We´re off to the Baltic

J and I are currently surrounded by suitcases, boots, swimming costumes, maps, rain-gear, books and towels. Tomorrow we´re leaving for Estonia, and we couldn´t be more excited.Last year we loved it, but it was a whirlwind tour. This time we´ve rented a cottage by the sea in Saaremaa, one of the islands. I think pretty much anyone would find them beautiful, but to us, in a Madrid that is dry and baking and just downright unpleasant, it´s paradise, pure and simple.People always ask me, how on earth did you hit on the idea of going there? I think, maybe, blame it on Carl Larsson . Yes, I know he´s Swedish, but to us here on the tip of Africa, it´s all one same world of pine forests, icy lakes and "beware elk" signs.

Also, I´ll be meeting one of my favourite bloggers, Pille of Nami-nami. She´s without a doubt the most hospitable person I know, and will not only be putting us up in Tallinn, but actually taking us on a wild mushroom and cloudberry hunt on Saturday. See what I mean? About paradise? The mere idea of a berry or a mushroom in August is like jumping into a pool. As for J, he is beside himself, and once again taking on an uncanny resemblance to a spring lamb on acid.

And the food there? For that you´ll have to go to Pille´s blog. I can´t tell you too much from past experience. This is no fault of the local cuisine, but of what may be called SAS or Spaniard Abroad Syndrome. It goes something like this.
Your average Spaniard wakes up somewhere averagely foreign, somewhat later than usual. She (or he) is confronted by a buffet breakfast. He (this is definitely a he) will pile his plate with three types of eggs, several sausages, some strips of bacon and seventeen croissants. She will painstakingly go trhough every pastry/bread/cereal/fruit/juice tray, and try every single one.
They will emerge with somewhat dazed expressions and begin to tour, as tourists will. Now it so happens that everywhere else lunch is at 1230 or 1. But in Spain it is 230 or 3. And since they´re so full anyway, these two will say, oh, never mind that now. But of course by mid-afternoon they´re very hungry. And of course by then no restaurants are open.
And so your sufferers of SAS will most likely end up at around 5 in some café, wolfing down pancakes or pastries or whatever they can find. And when the foreign dinner time rolls around, it´s the same old story. By the time they want food at 10, what´s open? These SAS idiots have several beers, go to bed hungry and tipsy, and you better beleive that they won´t be skipping breakfast.

I hope that this year we´ll adapt to local custom. For one thing, we´ll make our own breakfast in the cottage, and for another, I´ve been learning a lot about Estonian food in Pille´s blog, so I have a list of stuff I want to try.
I might post from there, but probably I´ll be too busy with the dolce far niente thing, so if I don´t see you til August 20, have a great time.

12 comentarios:

xps dijo...

Si. Soy una víctima del SAS.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) dijo...

Ximena, I know you and Pille will have a wonderful time together! I am jealous!!! Enjoy your holiday.

Pille dijo...

I'll see you at the airport in a few hours - cannot wait :) And don't worry about SAS syndrome - at least Tallinn would cope well with that - most restaurant kitchens are open til l late, at least during summer :)

Raquel dijo...

Buen viaje! y que viva la vida contemplativa! :)

Anónimo dijo...

SAS works in reverse for more northerly Europeans, you know! I worked in Spain for 2 weeks and nearly fell over having to wait until 3pm for something to eat! And of course, I'd only nibbled on a little yogurt and fruit for breakfast at 7am LOL!

Anónimo dijo...

Breakfast in Spain sounds fantastic. I know I like bacon and 17 pastries... perhaps great grandparents lied to me, and I'm really Spanish.

Leave your cottage -- the breakfast buffet sounds just as good as Sundays at the Ritz.

Tea dijo...

SAS--that is so funny! And yes, I can see how it would be true. I hope you have a lovely time with Pille--I am sure you will--and enjoy your holiday!

tammy dijo...

What a treat! Have fun.

Shayne dijo...

Wow I am so jealous. Every time I go on vacation I always end up going to Belgrade, Serbia because that is where my Husband’s family lives. I would love to see more of the area… like Estonia. Maybe next year.

Evelin dijo...

So nice to hear you're coming to Estonia. I hope you'll have a pleasant stay here:)

I really really hope I'll have some time to pick cloudberries on the weekend too as I'm going on a hiking trip. To be honest I've only picked one in my life!:D

Anónimo dijo...

A mushroom and cloudberry hunt? I am so very jealous. you must have a wonderful time and come back reqady to tell all.

Camille dijo...

Have a great time!
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