Day 28, Tartu, February 6th 2012Posted: February 6, 2012
Exactly one month of traveling! If we count it in days, not by the day of the month. Celebration time! Chai tea, and Mojito Cake! Woo!
The temperature let up ever so slightly today, at least the inside of my nose didn’t freeze, my beard still did, but I am definitely counting my small blessings! I left the apartment around 11 and headed in the same sort of direction I had gone yesterday, but this time I went under the Angel’s Bridge and to the Devil’s Bridge! I do not know why this one is called the Devil’s Bridge, if there is any one reason it could be that it is darker and not painted in a pretty colour like the Angel’s Bridge, but I think it looks better, for that fact, and also just it’s construction seems more attractive, a bit more curvaceous if you like! I went up onto the bridge then around the back of what seem to be a few more university buildings, round to the Cathedral. I explored the ruined parts a little bit, I think some days you may be able to climb up into the rafters but the gate was shut today, probably because it’s a Monday. Pretty much everything touristy is shut on Mondays and Tuesdays in Estonia, especially during the winter months. I then went to look for the old sacrificial stone that was used during Estonia’s Pagan past, but is now used by student to burn class notes at the end of their exams. I didn’t actually find the stone, but I think that that may be due to the snow covering it up. I did find ‘Kissing Hill’, which is directly next to the stone, a small circular platform where Grooms traditionally carry their newlywed Brides. Basically hard to miss, though how many grooms make it up the hill with their brides in hand is anyone’s guess!
After that I made my way back into the town centre. I wandered through the little cobbled street until I made it back to the river bank, and from there I headed West, just in order to stay in the sunshine and soak up some of it’s lovely rays, vitamin D myself up… The road follows the river for a long long way, so I turned off after a while and wandered through a little area of pretty wooden, multicoloured houses, guard dogs barking at cars as they crunched their way up the ice ladden streets. I wandered like this for a while until the cold began to bite at my fingers, in two pairs of gloves, and in my pockets. I took this as a sign to seek warmth, so I wandered back along the river into the city centre, stopping to take in various sculptures and monuments, the monument to Estonian and Armenia friendship, the Tartu Statue of Liberty, and various other stone and bronze creations. I wasn’t feeling hungry or thirsty just yet so I wandered into a shopping mall to warm up, to browse through the shops, trying in vain to find some of those re-usable hand warmers to stuff into my gloves. I then decided that now was the time to seek out tea, and cake.
I headed back towards the town square and found my way to Werner Cafe, a popular place with an innumerable variety of cakes, and various teas. Today I went a little bit off topic with a milky chai tea. Not really what I would normally choose, as classic cafe Chai is never up to much compared to proper stuff, but I fancied something milky, and not so sweet as hot chocolate, or as intense as coffee. It was as good as they ever are in cafes. I chose a Mojito Cake, which was tasty, with a ‘Paradise Apple’ on the top and some chocolate flakes for good measure. It had a slightly odd texture, and could have had a stronger flavour, but was otherwise good.
After a good rest and warm up in the cafe, listening in to other English speaking conversations, I left and went up the hill behind the Pirogov monument to the old observatory. The views from up there are pretty good, though probably mostly obscured by trees in the Summer, the Winter has some lovely views. The sun had begun to set and the shadows were long and thin, the light yellow and soft. I took some photos, more sculptures, a good view down onto the town square with people occasionally milling about, a few more sculptures. Then down into town, more Easterly this time, towards the bus station, an open air market, that was closed by the time I got there, but looks as though it may be open most of the time. Then onto the river across another bridge, a few more shots of the setting sun, the great red and white chimney and the interesting and quite good looking ‘Snail Tower’ (an apartment building), then into a few shops and back home.