I know where you live...

Maturin

Sköldpadda
I live in Karlstad, Sweden. With around 60,000 inhabitants it would probably be considered a small city anywhere else, but here it is the largest city in the county (or län) Värmland. The perspective.

The city is situated on the river delta of Klarälven, on the northern shore of lake Vänern. You are never far away from water, and the bridges in the city centre are really beautiful. There is also a lot of trees around the city centre, so the overall impression I guess would be that of a beatiful city.

When it comes to sports we have one of the top ice-hockey-teams in the country, Färjestad BK, which dominated Elitserien (now the SHL) for most of the 00's, but now unfortunately seem to be doing less well. I am not really interested in sports anymore, but I guess I should mention it.

I think one of the better things about living in Karlstad is the public transports. We have striking orange buses which work really well for getting around pretty much every part of the city. Really fresh, brand new buses with television on board. When it comes to stores and shopping we have several malls and an IKEA-store. Nothing missing there, as far as I am concerned. Higher education is available at the university, albeit a small university that received its status as a university in 1999. Friends that have moved here to study seem to be really pleased with their choice - they don't have to worry about finding a place to live, and the university campus is all in the same place.

I have lived here all my life, and have no plans on moving.
 

Saapanael

"Get a life, punk!"
I live in Tallinn, Estonia. It is the capital of the country, ~420 000 people. Having been to very large cities like Paris and London I can say that thankfully Tallinn is a lot calmer but not too small either. I live in the part of town called Nõmme, which is about 10 km away from the city centre. I love it here: the green nature at Summer, the tranquility and rural type of cosiness will always remain dear for me. It actually used to be a separate small town but was joined with Tallinn probably in the first half of the 20th century. Our most famous tourist attraction is probably the Old Town, which is quite marvellous too. Authentic roads and buildings from the Middle Ages, very interesting and full of secrets. The whole city isn't as beautiful though, we have large Soviet-era brick houses as well, but you need to fit all the people somewhere! Tallinn is a coastline city so nautical stuff is probably pretty important here. I have seen cruise ships every now and then.

An interesting fact is that in Tallinn 55% of the people are Estonian. We don't have black people, Asians or Spanish people etc at all(!) but about one third of our population is Russian. As you may know, we have a historical grudge against Russians so problems are caused nowadays too: Russians not able to speak Estonian although living and working here and so on.



Glehn's Castle in Nõmme (maybe 800m from my home) - it is actually on a cliff so the other side is much taller; there are very cool ruins right next to the castle.



The Old Town and seaside.



The very centre of the city, Tornimägi, directly translated Towerhill
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I'm very jealous of people living in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. Maybe statistics lie, but looking at their rankings in human development index, GDP per capita, peace rate, GINI coefficient and importance of religion rates, they feel like heaven to me.
 

Saapanael

"Get a life, punk!"
1) We actually have a lot of poverty in the rural areas.
2) We're peaceful alright! No wars or natural disasters, Estonia was actually said to be the safest country in the world in an article about a year ago.
3) Religion is really not important here: Lack of Importance of Religion in Europe by Gallup poll (2007): Estonia got the first place with 84% (non-religious); Eurobarometer Poll 2010: Estonia third lowest place (religious).
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
Let me try this.
I wasn't born in Sofia but I've lived here for the past 14 years and I love it. As you know, the city is the capital of Bulgaria and has a population of about 1.5 million. It consists of a relatively large town centre which is surrounded by Communist-era neighbourhoods, filled with huge rectangular blocks of flats. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of development and regeneration, especially in the central parts of the city. The very heart of Sofia lies on top of an ancient city called Serdika. It was founded about 2,000 BC by the Thracian tribe Serdi. In the first century AD, it was conquered by the Romans and in the fourth century, Serdika became an administrative centre under emperor Konstantin the Great, who developed the city further. Today, many parts of the Serdika fortress have been restored and are displayed in underground passages. Excavations are still going on. Here's a part of the Eastern gate.



One of the most notable places in Sofia is the area that has a Christian Orthodox church, a mosque and a synagogue located really close to one another - the latter two are practically adjacent. Ethnic conflicts are something you cannot see here and I hope things stay this way.

There is a large pedestrian area, with fancy shops and cafes. Here it is:



My favourite place is the square in front on the National Theatre. There are always things happening there - art festivals, street performances, chess tournaments... This is it:


And it's quite pretty at night:



There are also lots of parks and green areas. The biggest park used to be the Royal Garden but it was nationalised by the Communists after WWII. It has now been modernised and has a nice artificial lake, called Ariana.


Just outside the city, there's Vitosha mountain, where you can ski or go hiking.

 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
I honestly didn't know Sofia is such a diverse place. Nor that it has an ancient Roman heritage. Not that the latter surprises me, I just didn't know.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I might visit Sofia some day. All in all it's very close to us so it's very likely that it'll be one of my first trips abroad.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
Ariana is the name of one of the largest beer brands in Bulgaria. The company sponsored the construction of the lake. Nothing mystical about it. ;)
A few months ago, another Roman fortress from the fourth century was fully restored about 60 km from Sofia. I haven't been there yet but my husband did the lighting and the PA there and told me it was very impressive. This is part of it:

 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
It's crazy. There's stuff like that in Southern Germany, Northern England, France and elsewhere. Looks just like that.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
Well, they definitely did. It's not news to me, but it's just moments like these when I realise how amazing it actually is.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Very nice to read all these contributions!

It's crazy. There's stuff like that in Southern Germany, Northern England, France and elsewhere. Looks just like that.
Did they restore Roman fortresses so extensively in these areas? Never seen this before. A bit odd to be honest. I prefer the old stuff, even if it's not complete anymore. ;-)
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I think the one Perun is talking about in Northern England is Arbeia in South Shields, Tyneside, it does look similar. They reconstructed the front of the gatehouse, a section of the defensive ditches and one or two other parts. It's actually good to see, because it's otherwise difficult for people to visualise how the originals might have looked. Most of the Roman remains left are the lower sections of walls, just a few feet high.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Yes indeed, I have seen quite some of the most interesting sections of Hadrian's wall, but that was more in the centre and west.
 
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