Friday, June 7, 2013

5 Things to Do in Tartu

1. The Ahhaa science centre.
Located in the heart of the city, Ahhaa is one of the most amazing things in Tartu. Equipped with a hundreds of exhibitions and scientific workshops. Here is a video which will introduce ahhaa to you further.

2. The Ruins of the Tartu Toomkirik.
The legend says that while building, the church kept sinking in the ground, or the walls would fall every evening. So the builders went to the town and and brought the towns most ignorant girl to the construction site, and they walled her in the church. So one day every year the girl comes back to life and has a chance to escape, by capturing someone walking by and changing places with them. Now, I just can't remember the day in which she was supposed to come back to life, so if you'r afraid of being walled in, I would actually not suggest going there :).
3. Karsumm
This is part of the Spring Student days. This is a competition held over Emajõgi (It's a river that flows through Tartu). The participants have to build motorless flying machines, and attempt to cross the river. This is the 9th year this competition is held, no one has crossed the river yet. On a brighter note, no one has drowned yet either.

Photos taken by Ahto Sooaru

4. Light a candle to in memory of the victims of operation Priboi.
In the memory of the victims the town centre is filled with candles. It is the most gorgeous and sad scene I have ever seen.
Photo taken by Peeter Langovits
5. Experience free Wi-Fi almost everywhere.
It really is a shock for an Estonian to go abroad and realize you can't exactly expect free wifi in every cafe or public park. In Estonia even some public forests have free Internet access. I am not kidding, you can literally check your email in the middle of nowhere.

6. Sing (or hum or something) along at the Punk song festival
Estonians are crazy about their song festivals. There even is a movie made called "The Singing Revolution". It is shown to about every single foreigner in Estonia. I have seen it about 5-6 times. Now, Estonians can't make movies. They just turn out seriously boring. Therefore, I have not only seen the movie 6 times, I have also fallen asleep mid movie every single one of those times. I do have a foggy memory that it has something to do with the strength of Estonians and how they stuck to their traditions even throughout the soviet union.
Getting back to the topic. The punk song festival is just the perfect way of flipping off to the formalness and the officialness of the traditional song festival. However, this doesn't take place in Tartu (which is also why the title says 5 things). But, you won't find anything quite like this anywhere. 

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