I briefly hinted in a previous post that somebody important was coming for a visit and that I was looking for a suitable venue with some Edinburgh-based Estonians. Well, that important visitor was our head of state, President Arnold Rüütel. Queen Elizabeth II will be on a state visit in Estonia in October, but apparently Her Royal Highness cannot visit a state if the head of that state has not visited her beforehand. So Estonian President Arnold Rüütel came to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. And what does the president of Estonia do on a night before having tea with the Queen? He's going for a pint in a pub with a bunch of local Estonians, of course.
Here is a picture of my friend Kerttu, me, President Arnold Rüütel and his wife Ingrid at Tolbooth Tavern, Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh. There were just over 20 of us - MacEstonians - present, plus the President's entourage, and the president spent an hour in the pub before returning to his hotel.
This is Doug, the very friendly publican with a choice of five beers (my personal degustation session on previous Thursday).
You can see some more pictures of President's visit here.
Vacation alert 2006:2 - Sweden & Estonia:
I'm off again. On Friday night I'll fly to Stockholm, where my Edinburgh-based Swedish friend Annika is getting married on Saturday. I'll wander around th Gamla Stan during Sunday, before flying to Estonia in the evening. I cannot wait - I haven't seen my family and friends since early January, and K. since our trip to Paris in May. It's a short trip - a weekend in Stockholm followed by just nine days at home, but I hope to find time to do some of the usual stuff - beating myself with fresh birch branches, eating wild yellow chantarelles and wild strawberries to my heart's content, driving around the beautiful countryside and that kind of things..