Student Antics in Tartu

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
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Trip End Sep 30, 2010


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Friday, April 30, 2010

Our first stop in Estonia was the student town of Tartu. We accidentally turned up at the end of student week, when university students run riot in a week of festivities and all the accommodation is full. oops.
The town sells itself to the backpacker masses as quirky central, although it doesn't manage to up the quirk level from the normal level of Baltic madness. Thankfully they no longer use the student lockup for punishing misdeeds as great as forgetting to return library books, nor do they teach with the forensic anatomical museum from the late 1800s... read a queasiness-inspiring collection of gruesome bits preserved in jars. The curator was also extremely pleased to be able to personally show us the old circular domed lecture hall (complete with corpse slab) now in dire need of repair, no longer used for lectures it is now reserved for performances of Frankenstein. Ok, maybe up that quirky (creepy?) factor a little.

The old town itself is the usual splendor of German style buildings leaning at peculiar angles around the town square which was filled with people giving speeches to an audience of approximately 10 people. The real entertainment was in the student week festivities. Other than the compulsary beer drinking, there were bands playing live in the streets, organised snowball fight arenas and an obstacle race including a flying fox into the river (in toasty air temperatures of 6 degrees), crawling through mud, canoeing downriver, and a hot tub. I think spectating was possibly more fun than competing.
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