May 2019 – it was cold and dull with wind and rain once I arrived.
I took a bus (Lux Express 8 euros 2.5 hours) from Tartu, and walked from the bus station to KE’s flat. KE is a dancer /choreographer / therapist who I discovered on the internet and emailed out of the blue asking her if she might like to meet. She very kindly invited me to stay with her, I enjoyed giving her a Shiatsu, and we had great conversations.
In 1991, Estonia won independence after many decades of Russian (and German) occupation, during which their culture and autonomy were almost non existent. Much architecture exists which is redolent of those years.
‘Cornflower’ is the name of this metal sculpture. It is a memorial which ‘commemorates all victims of the Soviet occupation and those who gave their lives for the freedom of Estonia.’ (from the plaque beside the artwork). Created by Paul Saar, 1990, Tartu, Estonia.
It was not as easy to find an affordable place to eat. The prices were higher (it being the capital and me being in the tourist area) and some places looked shut which actually were not. It was, of course, hard to translate the signs, and my fingers were numb from using the map on my phone. I found a blog which recommended Estonian chocolate which I tried to give myself a quick boost from being freezing and having let myself get very hungry. That did the trick! Lunch at the Teater in Rataskaevu.
The place I found was great. I had a filled pancake (their speciality) and a tea for 5.5 euros.
Tallinna Reaalskool, Tallinn
Lutheran Church, Tallinn
St Nicolas Church and Museum
Tallin Old Town
Kiek in de kok (round tower) and Maiden Tower (4 sided tower), Old Town, Tallinn
Orthodox church, Tallinn
Tallinn Art House Kunstihouene, Vabaduse, Tallinn
I went in search of an art gallery which the woman in the Tartu Kogo Gallery recommended to me and on the way I got to see a different quarter of the city.
Theater – front of the Eesti Draamateater Tallinn
I saw on the map that I was one minute away from the Kassikohvik cat cafe which was on my list. Unfortunately it was shutting when I got there, but the woman in the yellow jersey let me in to take a few photos. It had been recommended to me so I feel I can put it down here. Expect a five euro supplement for adults, and less for children.
2 sculptures on the outsides of buildings
Gardening outside the flats, Tallinn
Architectural detail on the windows of the blocks
Other than one grumpy bus driver, every other single person who served me or showed me round, gave me a bed or otherwise was where I was, was friendly and kind throughout my month in Estonia, and I am very gratful to them all for speaking English to me when all I could really say was ‘thank you’ in their language.
I bought a bunch of non-hot-house flowers in Tartu from similar women to these.
A lovely Latvian woman I met in the hostel in Parnu, recommended that I walked up to the Kohtuotsa viewing platform where the inscription ‘The Times We Had’ can be found. She also showed me photos of the wonderful Jagala waterfall (bus 152b) a distance away from Tallinn.
Having flown to Riga, I returned to the UK with Air Baltic.
Other sights in Tallinn Estonia Tourist Board