TALLINN - The winter is finally giving up it rights and the sun is getting warmer and warmer each day. It is still a bit cold for open air activities, however, and the melting snow is too soft for the usual snowball fight or skiing in the beautiful parks on the outskirts of town.
Yet even as the seasons change it can still be possible to enjoy some late-season ice skating. Very few who have been to Tallinn during the winter could resist a couple of rounds sliding on the open-air ice rink on the Harju hill, in the middle of Old Town.
This amazing rink is still open for some time, but unfortunately, unpredictable weather with a mix of snow and rain can also nix all the plans. But the sunny days spent at this place are sure to leave warm memories until next winter.
Yet with the weather being what it is during an Estonian spring, it may still be best to visit some of Tallinn's plentiful indoor ice rinks.
The newest, biggest and fanciest is the Premia ice hall. Located in a picturesque district of Tallinn, Rock al Mare, it was opened in 2002. Premia has two ice rinks, each 28 by 58 meters, and great opportunities for both amateur ice-skaters and professionals.
Stable temperatures of eight degrees above zero will keep skaters comfortably warm, while energetic non-stop music will keep those skates moving ever faster.
Excellent access and great parking possibilities, combined with a good selection of equipment for rent and convenient storage cabinets, make it a most popular place for locals. Anyone with a bit of spare time can book a lesson with a professional trainer and feel, if not like Pljushenko, at least not like a cow on ice.
Premia also has a cozy cafeteria on the second floor, where anyone can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and a bite of fresh pastry while watching the restless ice-skaters downstairs. Coincidentally, Premia is the biggest ice cream producer in Estonia 's they seem to be fond of everything dealing with ice, and everything they do is top quality.
Another place worth visiting is Jeti ice hall. The rink was opened in 2000 by Jari Kurri, who is one of the most successful European hockey players of all time. Maybe this is the reason Jeti is considered to be more of a guy's ice hall 's men, of course, prefer to go where they feel the smell of hockey and not of figure skating.
Nevertheless, Jeti offers a great opportunity for a few hours of cold fun with a group of friends. The open air ice rink in Old Town and Jeti are siblings, and the same trainers that one is used to skating with in Harju will continue training in Jeti all summer long.
Another distinctive feature of Jeti is curling. Special curling tracks were opened by the most famous Estonian curling sportsmen, Markku Uusipaavalniemi, who won the silver medal in Torino.
After a few tough hours of skating it is possible to relax in a warm sauna, sharing the positive emotions of the passed day and letting hard-worked muscles rest.