Monday, July 28, 2008

Arranging a four-family trip to Estonia, and back to work again

That's it for this time - my family; mom, dad, older brother and sister, their spouses and two kids each have left Estonia. It was exhausting and sometimes tumultuous, but generally enjoyable and so much fun. I solemnly drink every drop the home-made strawberry- and elderberryflower-squashes mom left here.

An extremely compact outline of the family trip (pictures may end up here):
  1. A couple of days in Tallinn, staying in two Red Group apartments
  2. A couple of days in Tartu visiting the Hanseatic days, Dorpat day-spa etc., staying in the guest house at the family's place outside of Tartu
  3. A visit to Ottepää adventure park / Pühajärve Spa
  4. A night and two half-days in Pärnu, staying at the Scandic Rannahotell
To enable my family to make the most of their vacation and see the most exciting parts of Estonia and manage information for such a sizable group easily we used both Google Maps to lay out points of interest on a map with links to further information, and a wiki page to store information in.

We think and hope everyone enjoyed the trip and with the kids saying things like "There are so many more cool things to do in Estonia than home in Sweden!" and "Here is so nice, you can barely believe it's in Estonia" (about Pärnu beach and Tervise Paradiis, to be fair comparing with Australian beaches), we feel that the idea for me and the girlfriend to arrange and coordinate tourist trips maybe isn't such a far-fetched one.

When the family had left towards Tallinn and the ferry the weather rapidly improved so me and the girlfriend stayed in Pärnu and she arranged for us to go sea kayaking (some pics here). It was tough on the arms and got my suntan going a bit too much, but oh how cool and fun it was! We only capsized once, when going in towards the shore and got surprised by waves breaking over us from behind.

The above picture shows the girlfriend getting strapped into the two-person sea kayak by our friendly guide, the second is us having a picnic after dragging ourselves out of the water. Now it's simply back to work again, and hopefully we'll get to enjoy a little bit more of the beautiful Estonian summer!

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