Aug 26 2008
I was searching for cheapish, but interesting ways to get from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Stockholm, Sweden this summer, and Kayak pointed me to Estonia Air. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of going to Tallinn for a stop-over, and so I booked the ticket. I anxiously spent the last few days in Dubrovnik getting ready to go to a new city, getting a new stamp in my passport, and getting in the mode of being a tourist again.
After a quick three hour flight, I found myself a bit shocked to be in Estonia. After leaving the hot Adriatic sun, I found myself tearing through my suitcase for my sweater and kicking myself for not packing a least one pair of tights. The weather here is much cooler than I expected, and it has been raining for the better part of the weekend. But I did profit from a few breaks in the rain to explore the Old City of Tallinn. I can’t quite put my finger on Tallinn. It looks familiar, and yet every time I hear the language it seems so exotic and foreign at the same time. The town itself, it seems to me, is a hodgepodge of different styles. Some squares remind me of Polish towns I have visited and buildings remind me of Northern Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia. But there is something intriguing about the core of the Old City. The streets are a maze, and if you can navigate around the hordes of cruise ship tourist groups, there are interesting shops and cafes tucked away in every corner.
Armed with my trusty Rough Guide to the Baltic States, I did find some great cafes to wait out the rain and to people watch. The crowds here are very eclectic. Packs of Baltic hipsters, hard rocker guys, Hare Krishnas, poor restaurant staff who are forced to wear medieval dress in hopes of attracting wandering tourists into the themed restaurants, backpackers, hearty tourists with plans of conquering the city despite the weather, and a lot of men with mullets– all of which make for an interesting few hours of people watching and drinking coffee.
Now I just find myself in the middle of August wondering if I should buy a warm pair of mittens.Read more: Cafe Culture, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Rough Guide, Tallinn, Travel, Travel Tips and Resources
Lisa can usually be found staring longingly at the Eastern European shelf at the Globe Corner Bookstore. However, she really wants to go to Colombia.