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I spent one afternoon walking around Kadriorg Park. Kadriorg Park is on the outskirts of Tallinn and home to not only a huge park but multiple palaces, monuments, and art museums. I wish I knew how much was in this park because I would have dedicated more than an afternoon to this area!
Here are some random facts and observations from my time in Tallinn:
- Estonian is NOT a Slavic language…it is a Finnic language. Probably the biggest misconception for me. I had just assumed that it was related to the Slavic languages because of where Estonia is located (it borders Russia). Sometimes the language almost sounded German :) or maybe I was just imagining that because I’m surrounded by German every day :)
- It took me a few days to figure out why I liked Estonia so much…because there were no American tourists! The largest tourist group is either Russians or Germans. It actually felt nice to not constantly be surrounded by Americans! That being said, I was embarrassed because I literally only knew 2 words in Estonian but everyone in Estonia speaks English! Everyone…seriously, I was so impressed and also felt bad for not being able to speak Estonian.
- I was jealous of the winter wardrobes in Estonia. Estonian women rock the best jackets, boots, and fur. I was envious.
Kadriorg Palace was built by Peter the Great for his second wife, Catherine I of Russia. Ironically, neither Peter the Great nor Catherine I of Russia ever lived in this palace and it was rarely even visited by them. From 1741 to 1917, it housed the civilian governor of the Governorate of Estonia. It was also used occasionally by the Czars for a summer residence. Czar Nicholas I and Nicholas II especially liked Kadriorg Palace. Czar Nicholas II decided to send official portraits of his daughters to this palace instead of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. The palace is now used as an art museum.
Inside Pierre Chocolaterie. The best hot chocolate of my life! Half milk/Half melted milk chocolate. So delicious, my mouth is watering even thinking about it :)
When in Tallinn, Estonia, I definitely recommend visiting Kadriorg Park and ending the day at Pierre Chocolaterie!