Travelling to Tallinn
Trip Start May 01, 2009
48Trip End Ongoing
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When we arrived in Tallinn, we walked about 200m to our hotel before starting our walking tour of the city.
We saw the Broken Line sculpture, a monument to the 852 people who died when a ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn sunk. We then entered the older part of Tallinn. Tallinn is well divided between the old and new - there is a large wall
surrounding the old part of the city, and inside looked completely
different to out
Inside the walls we found lots of narrow cobbled streets with a variety of styles of old 3-4 storey buildings which (at the risk of sounding like the guy off Grand Designs) oozed with character. We wandered through a few of these streets up to the Alexander Nevsky church. As Estonia used to be a part of Russia, it has some strong links to Russia through architecture, religion and language, and this was clear to see at the Nevsky Church. It was an impressive building both inside and out, and is just across the road from the Presidential Palace. Around the corner we went to another church, which was also quite impressive, then over to the top of a wall which overlooks the old and new parts of the city.
Interestingly there was a statue up on top of one of the buildings, dedicated to the local pervert who used to peer into ladies bedrooms from across the street!
We even saw a dodgy looking guy selling Russian passports, as Russia is particularly hard to get into with regards to visa requirements etc, so there's a bit of a black market in it. I was surprised at how out in the open it was too.
After our walking tour, a few of us went for lunch in a local pancake restaurant...and it was the best pancake ever! They had a variety of different savoury and sweet fillings available, such as feta and garlic, bacon and cheese, ham and cheese, and I had mince and cheese. It didn't look that massive when it was sat on the plate, but it was very, very filling...we ate lunch at about 2pm, and by 8pm when we had dinner we still didn't have any room!
In the evening we (the whole tour group) ate in an Estonian Beer Hall, and it was an awesome place! For some reason the doorman was a dwarf dressed up as a pirate, and there was some pirate themed stuff in the entrance, but other than that it just had an old world feel, and was a nice place. I (along with most of the other people in our group) chose the ribs, and they were really big and really good! Some of the best ever. I had an Estonian dark beer, and while I don't usually like dark beers, I thought this was awesome. They even had big 1 litre steins which made the beer drinking process more efficient...less time wasted going back and forth to the bar - smart!
As it was the last night for the group to be together before some of us parted ways, we all ate, drank and were merry, and everyone had a fantastic night
So, it was the end of my Topdeck trip, and in total we had covered, by my estimation, 4561.3km - not bad! I was very happy with how the trip went, and would certainly consider travelling with Topdeck again. I wasn't so sure if it would be good value for money when I booked it, but considering that in my case the majority of the trip was in Norway, where the food (and everything else, actually) is ridiculously expensive, I'd say it is. Matt the cook did an awesome job with the food, and for those of us with larger appetites there was normally seconds available if needed, and Roma and Deans both did their respective jobs well - there wasn't a single thing I could think of that went wrong, and it was a much more stress free and social way to travel than when doing so by yourself or just with friends. I was recommended Topdeck, and would recommend them myself.