Archives mensuelles : mars 2015

Travel in Estonia ! |Part 2|

Few weeks ago Francois wrote our first article about Tallinn, now it’s my turn to speak to you about this city, this capital. As he said you our trip to Estonia and Tallinn have been organised by our self during our free week. We go there with other Erasmus students from all Europe.

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Francois made you a geographic situation of Estonia, he spoke you to the Russian influence and a bit about food. I will speak you about the old town, the medieval old town, the historical center. In other words i will replace this city in the history.

The origins of Tallinn date to the 13th century, when a castle was built by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order (a German medieval military order). It developed as a major center of the Hanseatic League.

What is Hanseatic League? The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guild and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. This League born in 13th century and she disappeared during the 17th century.

Today the old uptown stay the administrative center, the old town has preserved his role of central life of the city. Surprisingly the city being well conversed in spite of fires and wars which it has faced, thanks to that the old town as began a touristic area with his castle, its fortification but also its old medieval house.

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This makes this city a very pleasant place to visit.

Moreover you can see people dressing like a medieval era

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and you can also go to eat in some restaurant which reproduces the medieval atmosphere, eating has candle light with plate hand made in clay, you are served buy costumed people and in some of those restaurant you can heard some musicians playing with traditional instrument.

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Tallinn is a very good place to visit, this trip was definitively amazing .


Sources :

http://whc.unesco.org/fr/list/822/


90 Days after !

90 ! There are more than 90 days, we were still in France, today we are still in our Seinajoki ERASMUS experience !


Since we arrived, we make beautiful meeting we went to Tallinn, we go to Lapland and finally we will finish in style with a trip to Russia, the mother country !

We can say that for now, we have not been disappointed !


Although the pace of the course is relatively lower than in our school in France, we learn and we are still happy to take interesting courses and cultivating in English!

Yet we do not forget our country and our city, live in ERASMUS is incredible, whether socially or professionnaly, being away from home is possible to put things in question, and especially to live otherwise, to stand out from his life.

 In addition, the fact of meeting people of different origin and culture is enriching and lets you know what is happening and how bright the other students in other countries.

For example, I was talking with a student Slovak about the difference between Finland, France and Slovakia.

For example, the minimum wage in Slovakia is € 600, € 1,300 in France and Finland, the average salary is 3000 .

It’s quite impressive to see how other people live students in Finland is already a country where the cost of living is quite high, add to this the fact of coming from a country where the minimum wage is low, it is a shock …

But despite these differences, ERASMUS is a way out of his country to live a real experience!

My advice: Take your chance and ERASMUS Go!


Travel in Estonia ! |Part 1|

Culture.

This week it was the holiday in Finland !

With foreign students with whom we hit , we decided to organize ourselves a little trip to Tallinn Capital of Estonia !

First, where is Estonia ? Estonia is one of three countries that the Baltic countries are called with Lithuania and Latvia , these countries are independent only since the fall of the Soviet Union, which explains the very old architecture of the Capita.

( Architecture makes this charm )

This country is very close to Finland ( 2h30 Ferry) and temperature that is much appreciable than in Finland !

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In Estonia, the culture is the legacy of the era to which the country was still under Russian domination, we can see, for example, a beautiful Orthodox Cathedral is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, built during the reign of Alexander III Tsar of Russia.

Half the residents of Tallinn are Russians, which explains the enormous diversity of the city.



There is the Estonian food, which is special but delicious!

20150227_140340For example, the Estonian specialty, the « Salty pancakes » it is a pancake in the interior with a savory product, eg smoked salmon or so of meat

This food is due to the body and is relatively inexpensive (4€ for a pancake)

20150226_164647This is a superb Estonian Pastry , whose name is impossible to understand.

it is sold in Tallinn tea rooms which are very numerous and mostly relatively beautiful,

with a Russian style.


To finish this first part of our trip to Tallinn, we can say :

ERASMUS !

ERASMUS is Amazing !


The Sauna Culture

How could people go to Finland without saying a few words about Sauna? As a matter of fact, Sauna is a Finnish word, and probably the only word of this language which become part of the world’s vocabulary.

Throughout history many civilizations (Roman, Greek, Scandinavian, etc…) have been using sweat baths for hygienic and medicinal purposes. The first Sauna as we know appears in Finland in the 5th century when northern European tribes abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and settled down.

Today in Finland there is more Saunas than cars. To give you a quantity, Finland has more or less two millions Saunas. Every Finnish person has access to a sauna; they often have one in their own house or at least in a shared facility in an apartment block. You can even see Saunas in the parliament.

The Finns think that Sauna are for business as much as for leisure, they believe that due to its social nature and relaxing effect, the sauna is an great place for doing business. It’s not uncommon for them to make some political meetings into a sauna.

For us it could be a little bit difficult to understand and maybe a little bit strange to think we can make business in those Saunas and especially when you know that they are all naked in the sauna. It is true I have forgotten to mention before that in Finland you have to go naked in the sauna.

To speak about my own experience in the Finnish sauna: I went in two different types of saunas.

The first sauna was only for men so you have to go naked into the sauna. In general men and women are separated for the sauna; this could be a problem especially when you know that they make some meetings in sauna.

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The second one is part of a special activity called Ice swimming; this one is mixed so you wear a swimsuit. You first spend some time into the sauna and then you have to go to a hole into an iced lake to swim.

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The shock of dousing the body in cold water is supposed to have health benefits. But for my first time I had to go into this hole was very hard, the shock (temperature changes near to 70 degree) was too important for me however I finally succeed to go in this hole and swim a little bit (such an hard day).

Here you can see a germ friend who try the experience with me going into the hole and swimming (the photographer does not like to be picked photo, I am the photographer ^^)

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This experience is very relaxing finally, not necessarily easy at first. However with the will, if we get used rather quickly. Therefore we renew experience has several times with increasing ease to go swimming in the chilling water.

For those who have the opportunity I would advise you to try.