Visit to Sillamäe

Sillamäe

Our staff likes to travel all around in Estonia and other countries, as you propably have already figured out from our blogposts! This time we visited the city of Sillamäe, which was long known as the “Forbidden city”. 

General

Sillamäe is located around 180 km from Tallinn in Ida-Virumaa. It takes littlebit over 2 hours to drive there, and when you are heading there, you can also visit Rakvere, Narva and Viivikonna! Definetly worth a daytrip.

In Sillamäe, there is is about 14.000 people living at the moment, and in the 2011’s census over 87% of them were russians and only under 5% estonians. Sillamäe was basicly closed and forbidden city to enter until 1991 by russians because it was producing uran for nuclear power and other importan metals for the soviet.

 

Tourism

Currently the city is open, and is well taken care of. You can find the usual shops, cafe’s and restaurants. In the area you can visit Langevoja and Ukuoru waterfalls, and nearby there is the abandoned city Viivikonna.

There is a nice promenade, that starts from the seafront, and ends with the stairs that leads to the church, park and the mainstreet. The park and its monument is dedicated to the Estonian Singing Revolution, that took place between 1987-1991. At the end of the revolution, Estonia finally claimed back its independency.

You can download the map of Sillamäe from here.

More information about the sightseeings in the area can be found from here.

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See below the pictures wee took during our visit, click them to go directly to the gallerymode!

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Chanz travels to Ireland

Ireland and Wicklow

Basics

Republic of Ireland is a beautiful Emerald country  located in northwest Europe. It is separated from Great Britain by the Irish sea. Currently it is the 20th largest island in the world and home for almost 6.5 million people. Its capital city is Dublin with almost 1.3 million inhabitants.

Languages spoken here are english and irish.  Ireland runs under democratic nation, and established their present constitution in 1937.

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, this is because of its lush greenery and rolling hills. The country receives a lot of rain each year, which keeps the grass green and the plants blooming.

 

Other facts of Ireland

The guillotine was used in Ireland before it was used in France. The earliest use dates back to 1307.

Croaghaun in Ireland is the second highest cliff in Europe.

The longest river in the country is the River Shannon.

Even though legend says that St. Patrick cleared Ireland of snakes, the truth is that these slithering creatures were never able to make it from Britain to the island.

Ireland is home to what could possibly be the oldest pub in the world. It was opened in 900AD.

The Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Island.

 

Travel

Our staff visited the Wicklow mountains area and did some hiking there in april 2019. As you can see from the pictures, weather was quite cold and damp, so Ireland is maybe not the ultimate travel destination for sunny/beach seekers. It is very easy to travel to Ireland, it is the main base for Ryanair, and many countries all over the world have flights directly to Dublin. From Dublin airport there is good connections to the rest of the country by bus, flight or trains.

Food, drinks and money

In Ireland you will have the time of your life! Pubs and restaurants are everywhere! Just popin for a pint of Guiness and maybe some traditional irish meatpie or stew? Dont be scared if the locals in pub will come and talk to you, Irish people are very friendly and wants to know more about the tourists visiting the country. Pubs and restaurants are place where you go to socialise and make new friends!

Currency used in Ireland is Euro, and you can find atm’s everywhere, and Visa&Mastercard are widely accepted everywhere. If you need to change currency, its best to do in the bank since they offer the best rates. Remember to check the opening times, sometimes banks are closed during the lunch times, or do not handle cash after 1-2pm.

Transportation

Public transportation is in good order here. In Dublin you can use the extensive bus, tram or train network. When travelling with the bus, you can buy a single ticket from the driver in cash, but you wont get any change. For tram and trains there is kiosks at the stations selling tickets. You can also purchase daily/weekly/monthly passes if you staying there longer period of time. There is also regular ferry connections to the UK.

 

Thats all for now, enjoy the pictures below!

 

Pictures below are belonging to Chanz / Dreambox Games OU and all kind of use is prohibited without prior agreement with us.

 

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Croatia – Mediterranean fantasy

Ultimate vacation destination

Top Facts on Croatia

  • Population 4.29 million (2011 census)
  • Capital Zagreb
  • Other main cities (by population) Split, Rijeka, Osijek
  • Language Croatian, using the Latin alphabet
  • Currency Kuna (100 Lipa = 1 Kuna)
  • Area 56,691 square kilometres
  • Main religion Roman Catholic
  • Main ethic group Croatian (almost 90% of the population is Croatian)

If Croatia Were 100 People

  • 90 would be Croat
  • 4 would be Serb
  • 1 would be Bosniak
  • 5 would be other

General info

Croatia has an amazing 5,835km of coastline, 4,057km of which belongs to islands, cliffs and reefs. There are 1,185 islands in the Adriatic, while only about 50 are populated. The largest island is Krk (near Rijeka) which has a land area of 462 square km, whilst the country’s other well known islands include HvarBracKorcula and Pag.

Weather and tourism

Chanz staff visited Croatia briefly last month, and it was a truly magnificient experience. At the end of september, the weather was still magnificient, around + 25 c on the daytime, and lots of sun. The main tourist season is over at that time, so it was very calm and quiet everywhere, which was truly enjoyable. No queues to restaurants, bars or shops. Service was excellent everywhere, superb wines and food. And not to mention the prices that are really affordable.

Even if we were here only 5 days, thats plenty of days to visit several places here. You can read in more depth about the places worth to visit in recent Forbes article written here.

Baška Voda

We spent 3 days in a village called Baška Voda (for our finnish friends, this name is quite hilarious.. we let you try to find out what it means..).  It only has around 3000 people living there permanently, but it still has shops, banks, restaurant and hotels. It has magnificient coast line and excellent beaches. From the coastline, you can see the mountains, that are not too far away, and you can take a bustrip to a wine yards that are located in the other side of them. You will definetly see the difference, it is like another world there, when the sea is not visible.

There is many airlines flying to Croatia:

Wine and sparkling

During our visit, we took a trip behind the mountains and visited the small village called Imotski. You can find Blue and Red Lakes there, which have very interesting story behind them:

The Blue Lake got named after the colour of water in it. At the same time Red Lake’s name comes from the red stones surrounding it.

Both lakes are natural phenomenon and the Red Lake is impossible to approach because of high stone slopes around it.

The Blue lake is very attractive to media during periods of extreme drought. When the lake gets dry local people form two teams playing football at the bottom. The match always attracts numerous journalists and images end up in media around the globe.

The Adriatic Sea is relatively close to Imotski, however many kids from the area were taught to swim in the Blue Lake because local people are very proud of it.

During the period of heavy rain, the level of water in Blue Lake is around 90 metres and the record water lever went over 140 metres.

Both Blue and Red Lake were in the past connected with mysterious stories spread among local citizens. Experts mostly agree the lakes were formed as caves over underground waters were destroyed.

And the wines.. everyone who have visited Croatia, know that they wines and sparkling here are something totally different, and in a good way. Most of the sparkling is produced the same way as the champagne and the quality and taste is excellent. You need to try these, and you will surely taste the difference. And with the wine, you definetly need to try the local “prsutia” – airdried ham and local produced cheese with oven fresh bread.

Food

To put it simple, Croatian food is awesome! It is wide and varied, because it is influenced by tastes and traditions from neighboring countries and different nations that ruled the Croatia throughout history.

The food has some similarity with Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Turkish food, yet it has its own distinct interpretation and taste. Here below we will present few of the local dishes we tasted:

Crni rizot

Every seafood restaurant in Croatia have a crni rizot (black risotto) on its menu. Crni rizot is basically a squid risotto. Squid ink colors the rice black. Besides squids, this risotto often contains other seafood, particularly mussels, clams and other shellfish.

Strukli

This delicious pastry, filled with cottage cheese and sour cream, originated in Slovenia. However, today it’s a popular Zagreb food, as well as in Hrvatsko Zagorje region.

Rozata

A custard pudding similar to flan typical for Dubrovnik region, rozata, when well-made, is one of my favorite Croatian sweets.

Pasticada s njokima

Called a “Queen of Dalmatian cuisine”, Pasticada is perhaps the most popular Dalmatian food. Every house, every family has its own recipe for pasticada. Baby beef’s fake fillet is marinated in a wine vinegar for days, and then braised for hours, first in its own juice, and later with red wine, and served with home made gnocchi.

 

Many of budget airlines fly here too, so now its a good time to start and plan your vacation!

Croatia airports

  • Zagreb airport – IATA code ZAG. …
  • Split airport – IATA code SPU. …
  • Dubrovnik airport – IATA code DBV. …
  • Rijeka airport – IATA code RJK.

(C) Picture copyrights TK / Chanz.com

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Tallinn – The Medieval City

Welcome to Tallinn, Estonia!

Tallinn is the largest and also the capital city of Estonia.

Tallinn
Population: 448,764 (as of 01.01.2018)

Many well-kept secrets are waiting to be unearthed about Tallinn, a city mainly known for its Old Town, historic buildings and UNESCO status. When visiting Tallinn, there is a fountain of knowledge to take in, some of which you may only find out from an experienced city guide. Here are some fun facts to help you on your way whilst you explore all that this charming city has to offer.

1.      A Beach on your Doorstep

Tallinn is not often thought of as a beach city. However, in the summer all the pleasures of a city break can be combined with a relaxing beach holiday. The Pirita District offers 2km of unspoilt sandy beaches with stunning views out to the Baltic Sea.

2.      Secret Passages

Labyrinth-of-17th-Century-tunnels-tallinn

Under the Old Town is a labyrinth of 17th century tunnels. During WWII these were used as bomb shelters, but they were not widely known about to visitors until 2010 when 380 of the passageways were opened to the public.

3.      The Local Spirit

Each European city has a signature drink. Tallinn is no different. Vana Tallinn is a sweet liqueur, invented in the 60’s. It is tasty whether you drink it hot or cold, straight, in a cocktail or coffee. With the use of natural ingredients, it presents a smooth but bitter flavour, with aromas of cinnamon, toffee, citrus and warm spices.

4.      Previously Called Reval

The Estonian capital was not always named Tallinn. Before 1918, when the country gained independence, it was known as Reval, thought to be of German origin. According to legend the origins of the old name comes from a deer hunt, when an animal fell off a cliff and perished. In German Reh-fall means ‘deer fall’. Many historians debate this theory and believe it more likely to derive from the old Estonian county called Revalia.

5.      A Medieval Fortress

Medieval-Fortress-Tallinn

Tallinn’s medieval fort dates back to the 14th century. Originally it was 2.4km long, up to 16 metres high and three metres thick with 46 watch towers. It is so well preserved that today 1.9km remains, along with 20 observation towers. This wall certainly adds to the Old Town charm of this historic city.

6.      Estonia’s Tallest Building

Panoramic views from Teletorn in Tallinn

©Teletorn

Teletorn, the TV Tower, is not just the largest building in Tallinn but also the whole country. Standing at 314metres, you can not only enjoy panoramic views of the Old Town, and the Baltic Sea, if it is clear enough, views can be enjoyed all the way to the coast of Finland.

 

7.      The Secret Spot of the Church Spires

It is almost impossible to see all of the city’s five medieval church spires at once. A little known secret is that if you find a particular circular stone on Town Hall Square there is one spot where you can do exactly this. Look out for the cleverly positioned hole in one of the roofs, and make sure you find the correct stone as there are some fakes just to throw you off track.

8.      Estonia’s Oldest Café

Cafe-Lattes-and-cake-on-the-table-

Opened since 1864, Maiasmokk is the city’s oldest running café. Translated literally as Sweet Tooth, this is an appropriate name for the delicious home baked goods served here. The interior décor of the café has remained unchanged for almost a century, and it even houses its own Marzipan Museum.

9.      Chimney Sweeps

Chimney Sweeps in Tallinn continue to wear 19th century uniforms. If you come across one, be sure to touch his brass buttons. Myth has it that this brings good luck.

 

10. Oldest Building

The oldest building in Tallinn is Dominican St. Catherine’s Monastery and dates back to 1246. Unusually, it is one of the city’s best kept secrets, in spite of the fact it is located in the centre and the courtyard serves as a museum in the summertime.

11. Old Town Streets

Old-Town-Tallinn

Take a stroll back in time through the Old Town’s alleyways and winding streets. Here you will discover the narrowest, longest and widest streets in the city. The Old Town is easily visible from the Radisson Blu Hotel, Tallinn and is located just 500 metres away from the hotel.

12. The Man in the Red Cloak

Beware of a man in a red cloak. In medieval times, the city employed an executioner. Folklore had it that it was bad luck to meet him so he was made to wear a bright cloak so he stood out in a crowd.

13. Medieval Prison

Patarei-Prison

The Soviet-era Patarei Prison is a sea fortress built in 1840. It has had many uses over the years but until recently it was a functioning prison. Since its closure in 2004, this prison remains virtually unchanged. In May 2014, this attraction will re-open to the public as a museum and multi-event facility.

There is something special about leaving a destination and knowing that as well as visiting its most famous sights, you have also uncovered several of its, sometimes dark, secrets. Tallinn is an easy place to find many such hidden stories, legends and little fun facts that many tourists never normally get a chance to learn about.

 

 

We thank Radisson Sas Blog for the text

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