I’ve been told that one of the biggest perks of living in Europe is that seeing the rest of the world is easier than it is when living in the U.S. Even though Switzerland is not an E.U. country, it is still very easy to hop on a train for France, Italy, Germany, Spain, etc. with minimal expense or administrative hassle. It’s also easier physically: just two hours in an airplane taking off from the Geneva airport can take you to a place with an entirely different language, cuisine, currency and political system.

This proximity to adventure is a born traveler’s dream, but of course, as a scrappy one, I have not yet taken advantage of it…I’ve been much too concerned with mastering life in Switzerland itself! But recently, I was given a little push outside my new little country when a friend of my husband’s (a Swiss) married an Estonian woman…in Estonia.

I admit that before this year (and perhaps still) I definitely fulfilled the American stereotype of geographical illiteracy. I didn’t know Dubai from Dubrovnik and would have humiliated myself in an attempt to pick out Estonia on a world map. I certainly couldn’t have told you the name of the capital (Tallinn) or the  fact that it has over 1,500 islands. I could not have told you that Estonia is an absolutely beautiful country, both in terms of cities and countryside. I could not have told you that the food is incredible, relying heavily on various kinds of smoked fish and flavorful vegetables, and that the language sounds complex and lovely and is a close cousin to Finnish.

I am sorry this post is not longer but I am a bit pressed for time back here in Switzerland…if the moving company is to be believed, all our belongings will be arriving in a shipping container from the U.S. (via Rotterdam and Bern) tomorrow! Oh, to have chairs and tables and shelves again…I can’t wait.

I hope you will enjoy a sampling of some of the photos from our trip. Just click on any photo to enter the gallery!




  1. Pairodox Farm

    These images really ‘pop’ in this WordPress gallery – crisp, colorful, nice. Just think what you could do if you had slowed down a bit (rather than ‘grabbing’ shots here and there) and had used J’s ‘big’ camera! [You know, there are some ‘high end’ compact cameras that are really, really, nice and which compare favorably well, in some ways at least, to much bigger and fancier cameras. Perhaps that’s something you should investigate if you get more interested in photography?] Perhaps I shouldn’t encourage you … for fear you’ll become part of the photoblog competition. Scrappy Traveler, though you are … anti-expat, though you are … you really are lucky to be seeing so many beautiful places. I always think it would be an interesting sort of artistic exercise to be able to form snapshots of my world during an average day. How mundane. How dull. How lacking in interest. Let’s consider six shots from yesterday 1. A TV screen (the one in front of me as a ran at the Y), 2. A sea of student faces as I took attendance in laboratory, 3. Stacks of boxes in the back of the truck (containing a quarter beef processed at Mark’s), 4. The handle of my mower as I cut the grass, 5. A handful of turkeys as I did chores, 6. A tube of toothpaste as I prepared for bed. And that’s it. Consider what YOU see on the average day, or over the average week, or over the average month. Much more exciting. Lots of new things. Lots of beautiful things. Lots of exciting things. Lots of new, beautiful, and exciting things. You may be pushing the edge of that box we refer to as the comfort zone … but consider that that really is a nice place to be. D PS: I noticed that this post gave your LIKES a bit of a bump! Congratulations.

    • scrappytraveler

      Thanks so much for the ever-thoughtful and positive feedback!

      Believe it or not, I DID use the big camera! Just goes to show you how talentless I am with it…you have nothing to worry about in terms of competition. These are strictly illustrative. We practically ran through everything as we had so many things to see and so little time, but even if we had lots of time I don’t think they would have been much better. I just don’t have the knack…count yourself uniquely blessed. A camera in my hands is just a hunk of plastic and glass.

      As for the idea of ‘snapshots’ of life…it’s all about which side of the fence you’re on. I value seeing these beautiful new things very much, but at the same time, what I wouldn’t give to see the same familiar things day after day! I really do thrive on routine. I guess you just have to find a balance. I’ve always subscribed to the ‘Amelie’ perspective on the little things in life, though…their significance (good or bad) depends entirely on how much importance you choose to attribute to them.

  2. purplesnitch

    What amazing lovely photos! I think you may take after your dad! What a beautiful country. Kind of stopped in time. Such beautifully colored buildings and intricate rooftops!! The black swans were right out of a fairy tale! And yes…Estonia is a mix of Russia and Scandinavia. Thanks for the geography lesson. I need one too!! Thrilled to hear that your furniture has arrived. Photos please!! 🙂 oxox

    • scrappytraveler

      Thank you so much for the nice comment! Stopped in time is indeed a good way to describe the city. Apartment photos will definitely come too, as soon as the dust has cleared. Still have boxes piled to the ceiling at this point 🙂

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