Posted by & filed under Travel Country: Estonia.


Well I left the house at 06.40am to get to the airport, for the flight from Amsterdam to Tallinn at 09.40am. I had already printed my boarding pass but you just never know what might happen on the way to the airport. I wanted to get there in time. It was an early start for me, VERY EARLY, but  I was sure it was going to be worth it. I was wrecked though, I must admit.

The flight took off anyway, slightly delayed, at 10am and I was already dozing. We stopped at Vilnius, in Lithuania for twenty minutes, to let passengers disembark and to take on more for the flight to Tallinn and then an hour later, we landed at Tallinn airport. At least the weather was dry, albeit cold, compared to Vilnius, where it was pouring rain.

I had seen on the hotel website that they provide a bus transfer for 20 euros (320 Estonian Kroons), so I had asked them to pick me up from the airport. When I got into arrivals, there was no one there from the hotel to meet me, so after ten minutes, I called the hotel and they said they would chase the driver and that they’d call me back in ten minutes. In the meantime, the driver arrived and he drove me back to the hotel, which was lovely. It’s very clean, professional looking, with very friendly, helpful staff. Actually the receptionist who checked me in, told me that it was his first day but he did everything he could to answer all my questions.

The room was spacious and clean, with lots of room to manouevre. Some places I’ve stayed in were like box rooms, that you can’t swing a cat in! The first thing I always do, is to check the mattress of the bed, to see what the condition of it is like. After a friend told me a story about herself and her boyfriend being eaten alive by bedbugs one night, in a hotel in Germany, it’s the first thing I do in anyplace I stay in when on holiday. The mattress was fine and the bathroom too was spotless. It was also a quiet room, at the back of the building.

At this point, all I wanted to do was sleep, but I can never sleep during the day, so I didn’t bother trying. I headed out to try and find the nearest supermarket, as I wanted to buy some fruit and bottled water. After following instructions from the young receptionist on how to get to the nearest supermarket, I found it. I had to take trolleybus 1, four stops to stop “A.Laikmaa” where there was a supermarket downstairs in the Solaris shopping centre. The trolleybus driver was very helpful and he told me where to go to, as I had gone a stop too far.

I got my stuff anyway and found my way back to the hotel. I badly needed something to eat and headed downstairs to the restaurant, as the pork tenderloin fillet on their menu sounded very enticing. It wasn’t as good as I thought though, I just didn’t like the taste of it. Anyway, I decided to head to Raekoja plaats, (Town Hall Square) to give me a taste of what the old town looks at night. Well I was hooked. It’s a small, little cobblestoned square in the old town and it was pretty quiet at 8.30pm. Mind you, it was also a Tuesday night, so there wasn’t much happening. But I like it like that. I had gotten a map from the receptionist at the hotel and found my way there within ten minutes walk. On my way there, I walked through an arch of the city wall and found myself on the other side, at a place called the Danish King’s courtyard, with great views over the city. One of the towers here, called the Virgin’s Tower, was apparently a prison for medieval prostitutes.

There were steps up to the tower, which led to a small cafe on the city wall. I didn’t go up there but I promised myself that I would go there later on in the trip. But to see this part of the city wall all lit up at night time, with the arches in the wall illuminated, the colours of the leaves of the trees there, a lovely amber and the bell tower of St. Nicholas’s church looming up before you was great to see. This was my favourite spot. There was also a stall in the middle of the courtyard, selling gluhwine until about 10 or 11pm at night.

I had just started a basic photography course and was discovering more settings and functions on my compact digital camera, which I had never known about before and it was good fun experimenting with it and the photos were coming out well. I’ll tell you, there were some great opportunities for good photos, even at night time. Luhike Jalg is a little shortcut from Danish King’s Courtyard to the old town, with steps going to Niguliste and the town square. It’s so pretty but well lit and pretty safe if you’re on your own.

I walked around the surrounding streets for a short while and then headed back to the hotel. I wanted to get a good night’s sleep because I knew that I’d be doing a lot of walking over the next four days.

So my first impressions of Tallinn were very good. I was looking forward to discovering more.