Tallinn

9 07 2011

Switching currency was a breeze at the Tallinn airport and soon we were using our Euros to pay for bus ticket to the old town. We followed directions to check in for our private room at the hostel but eventually learned they were giving us a private apartment. So after much backtracking and sweating in the sun, we arrived at our place. It was a quaint almost unfurnished one bedroom apartment on a “side” street from the bustling Vene St. An hour so later we were exploring and settled for a couple pasta dinners with chicken and a creamy cheese and mushroom sauce. After paying for our dinner, we decided we needed to reduce our food costs and scouted out the nearest grocery store which was located in a big shopping center outside of old town. Hare krishnas, buskers and trees wrapped in knitted blankets lined the sidewalks within and around the park in front of this main shopping center. The main square in old town was filled with tourists and was quite the scene. A bachelorette party lingered on the steps of the cathedral asking tired tourists to donate money to their “fund” and a pedaling pub rode past us as we stared at it all. Beggars did not seem to linger inside old town but heavily lined the sidewalks outside the old town gate off of Vene street. Armed with ear plugs, we slept soundly and awoke the next morning to a street cleaning machine. Around noon, we went on a two hour tour of the city via the “Yellow Free Tour”. After a rest and lunch, we took bus A1 from the Virus Kesvas center to the beach. We hoped to visit a contemporary art museum but missed the stop and instead ended up at the Youth Song Festival, which featured young Estonians singing in traditional dress—the crowds, talent, and crafts were all pretty impressive. A stroll down the beach afterwards and a “home cooked” dinner of rice and veggies filled our early evening time before we experienced one last stroll through old town. We discovered some new old narrow alley ways. I especially loved 12th century narrow cobble stoned Katerina street. Small windows and original wall fragments revealed the depth of history of the street. As the café’s closed, and the bars began to fill, we retired—filled with history, beauty, and tiramisu (courtesy of the grocery store)☺

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