June 30, 2013 in Our Travels
Tallinn seems to be our 2nd home, our motto is we never go back to the same place twice, yet here we are home again after our 6th visit!
I wrote about our 2012 trip here
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn’s Old Town is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. Tallinn was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland.
Tallinn has a population of :-
Tallinn is the oldest capital city in Northern Europe. The city was known as Reval from the 13th century until 1917 and again during the Nazi invasion of Estonia from 1941 to 1944.
On 24 February 1918, the Independence Manifesto was proclaimed in Tallinn, followed by Imperial German occupation and a war of independence with Russia. On 2 February 1920, the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed with Soviet Russia, wherein Russia acknowledged the independence of the Estonian Republic. Tallinn became the capital of an independent Estonia. After World War II started, Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1940, and later occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944. After the Nazi retreat in 1944, it was again annexed by the USSR. After annexation into the Soviet Union, Tallinn became the capital of the Estonian SSR.
In August 1991 an independent democratic Estonian state was re-established and a period of quick development to a modern European capital ensued. Tallinn became the capital of a de facto independent country once again on 20 August 1991.
Whilst we were there we happened upon a military parade/concert that was taking place in Freedom Square with the Estonian rock band Tanel Padar & The Sun. We sat up on the hill and watched it whilst basking in the sun. It lasted about an hour & they had various military parading round, marching bands, folk dancers & gymnasts. We did sit and have a giggle when the marching bands started to dance as it reminded us of American Pie and “This 1 time at Band Camp!”
During The Sun’s performance, which they were on the back of an army truck, 3 girls performed on black, white & blue ribbons (to signify the Estonian national flag) suspended from a crane, spinning dropping, climbing back up! You can see the video below. For more videos of the day check out the videos here. (Please bear in mind we were sitting quite a way from it so I had to keep zooming in)
During the summer months Tallinn doesn’t get dark, compared to the UK it only really get’s dusk, the picture below shows just how light it stays.
This year we were in Tallinn during Jaanipäev (St John’s Day) are the most important days in the Estonian calendar, apart from Christmas. The short summer seasons with long days and brief nights hold special significance for the people of Estonia. Jaanipäev is celebrated in the night between June 23 and 24, a few days after the summer solstice, when night seems to be non-existent. A lot of business’s and shops shut down for Jaanipäev, with the locals heading off to the country to celebrate. The town became very quiet especially during the evening when the cruise ship tourists had gone back to their ships.
I even took blackout masks with us this year as the room we were in last year was easterly facing and the sun rose in our window at around 3am! Luckily we were put in a side room and although there wasn’t a view it meant it didn’t get as light, but I still used my mask and slept so much better with it.
Although we’ve been so many times we still love walking round the town and checking out the amazing views from the various lookout points. The cobbled streets sure get the legs aching!
Thomas the train has been upgraded this year, we did notice last year he wasn’t around, but he’s back, bigger and better than ever. He takes tourists round the town streets for about 20mins for 6 Euro’s pp.
Another surprise for us this year in Tallinn was the amount of pigeons that had appeared and I don’t mean the feathered varieties! Stone pigeons have popped up all over the city in random places. They now block roads off from traffic, they are dotted around the streets, along the footpaths, everywhere.!!!
Our main pastime whilst we’re in Tallinn is catching up with our friends, which are increasing year by year, we are made so welcome and they always manage to surprise us and this year our friends from the Estonian Cricket Association announced that Ian and I had been made life members of the ECA! In the next breath they did ask us for the last 6 years subs!!! Cheeky! Everytime they seem to manage to get us both very emotional. But thank you so much to all involved in the ECA we are proud to be part of your cricketing family.
As soon as we landed and dumped the suitcase we headed off to Drink Baar for our 1st pint of Westons cider and boy it tasted sooooooo good. Why does it taste so much better over there? Is it because it’s chilled more than in the UK? Or is it because we’re on holiday? The odd thing it’s made by Stowfords Press who actually make it not far from where we live yet we mainly seem to drink it when we’re in Tallinn! The handmade crisps are to die for!!!
Our friend had opened a new bar called Pudel Baar which we checked out, it’s got a fantastic decked area where we sat out till errrrr gone 2am! They even have a whiskey cider! It smells like whiskey but tastes like cider!
Thank you to all our friends in Tallinn for making us feel so welcome every year and making each visit special.
Have you ever been? If there’s anything you’d like to know about the town, please ask, if I can’t answer I know a few people who will know the answer!