In August 2016, TCBC celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting a group of VIP clients for an end of summer weekend of fun, learning, and relaxation in Tallinn, Estonia, our second home.
These teachers have all been travelling with us regularly since the very early stages of our inception and we couldn’t think of any better way to offer our sincerest thanks than by giving them another opportunity to travel!
All TCBC staff were present for the festivities - the first time we have all been able to gather together in the same place at the same time! Many staff and teachers know one another from travelling together and visits to schools; it was clear we all appreciated a little time to catch up in person after years of emails and phone calls!
Tallinn is a beautiful city with layers of history and thick city walls that whisper stories to every passerby. On the first afternoon we set off on a walking tour of the Old Town. Our group wandered down ancient cobblestone alleys and through shadows of church spires whilst our guide brought tales to life with his impressive knowledge and animated storytelling.
The following morning, the whole group had the true privilege of meeting Lagle Parek, former Minister of Interior to Estonia. With the help of a translator, Lagle shared her incredible life story, starting with deportation to Siberia at the age of five and on through the hardship of political imprisonment and the eventual founding of a nation. Her words spoke volumes more than any history textbook and also introduced the rest of the day perfectly.
The afternoon was full of mystery and intrigue; we visited the KGB Museum and later had a coach tour of notable Soviet landmarks around Tallinn. The small but impressive KGB Museum is situated on the 23rd floor of Hotel Viru, the very site of a listening room used by Soviets to monitor hotel guests. The spectacular harbour views from the top closely rival the fascinating exhibits and authentic artefacts.
The afternoon coach tour took the group outside the city walls, along Baltic sea beaches and to several fascinating Soviet-themed sites. The first of these was a statue "graveyard" tucked in a secluded corner of Maarjamäe Palace grounds. Here teachers marvelled at dilapidated and dismantled memorials to Soviet era leaders including Lenin and Stalin. Next were visits to the renovated Maarjamäe Stables, which houses an exhibit detailing the 1941-1944 German Occupation, the Song Festival grounds, and Tallinn’s TV tower. All hold an important place in the contemporary history of the nation of Estonia.
Sunday was a relaxing day, one we hope the teachers appreciated on their final weekend before the start of term. Some chose to visit museums and delve deeper into the history of the area, while others had a leisurely coffee in Old Town and shopped for souvenirs. After lunch it was off to the airport for flights home.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and a perfect way to celebrate!
This trip meant something very special to the company and all our staff, being the first time we have ever organised and celebrated such an event. We are thankful to everyone who attended and hope to be able to run the trip regularly in the future.