What to Do in Tallinn, Estonia in November

Tallinn is known to experience its second-wettest month of the year in November (after June). Well, we were in luck. It was a bit rainy in the mornings, but it usually cleared up towards noon.

We had flown from Frankfurt via Stockholm to Tallinn. When we arrived at the Tallinn Airport, I learned my suitcase was still in Stockholm. Oh well. This was nothing a good local beer could not fix.

This was the first sight we saw entering Old Tallinn.

Old Tallinn entrance

We stayed at the Baltic Hotel Vana Wiru, where they have a very fine restaurant. More about that and Estonian food in a different post.

By midnight, we checked into our hotel, and then went to a pub. By the time we got back, my suitcase had arrived at the hotel too. It was a bit damp from having been out on the tarmac for a while, I’d suppose.

The next day, we hit the Christmas Market several times. Old Tallinn is not that big, so you are bound to cross the market again and again on your way around. We tried different sorts of Glögg (the Baltic version of mulled wine). Interestingly enough, it was often offered in three content levels: 0% alcohol, 11% alcohol, and 21% alcohol.

Glögg’s the word!

 

Christmas market tree in Tallinn

There are many tourist shops selling their knickknacks, shops featuring amber in any possible form, and there are many cafés, pubs, and restaurants.

Amber jewelry tree

This amber jewelry tree would set you back by € 4950 – in case you were wondering.

I had read somewhere Tallinn would not be so crowded in November. It seems they still have their fair share of tourists during that time of month, especially with the start of the Christmas market.

 

In my opinion, a full day in Old Tallinn is enough. We had one and a half days, which was plenty. Well, and then, there is always more Glögg.

Beer Balcony in Winter

Overnight, today being 4 January 2016, we got our first snow of the winter, but some drizzly rain had washed most of it away by the late afternoon.

But it did look beautiful this morning, when I stepped out on the balcony with some coffee in hand. Oberursel lies at the foot of the Taunus Mountains, and so we are more subjected to winter weather than Frankfurt.

I have my friends and family over in all kinds of seasons, and this is the view they get over mulled wine.

beer balcony in the snow

Tornado Warnings in Germany

This is one weather phenomenon I did not expect to see in my lifetime. Tornado warnings in Germany. While we were gone on holiday for two weeks, my brother told me of tornado warnings having been posted for Germany during that time.

Then this morning, at 10:45, I saw this great big something moving towards us in the sky.

Oberursel, … but no Tornado.

Fortunately, it was not a tornado, but it sure looked like one. We have wind gusts up to 61 mph today.

I have just watched the news about a tornado in Poland, taking out a whole strip of forest along the way. Then I remembered this sight from my balcony in Oberursel again.

Flooding in Kumamoto/Japan (I was just there three months ago)… and continuous rain and flooding in England as well.

The weather pattern is changing, that’s for sure.

 

Things to do on Sunless Days in Biarritz

Mornings on the Biarritz coast are often overcast with some rain showers. With a bit of luck, the sun comes out during the afternoon. Yes, you should have sun glasses and an umbrella with you at all times.

But there is plenty to do around here even on sunless days.

Children enjoy fishing with a net.

Others are surfing at all times.

Water surfing in Biarritz

Some just enjoy the view. There are plenty of benches everywhere.

Biarritz promenade

Others still go for the beach.

Biarritz, La Grande Plage

Yesterday afternoon was also overcast, so we went to the Musée De La Mer (euro 45 for two adults and two students). Along the way, we enjoyed crêpes and ice-cream, sat on benches, took photos and had all the time in the world.

One of the many specimens we saw at the ocean museum was the seiche (cuttlefish or Bobtail squid). All explanatory signs around the museum are in French. I had to note the French names of the more unusual ones, so I could look them up later.

Bobtail squid

There is plenty to do and see around here, even on bad weather days.

Storm Weather Service Notifications

The Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD) offers a free subscription service for its readers. Since its launch four years ago, 50.000 have already subscribed.

As a subscriber you can get notified in the case of:

* Thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, snow drifts, black ice, or extreme heat

* Fog and frost warnings for the Baltic Sea and North Sea

* When subscribing you have the opportunity to list each need for information in three categories, e.g. you can check for e-mail notification for either light, medium or heavy snow fall. For example, getting notified for a light or medium snow fall may benefit house owners or Hausmeisters to know when to get up early to clear the sidewalk. Or you may also subscribe to only hail warnings, to know ahead when to move your car under cover.

Interested? Then visit dwd.de/newsletter for more information (German).