Tallinn 14 09 2023

Wednesday: Anders collected us and Berit then we drove to Ystad. We took the train to Hyllie and caught a very crowded train to Kastrup. After a lunch of Asiatic fast food, the flight to Tallinn was noisy but smooth. We took a bus to town from the airport and then a quick walk to the Old Town Garden Hotel. After checking in we wandered in the old town. There were protestors outside the Russian embassy. We visited an old pharmacy and then ate fried dark bread with an enormous beer. We ate in a Ukrainian restaurant with interesting snaps and quite good food in the evening. Starters were bread with three types of dip and pepper snaps. My beef stroganoff was half right. We slept quite well in our small double room.

Thursday: Breakfast was OK and the coffee machine gave good coffee. We walked in the old town up as high as one can go with three vantage points to see the city from above. Then two old industry areas. The first was street food, the old buildings renovated and artists selling their wares. Coffee and cakes were enjoyed at the Fotografiska. The second area was modern and much had been demolished and rebuilt. Both were well done and interesting. The modern buildings had windows that reflected as mirrors. Lunch in the modern piazza was a pulled pork burger and beer. We walked back to our hotel via a coffee shop and then a nap. The evening was first in a bar for a tequila, sambuca and tabasco drink. Then in a nearby restaurant for fish and chips and a beer. Anna ate dumplings, more like agnolotti with lamb, garlic and sour cream. Gin and tonic for Anna and coffee and whiskey for me. We were in bed by 21:00.

Saturday: We took a tram ride to Kopli, an old industrial area that is being regenerated with quadratic apartment buildings and wooden-clad apartment houses. Then a bus to an area where Nobel established the Russian submarine centre. A marathon was about to start. Girls from 8 to 10 made a short enthusiastic circuit. There was a hotel of wooden igloos and a boat and seaplane museum. Then back to town by bus to have lunch in the square near the hotel.

In the late afternoon, we enjoyed a concert with Jewish klezmer music played by 8 men on a very interesting selection of instruments. They were also very good singers.

We ate dinner in a themed Medieval restaurant. It was dark with too much food. We shared the third floor with a large group of people speaking English.

The area around our hotel is full of embassies. Anti-Russian protestors outside on the first day and lots of placards on a fence outside their embassy. Many fancy cars with CD plates.

Sunday: After breakfast, we wandered in the old town and drank coffee when it rained. We checked out at 11:30 and took a bus to a restaurant. I ate cheese schnitzel and drank beer with fried bread. At the airport we played ping pong while we waited for the flight.

My reflection from our visit is that Estonians are not overtly friendly and smiling but not unfriendly. The town has been well preserved and where rebuilt has been done tastefully. It is an impressive city.