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Published: July 30th 2010
It began rather ominously. We slept straight through our alarm and wouldn’t have made our flight if it wasn’t for our persistent taxi driver. On arrival in Tallinn we managed to get out more money than we meant to and then make my card mysteriously disappear. We had to wait at the airport and buy cokes in order to get change for the bus ride into the city centre and then we walked in the completely wrong direction looking for our hotel on the edge of Tallinn’s old town. We were hoping this wouldn't be an indictation of things to come.
Bright blue skies and long twilights proved we had nothing to worry about as we spent the next three days in Tallinn. Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, the northern most Baltic State. It sits between Russia and Latvia with Helsinki and Finland a mere 2 1/2 hours away by ferry across the Baltic Sea.
The first day we had to ourselves and spent the day exploring Tallinn’s lovely Old Town which is broken into upper (Toompea) and lower (All-Linn) Old Town. It involved much of what has become extremely normal for us - walking the cobbled streets,
following the city walls and stopping for lunch and drinks in different locations around the city.
The second day we surprised even ourselves by joining our tour group. A tour is something we wouldn’t normally do being ‘independent’ types (you can read this as ‘stubborn’ or maybe even 'selfish'), but thanks to my Mum, who is a travel agent, we got an amazingly cheap deal to join a group travelling through Russia and the Baltic States for 2 1/2 weeks. And who are we to say no to a bargain holiday through an area of the world we were interested in visiting?
So we met our group leaders, and found that we would even get to share a room (something that wasn’t guaranteed), met our group and had our first group dinner. Luckily the group all seemed really lovely, however we headed off by ourselves the following day as well in order to ease ourselves into the trip. We spent the day in Kadriorg Park, a lovely park 2 kilometres from the Old Town and visiting the city beach before having dinner in the Old Town. The dinner was memorable only because of the waiter at the table
Tallinn Old Town
next to us, who told the guest who were interested in ordering a pepper steak that it was actually quite horrible and he wouldn’t recommend it.
After dinner we watched the late sunset (although it never actually got very dark) from the abandoned port in front of our hotel before heading to bed and getting ready to get for our first day on the bus heading for the Russian border and St Petersburg.
We've decided to break the trip into sections so we can do a little at a time, rather than swamp you all with a huge blog with far too many photos....so watch this space as we travel through Russia, back through Latvia and Lithuania and eventually ending our trip in Berlin.
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