July 14 2009
On Tuesday we had our tour of Pärnu, and a company visit to Tervise Paradiis, which is this ginormous spa and hotel. The tour of the city was nice. Pärnu is a small and very old city. We saw where Estonia’s independence was first declared in 1918, some old haunted music school, the old city gates, and some other 14th century buildings that have managed to survive.
The ghost story about the old music and dance school is great. Apparently one night, a very young, talented violin player was practicing all by himself, late at night in the building. Suddenly he could hear an entire orchestra accompanying him but no one was there. He got frightened and of course ran out but the ghost orchestra continued to play throughout the entire night, and it was heard by all the nearby inhabitants of the town. The story goes that perhaps someday another very talented musician will again be able to experience the ghost orchestra’s accompaniment. If I were a student there, I would be sure to avoid playing alone at night.
The tour to the spa was pretty interesting. They offer all kinds of different therapeutic treatments. One of them, called a Salt Treatment, consisted of sitting in a room entirely surrounded by salt. You just sit there, in a beach chair, relaxing in the salty atmosphere. The oddest treatment they had (in my opinion) was the one they called a “shower”. This consisted of the client standing against a wall, holding onto a railing, while being sprayed from about 10 feet away with powerful jets of water. I thought that sounded more like torture than a relaxing spa treatment but hey, whatever floats your boat.
After our tour we were able to use the pool facilities, which included Estonia’s largest water park. The water slides were pretty fun, and they also had different temperature pools, saunas, steam rooms, and a platform to jump off of. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped from that high before and it was pretty intimidating (yes, I’m a huge girl and I screamed on the way down). I really wanted to get a massage while I was there but they were pretty full up and the services closed before our tour was over. Oh well, I suppose being in a beach resort town in Europe will have to suffice for my well-being. Life is so difficult sometimes.
At night I relaxed with the girls and indulged in some guilty pleasures of Cabernet Sauvignon, Camembert cheese, good bread, and Nutella. So yeah, it was a pretty fantastic day.