Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tallinn Visit -- Part 2: Christmas Market and Shops

I'd never visited a Christmas market before coming to Europe this Fall; but come December, they are everywhere.  Christmas markets are very festive and give a warm holiday atmosphere to this dark time of year in the North. The town hall square in Tallinn's old town is alive with people in stalls selling all kinds of items for Christmas giving as well as food and drinks to fill and warm you. As the sun sets -- very early this time of year -- the place becomes beautifully lit up.

A reindeer in a fenced area adds to the Christmas atmosphere.

Lots of fur hats, gloves, slippers, and vests for sale here.

This woman's beautiful coat intrigued me, as I recognized the fabric to be a woven pattern used in the national costume from one region of  Estonia. I asked her about it and learned that she had it custom made to be totally lined in sheep skin.  Very warm. She and her husband have a sheep farm where the products in her stall come from. Sten bought a sheep skin hat from her to keep him warm on his daily walks.

Hand knit sweaters, hats, scarves, and more filled the stalls.  One can easily become overwhelmed. We made a few purchases for Christmas gifts as we passed through the town hall square on our way to and from our hotel.  

This shop was not part of the market, but along the street near our hotel.  It sells the woven fabric used in the skirts of the national costumes.  Notice the map in the second photo.  It shows the regions of the country with a swatch of the fabric used in their costumes.  Colorful and tempting.

This shop's specialty is marzipan shaped into all sorts of things.  They even had a "Museum" downstairs with marzipan made into busts of famous people. Interesting.

I thought these simple brown paper bag gift bags decorated with natural seeds and plants were beautiful.

This shop filled with things forged by a black-smith -- hinges, doorhandles, knockers -- also had these two chain mail pieces.  

I'm not a big shopper in normal situations at home, but this shopping experience was fun and different.  I'll leave you with this young redhead inviting you into her shop to buy Baltic amber, amongst other things. Have fun.

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