There is always an obvious question to ask about Tallinn. Are people tall in Tallinn? And the answer is no. Neither are they tall in Tallinn or short in Tallinn they are normal in Tallinn. I am writing this the day after my football team got a little bit embarrassed in the final of the Europa Cup. Their performance resembles that of the career of those Manchester based popsters Simply Red; after a promising start they faded quickly into obscurity.
The other thing to report is the blogs are going to get a bit more like London Buses, you may not see one for week and then 10 will come at once. This is due to the days being longer and the availability of free Wifi being shorter. But they will turn up one day.
We did plan on leaving Riga to go to the extreme sports centre of Sigulda for a quick whizz down the artificial bobsled track. This track was built as a practice facility for the former drug-enhanced Soviet team and nowadays the likes of you and me can speed down the track. Except for you can only do it at a weekend. Tracy was doubly-disappointed as the Bungee Jump was also closed on a Monday. So with long faces we headed north through endless pine forests and past the Estonian holiday resort of Parnu which was not at its best in the freezing cold.
Tallinn Old Town
We are based at the Yacht Marina built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. This was the Olympics where no one turned up due to Russia invading Afghanistan and so the Eastern Bloc countries could neck as many drugs as they wanted and win every medal. It is a concrete eyesore but it does have good cheap bus connections to the centre.
Bent – like the athletes that took part
One of the first thins to notice about Estonia is everybody wants to speak to you in English and the second thing is you can never understand a word they say. You know the words they are saying are English, they are roughly in the right order, but for some reason your brain switches off and you cannot comprehend a single sentence. But they do serve drinks with ice.
Tallinn is the best medieval city we have visited so far. You expect Shrek and his army of fairy-tale misfits to invade at any moment. This is Tinseltown. Based on two tiers and surrounded by modern glass skyscrapers this jumble of towers, turrets, spires and winding streets will captivate your heart.
Upper Town was the ancient seat of power and still features the parliament buildings. Lower Town spreads around the foot of Toompea hill and is encircled by a defensive wall which is still pretty much in-tact.
Tallinn Art Nouveau
Lower Town Rooves
After strolling around Lower Town we huffed our way up the hill to Upper Town which offers fine views over the city as well as a close-up of the multi-domed Orthodox Cathedral.
On the Phone
Old & New
Next we headed over to the the Kalamaja area for an insight into what the Estonian hipsters are up to. Remember these are the people they bought you Skype, Napster and TransferWise. Well, just like Shoreditch it is an amalgamation of tecchies and artists playing table tennis outside run-down buildings that double as studios, labs and restaurants. We had a beer before wandering back to the Old Town where we came across an Anti-Putin demonstration. Anything anti-Putin or Merkel is OK by me.
I’m with Them
We had a quick drink in the town square before eating at Olde Hansa, where we eat some olde worldy food and drank meade before having a miserable time watching the football.
To sum up the Baltic Three.
Tallinn. Certainly the prettiest and probably the best to visit out of the three. Just
Riga. The most stately with fantastic Art Nouveau architecture. Worth a visit
Vilnius. Pointless. Tracy thinks that a bit harsh. I don’t
Love to All