Nov 272012

Liiv’s home: Threshing barn on left of building; living quarters on right.

A good friend in Florida was instrumental in our getting together with Volli and his wife Anu in Tartu.  Volli called me in mid-November and asked whether we had seen Alatskivi Castle and the Juhan Liiv Museum, both of which are located about a half hour from Tartu, going east toward Lake Peipsi.  Jüri and I had been to the Castle years earlier and remembered Alatskivi as being rather run-down.  It has now been beautifully restored. We arranged to meet that weekend, after Anu got back from Rome where she had been at a conference.  Volli and Anu are both doctors: Volli is a radiologist and Anu, a psychiatrist who works at the same hospital where my present lab is located.
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Nov 152012

As I usually do coming home from the lab, I got off the bus near the main shopping malls in the center of Tartu and began my evening walk back to the apartment.  When I got to the plaza in front of City Hall (the pink building that you have seen in my photos of Tartu), I noticed there was a throng of people standing out in the damp cold in front of a small platform that had been set up in the middle of the square.  The local newspaper the next morning said there

were approximately 450 people there.  To me it did not seem to be that many.  Loud speakers had been set up and several people mainly in their 20’s-30’s were coming on stage to speak in an orderly and peaceful way, one after the other.  People occasionally clapped and there was polite cheering, as people were agreeing with things that were being said.  I stopped to listen.  Many had signs reading “We have had it up to here…”, “Stop with your lies”, “Freedom for Estonia”, “Restart Estonia”, etc.  As I got closer, I realized this was an actual political protest in action!
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Nov 112012

In September there was an interesting article in the local main newspaper Postimees about eagles that live in Northern Europe, including in Estonia, and migrate to southern climates beginning in August and September.  Jüri and I have enjoyed bird-watching, not only at our backyard feeders, but also at bird sanctuaries in the United States.  I think our interest began with living in southern New Jersey for years and we were only about 40 minutes away from Ocean City and Cape May which were major congregating points for migratory birds in the fall before they began to fly further south across the bay.  After our move to Florida, we joined Audubon Society to learn about Florida’s birdlife. So this article about Estonian’s migratory birds drew our interest.

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