours in which some duty free shopping and a purchase of some Cloudberry Liquer occured, and we are back the hotel.

It's now 12:11 am. The sky has just turned dark.
Tags: finland
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