I arrived to Tallinn on an amazing ferry from Helsinki which is worth a mention of excellence. That boat had nothing to do with our ferries of North-America or South-America; it could be called a cruise ship. The ride lasted two hours and I took that time to relax, check my budget, write about the previous days and upload some pictures.
Going to Tallinn’s old town from the port is on foot and the old town is a 15 minute walk and the center really can’t be missed. The huge fortifications reflect the perfect stereotypes of medieval ages. I headed towards the hostel and waited for my friend Aleks who was currently making his way there from the airport. On that late afternoon, we walked around and explored the fortifications and beautiful alleys.
The historical section is very small, the smallest I have seen. Until now, the capital of Uruguay was the ‘’smallest’’ touristic city I had seen. Tallinn is less than a kilometer by a kilometer wide but it is packed with beautiful things as only fortified towns. So after the walk we went to a restaurant, talked about life as we haven’t seen each other much since he left to live in Berlin where he has extremely good conditions that make me jealous and, is making me consider moving there also as, honestly, our number of vacations in North-America sucks. So… back to traveling!
After the restaurant we went to the main square and tried to find a beer at a reasonable price to continue our conversations and point out the fact there were many Russian there. The night finished early as we had much too se the next day.
We had a terrible night of sleep. A young German in our 6 bed dorm was snoring louder than I thought possible. I have never seen anything like it in my years of travels – and I have seen a lot of snorers; I’m certain he could have been a winning candidate for the Guinness world record for the highest amount of decibel emitted – in the mammal category as a whole. Anyhow, we took a quick included breakfast at the hostel and went walking toward a park near one of the fortified wall to take a coffee and wake up to make up for the lack of sleep.
The walking tour was very interested as even though the city is beautiful, simply walking around doesn’t give you the anecdotes, information and intrusive information in the local life of Tallinn. Tallinn is a very beautiful and well-preserved medieval city of almost 1000 years. The Christians imposed their fate in bloodshed and the country was invaded many times because of its good location. In later times, this country has permanently been caught between the wars of different super-powers like the Swedish kingdom, the Germans and their ancestors and good old’ Russia. It got its independence, lost it to Russia, left Russia and got it again once the iron curtain fell. The walking tour explained us the mentality of the people there, what is great about Estonia, the history of the different churches and squares, how was life during the Russian occupation as our guide recalled his memories of childhood.
Part of the afternoon was spent walking around the small alleys of the old town and the parks. We did the Estonian history museum who has a lot to offer for a very low price. Nice relics, artefacts of war, shorts films about the history of Estonia and interesting exhibits made this a must-see.
In the evening we decided to go to a neighbourhood just outside the old town. Our walking tour guide told us that this hipster neighbourhood full of start-ups, graffiti’s, second life architecture and restaurants is great to visit. So, we decided to go eat and have a beer in the ‘cool’ part of the city.
Although we only had spent a full day in Tallinn we felt ready to go to Russia. Tallinn is a great city but it can be seen very quickly – in many countries it would be considered a city of average size with only a few things to do.