Tallinn was a travel destination that was booked out of necessity and with great apprehension. Unlike my previous European adventures, Estonia was not a place that I lusted over, nor dreamed or planned on visiting.
My adventures through Tallinn came to fruition as the terminal of my stay restricted my travel to the Baltic states. This apprehension turned to dismay as I, to no avail, furiously searched for positive opinions and awe-inspiring images of Estonia online.
Fortunately for me, I have a tendency of appreciating destinations that I have the lowest expectations for most.
Now I have seen my share of old towns; Krakow, Warsaw, Budapest and many more – never did I expect to include the old town in Tallinn within the list of most beautiful, uncharacteristic and memorable towns in Europe (so far as I have experienced, dare I say). The historic centre leaves you with the impression of a never-ending maze of flower laden balconies, stone buildings, amber and leather good shop stalls and a panoramic view of warm cinnamon coloured rooftops. The gothic undertone of the town, the enchanting cobble stone streets (that can at times prove unyielding) and the opulence of public buildings, in particular churches leave a lasting impression on visitors. It is no wonder that remains of the 13th century historic centre were UNESCO World Heritage listed for cultural importance.
In retrospect, I am somewhat glad that my adventure timeframe limited me to visiting Baltic states, as without that catalyst it is unlikely I would have ever seen the gem that is Tallinn. Now I can only hope to re-visit Tallinn in the midst of winter when the streets are covered in delicate white snow and Christmas festivites resemble that of an classic european film.
So to anyone reading this blog helplessly wondering whether they made the right decision in organising an adventure to Tallinn – fearnot and be assurred that although the Baltic states might not be ‘pinned‘ as often, nor be as notable and recognisable from an image, Tallinn has much to offer!