Sunday, January 02, 2011

These Estonian krooni are now no more!

Sometimes you need to write a blog post just because you have the perfect photo to go with it. This is one of those times. In the margins of the news this week, one of my favourite countries has changed currencies. I'm talking about Estonia, one of those not-so-well-known Baltic States, and how they have given up their Estonian krooni from January 1, 2011, to adopt the (not-quite-so-well-performing) Euro.

This picture was taken on my first ever day in Estonia, in the Russian border town of Narva. I remember well how long I had to queue for in St Petersburg to exchange some Russian rubles into Estonian krooni, and they ended up giving me this huge pile of all the krooni they had in stock - which turned out to be virtually worthless. Still, it was better to arrive with something than nothing, and I sure felt rich for a while carrying around this huge stack of banknotes.

Yet now, if you are lucky enough to enjoy a visit to Estonia (and I'd encourage you to do so), you only need the common Euro to get around. Oh well. While I'm here, let me promise to blog a little more about Estonia this year. I've shown you one of my favourite photos of the walls of Tallinn before but little else, so I'll rectify that, because it's a great country and on top of that, its capital Tallinn is one of the European Capitals of Culture this year.

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