I made a two night journey to Tartu, Estonia on my way from Riga to Latvia. The stop in Tartu made sense for a few reasons: it was raining everywhere in Latvia and Estonia, so the beach town and nature spots made no sense whatsoever. So, instead, I made my way to the second biggest city in Estonia, and the one with the biggest university: Tartu. However, as you may have guessed, it was completely dead in Tartu since it’s actually summer break for all the students. It didn’t help that I was there on a Sunday and Monday, either.

That said, I met a few cool people there and it was nice to have a few days to recover from Riga. Also, I saw in my tour book that the museums were all closed on Monday, so as soon as I got to Tartu on Sunday I went directly to their famous museum: Estonian National Museum. It just so happened that they had a temporary exhibit about the Hippy movement in Soviet Estonia that was incredibly interesting, noting who my father is.

It said 'no pictures', but I say 'no trinkets' and they never listen either.

It said ‘no pictures’, but I say ‘no trinkets’ and they never listen either.

The first night I met a guy from San Diego in the hostel who knew the town really well, and even knew of places open on a Sunday night. We went out and grabbed a few local beers while shooting the shit about football and other American sports.

A small Soviet-style club on a back alleyway that Tom (the San Diegan) knew about.

A small Soviet-style club on a back alleyway that Tom (the San Diegan) knew about.

The next day, I went and saw basically all of Tartu in about three hours, as I walked down the main street (Raekoja Plats) which leads into the main Cathedral Hall. After that, I walked to the 13th century St. John’s Church. That was probably the coolest building in Tartu:

One of maybe three cool buildings in Tartu.

One of maybe three cool buildings in Tartu.

With just one night remaining, the Spanish guy staying at the hostel and I went out to the same bars that Tom had shown me the previous night, had a few of the local beers while joking about the people there, talked to a few local guys who wanted to know what the hell we were doing in Tartu, then called it a night. It was a nice break between Riga and Tallinn, but I would not go back there unless school was in session. There just wasn’t much to see or do.

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