August 9, 2021 - By AnumitaBagchi
In this episode of Between 2 Italians, Marco and Erica connect with Jana Kutšinskaja and Kadri Gröön, of Visit Estonia. As always, our lovely hosts serenade you, today with a performance of Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu, before launching into a fun and informative conversation with their guests. Visit Estonia is the official tourism board of Estonia (of course), for which Kadri is the Head of International Media, and Jana is the International Media Project Manager.
Since both guests today have beautifully bright blonde hair, Marco of course begins their conversation by joking about that typical Estonian hair colour being a requirement to even work in the tourism office! Another thing that is core to Estonia is their bread- dark rye bread is a traditional food of the country, which Kadri explains is the pride of many establishments, such that different restaurants will compete to see who makes the best loaves. Marco and Erica have visited Estonia themselves before, and agree that the bread was one of the best things about it! While clearly spending a lot of time on baking, Estonia also has the highest density of brown bears in Europe, and Jana and Kadri tell us that they will be going bear watching very soon! This exciting activity involves hiding out in a remote hut overnight and staying very, very quiet, in order to see the bears in action.
Next, Kadri and Jana indulge Marco’s classic dating questions by explaining why it’s actually quite hard to chat up Estonian girls in bars and the like. However, there’s apparently lots of beautiful outdoor places to enjoy with picnic spots for romantic dates! On the topic of the outdoors, Marco remembers hearing wolves howling nearby when he was in Estonia. Kadri explains that while there are a lot of bears in the country, the wolves are considerably more rare, such that there are tours dedicated just to hearing them, so Marco was really very lucky!
Marco and Erica talk to Jana and Kadri about the amazing people whom they met in Estonia, and how welcomed they both felt. Marco loved the sports, while Erica very much enjoyed the sea and the music that was all around. Our hosts and guest discuss how many things in Estonia are highly digitised, which makes things very quickly- start up a business in ten minutes, or do your taxes in five! The Estonian public services are made much more efficient with the use of digitalisation, making for a far more streamlined life- it’s certainly not to be missed!
These two lovely tourism representatives share the secrets of Estonia with you, such a small country hiding so many beautiful experiences. Kadri and Jana chat to Marco and Erica about the places they missed when visiting, and where they will return to, such as in the ‘summer capital’ of Parnu, complete with beaches and spas for the perfect vacation. They also discuss the various islands around Estonia (that you can even drive to over the frozen water in the winter!) , as well as the various towns and destinations across the country with wonderful restaurants that are certainly not to be missed. In addition to this, Erica is overjoyed by the information that almost all Estonians love to sing- she talks about the different musical and artistic traditions of the different areas, in which each place has its own amazing costumes and songs.
To find out more about Estonia’s interesting and exciting traditions, like being nude next to strangers in saunas (but not talking to them), driving over frozen water without a seatbelt, and freezing plunge-baths, make sure you watch the full episode- you will thank me later!