It’s been too long since I’ve last written but I’ve been trying to be present and enjoy every moment of my most recent travels.
That said, one adventure I did want to share is that of my visit to Tallinn. Where’s that? Well that’s what I asked at least when the destination was first suggested. And the answer turned out to be more surprising and delightful than I could have imagined.
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and nestled along the Baltic Sea, neighbouring Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. This charming town still maintains its walled Old Town with the gothic style Old Town Hall towering the exquisite main square below. This part of Tallinn felt almost magical and like a glimpse of times gone by.Walking through its narrow and cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and historic churches were on show and offers of local and international cuisines at the many cafes and restaurants tantalising the taste buds.
Outside the high walls of the Old Town is a “new” city with shopping spaces, bustling businesses and an enormous cinema plaza, where we managed to catch a movie in English. In addition to all this, Tallinn is a port city. The city is easily traversed by bus or tram or foot…the previously mentioned “surprise” of this city is that although it has so many different spaces – old town, new city, port – it’s closer than expected and we walked to and from each of these areas. And being a port city meant opportunities for a day trip by boat across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki (more about this at a later stage)…visiting two countries in one weekend away sounds like a win to me.
If this city was beautiful in the day, it was magnificent at night. The lights brought a feeling of warmth and coziness to the Old Town and energy to the vibrant city centre. This was in someway welcomed as it was cool weather seeing as it was October and even more so being along the coast. More of the “surprise” was at how friendly and welcoming the people of the town are (not knowing what to expect) and that most of them spoke English, very helpful when we needed directions.
We stayed at GO Hotel Shnelli (I just love the name) which was a stone’s throw from the Old Town and provided a wonderful breakfast, including some traditional local foods. This was obviously right up my alley as a foodie in getting an understanding of the foods of the area.
Tallinn boasts a “Cultural Kilometre” with art galleries and art on the street walls it seems. The city offers visitors the opportunity to slow down and remember to appreciate where you’ve been and where you are. The medieval capital of Estonia is a mixture of Scandinavian, Russian and other European influences and traveling here was an absolute treat.