Today brought the worst weather I have ever experienced in Estonia. I mean worst as in “extreme”, not worst as in “crappy”, because the nonstop rain in the fall is definitely the crappiest. But today there was wind and snow, and lots of it.
Looking out the window around noon, J commented about how windy it was. The trees in front of the apartment building were bending, their branches waving crazily. The wind was blowing around the snow that had fallen during the past two days. As the afternoon went on, it only got worse. New snow began to fall, and the wind whipped it around, creating ice and snow drifts against the windows. We just kept staring out the window in awe. But what fun is it if you only experience this kind of weather from indoors? Naturally, we went for a walk.
Our destination was a hotel about a mile away, where the International Women’s Club of Tallinn was holding its annual Christmas Bazaar. At first when we got outside, we thought it wasn’t so bad, but then came a gust of wind that caused us both to turn our faces away from the stinging ice and snow. When that wind smacked me right in the face, it was seriously hard to breathe. And when we reached a certain intersection where the wind always seems to be stronger (I think the tall buildings in that area have something to do with it), I had to grab onto J’s arm because I thought I would be knocked over. It was quite the adrenaline rush.
We made it to our cozy destination perfectly safely, and began to enjoy the international Christmas treats on offer. J started with a Turkish coffee (along with a free bit of Turkish delight), and then we shared a slice of wiener schnitzel. Hungry for more lunch, we had three miniature spring rolls at the Chinese table. There are no pictures of this food because it was so crowded and bustling, it was impossible to stop in the middle of it to take pictures. I’m happy it was so crowded, though, since all the proceeds are going to a good cause.
J and I were naturally excited to see that the Belgian table was selling some Belgian beers that aren’t otherwise available in Estonia. Sweet! I don’t know if I ever mentioned how much “research” J did in terms of trying new beers in Brussels, but he definitely sampled a very wide assortment while we were there and grew to appreciate the high quality and deep flavors. J bought one bottle to give to his dad and I bought one bottle for us. They gave us the Christmas cookies as a free bonus.
At the next table, Germany, I treated J to a cup of glögg , or mulled wine, which is hands-down my favorite cold-weather drink ( I must dedicate a post to it soon). The woman at the table assured us that it was made with good wine that had been donated to them. It was really delicious and well-spiced. From the Italian table, I bought two sets of tasting squares from Amadei. I’m really looking forward to doing a tasting with these amazingly high-quality chocolates.
We also got a plate of assorted Christmas cookies– I’m not really sure exactly what they are.
And of course I had to have these. J said he would buy them for me, and we got an incredible deal– we thought they were 5 kroons each, but then the woman only charged us 5 kroons for all five of them (which currently equals about 40 American cents!). Won’t they be adorable on the Christmas tree?
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