Tallinn Part One

It was a 300 km drive from Riga to Tallinn, which took most of the day with a couple of stops. There are no Lidl stores in either Latvia or Estonia, so we stopped at a Maxima X instead (X denotes a small supermarket, XX is a large one, and XXX is a hypermarket). It was our last food shop before we cross the Baltic Sea to Helsinki. We’ve been stockpiling non-perishable food, drink (wine!) and toiletries in the van, as this tends to be very expensive in Scandinavia. We now have three very full crates in the garage, and the cupboards inside the van are bursting.

We’re now staying on a campsite in Saue, just outside Tallinn. When we pulled up we were very surprised to see about ten British vans parked up. It turned out to be an organised tour of the Baltic States, and it was great to chat to some fellow Brits. It’s quite a new site, so the facilities are good. The train station is 15 minutes walk away, and from there a 20 minute ride into the city centre costs just €2.

After four days walking around Riga, and a full day driving to Tallinn, we had a rest day yesterday. Carol did the laundry whilst I was route planning for Finland. Being able to pick up Sky News on our satellite TV, we also watched the royal wedding which was entertaining.

It’s getting darker later as we move north – this was at about 22:15 last night

Today we took the train into Tallinn and spent the day in the old town. Being a port, it’s popular with the cruise ships and so the old town was very busy. One of my pet hates is the walking tours from the cruises, and it’s pretty easy to tell these from the regular walking tours by the body language: the tour guides invariably look disinterested, like they’re just going through the motions; and the people on the tour party just look bored, like they’re only doing the walk because they’ve paid for it. The guides usually carry a paddle with a number on it, so Carol and I now pick some numbers and play ‘Cruise Ship Bingo’.

With a couple of cruise ships in port, there must have been 20 or more walking tours doing the rounds so it was really busy until later in the afternoon, when they all returned to their ships. We’d already decided what we wanted to see in the old town, and managed to do this over the course of the day. Tallinn’s old town is a very pretty place.

The town hall
The city wall
View over the city to the port – and the dreaded cruise liners!
Another view over the city
The castle
One of the many cruise ship tour parties
The Russian Orthodox church
The monument to the human chain in 1991 linking Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius
Freedom Square
An underground car park has cleverly been constructed around the remains of the old city wall
Wonderful clock
Door of the day
Entrance to the KGB prison cells
The Great Coastal Gate
More city walls
There are loads of lovely lilac bushes all over Tallinn

This evening we found a great restaurant purely by chance. It was called Rataskaevu 16, and the food was superb – worthy of Masterchef we thought – and the waitress who served us gave excellent service.

Tomorrow we’ll be returning to Tallinn to visit the new town, and on Tuesday we’ll be spending the day in the bohemian Kalamaja district.


6 thoughts on “Tallinn Part One”

  1. You must have a huge payload on your van to stockpile food and drink? Ours is only 397kg!
    Haha we hate cruise ship walking tours. We always say “come in number 2 your time is up”
    Good read.

    • Cheers Tina. Yep we have a max gross weight of 3.85t which is great because we can load the van up, but the downside is the need to use go-boxes in many countries.

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