Estonia was part of a trip with a friend of mine. We met a few years learning how to pick-up women back in 2015. Since then we stayed connected though haven’t necessarily “picked up” women. This was a trip to re bond and have a good time, and good time we had, indeed.
I am not a sight seer usually, nor is he. So, don’t expect me to share 10 things to see in Tallinn in Estonia.
But the ones that I do are usually the walking tours in every city. We went to the local bars, visited local coffee shops and walked around this small city a lot.
On a rainy day we set out to meet some people around the malls in Tallinn, the first day was a disaster, it was raining, cold and there were not many people in around the malls, at least that is the impression that we got. We were only starting to get to know the city.
On our first day, we checked into our Airbnb. The host was extremely detailed and even told us “this is the waste bin – is where you put your waste” – pointing to the bin in the corner of the kitchen. At this point we both felt the detail was a bit too much. It was a nice home though, heated floors and a great shower etc. We both had double rooms and large beds, so that was great.
It was great to me because to this point, since I started travel in May, the trip was in October, I was staying in hostels, and it was about time that had some privacy. Though staying in hostels was nice, saved a bit of money.
That night, we went to this restaurant called – Old Hansa. Really a gem, medieval themed, someone told me the next day that this used to be a church, that is now converted into a restaurant. Well it looked like a church, upon a second look from outside.
The food was one of the best I have ever tasted. I think I ordered some shots with my food. The waiter said there is a tradition to drink the drink, a ritual, and made us to say some Estonian words and should it out loud. It was fun, everyone was watching us, the only two brown Indian people, they looked at us with enthusiasm and amusement while we did this.
We even talked to some next to us and we had a great chat about the food.
The next day, we walked around even though it was raining, visited a few churches, visited some local craft shops. On the way we noticed that Tallinn had a large number of Indian restaurants, we made a note of it. It’s been a while since I had Indian food at this point, and I craved some Biryani and Chai.
When I was in a Church, believe it is St Olaf Church, I accidentally entered a space which was not open for tourists and the guy there was like ‘no no, not here, outside!’. My sensitive, egotistic brain kicked in and I was embarrassed. I hid the embarrassment and continued to talk to my friend.
There is a viewpoint on the top of the church, but I did not want to climb to the top of it. I was done with climbing viewpoints after climbing the tower in split, Croatia, and in Lviv the administrative building’s tower. He was not interested either. We exited. But I liked the church.
We circled around – and I suggested that we head to the maritime museum. We continued to walk and when we arrived, it was closed. We decided to make the best of the weather and took some pictures in the rain. We continued to walk, wanted to be indoors, so we opted for a shopping mall, where at least we can people watch.
We walked and walked – we came across a place where there were many high street shops – it was not a mall quite. And then we arrived at a mall and it was very unimpressive. Can’t remember the mall’s name – but it had a cinema attached to it.
We decided to walk back to apartment – and was a bit disappointed for the day. Mainly because the town seemed deserted. We rationalised, maybe it is because of the rain that not many people were outside.
He said, that we could check out the walking tour next day. The tourist information centre was right below our apartment. So, I thought yes, also “yea right!” as if I was going to wake up. I guess we both knew it was an empty promise.
As predicted, we did not wake up. And spent the rest of the day just walking around and eating. Maharaja, the Indian restaurant in the town square has okay Indian food if you want to try that one out. There is another better one is something called ‘Chakra’ which is nearer.
The next day we were travelling to Riga.
After Riga, we came back to Tallinn, it was totally a different experience – it was sunny 18-20 degrees – we were surprised. The weather changed from rainy 6 degree Celsius to this? We were certainly lucky the second time around. When we asked around, the local people said, it was unusual at that time of the year to be this warm.
But they were having a good time and were happy. There were certainly more people outside this time around.
My friend doubted, because of the Economic problems overall in Europe, especially towards the east – may be the young people left to live in other bigger and better cities, to make money and make a better living. And may be that is why we did not see many youngsters there.
The crowd was either too young – school kids or mostly old-ish people – not that old, but middle aged and above mainly.
This time my friend was really happy, he talked to many, many girls and having a good time, I have a good time watching him do all this and seeing him happy. I loved that all the cafes were filed with people, for café surfing is my favourite thing to do.
Later in the evening when we went out for a walk. We were walking towards old town from our apartment. We wanted to go to a viewing platform but got lost. Even with google maps. A woman stepped out of her car, she was parking her car, offered help. She spoke fluent english, ‘I will walk you to the view point, I am walking that way’, she said. We were like ‘that is nice’. We exchanged some banter and arrived at the viewing platform.
I spotted these two cuties, two friends, and a Ukrainian and a girl from Tallinn, both spoke Russian and English, but not was fluent. I started talking to them, we had some banter and we invited them to some coffee in a coffee shop next to our place.
But coffee? You may think, well, I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, not particularly a fan of it, and these girls were not at the legal age to drink.
We headed to Reval café. It is a nice spot to bring your date for a casual chat in Tallinn.
They came with us, we had a good time, and we said good bye to them later. They were too young for us, only 17, I guess. Though they were quite open, told their stories and we shared our stories, moreover they were super excited to take pictures with us to post on Instagram.
Well, that was that. Nice experience, nonetheless, much better than the drunken encounters in bars.
We had some mulled wine in Tule Restaurant that evening, when it got colder. I liked it, though my friend did not.
We went to Chakra Indian restaurant to taste some Indian food again, that was delicious. Much better than maharaja. Although someone said the Maharaja restaurant is something like 30 years old.
In Chakra, a couple was there to us, in the opposite table, they wished us great meal as they exited. And we were like, that is nice, no one ever says that in London or in New York (where my friend lives). It felt good to hear something like that. We were happy.
We ate, watching old Indian, Tamil and Bollywood music videos – loud in the restaurant, which reminded us of our childhood. That was a nice bonding experience. There were n’t many in that restaurant. It had very nice interiors, you have this smell of old bricks, which I particularly like, it smelled of my favourite curries, lighting was great and the service was real friendly.
The next day we walked down to a neighbourhood called Telliskivi.. Shipping containers made into cafes, hip bars etc – that is what this place is like. And there were a lot of people sitting and sipping through their beers and coffee. Telliskivi is thought to be the creative district in Tallinn.
When walking from old town square to Telliskivi, we walked through a market, Balti Jaam Market. This market has a variety of nice shops. I bought some Estonian handmade chocolate for a friend back in London, and my friend bought some for his. And we had a great chat with the owner – a woman who left the corporate world to start a chocolate shop – where she hand made the chocolates, packed and sold – in a cute shipping container. It is inspiring to see people doing the things that they want to.
In Telliskivi, we took a lot of photos – against the graffiti and an empty shipping container – and some cool windows in an open wall. We said then, ‘we have to come back to this place’, because we were really impressed with the area. But we did not go back – as usual. The excitement faded away with time.
The next day we went on a walking tour, the tour office was right in the old town square. It took about an hour and a half – but really can be done in an hour. At this point I was done with any political or historic information. I joined the tour because I had nothing better to do at that point.
The one think that I liked in the tour, is the Alexander Nevsky cathedral. It really is a nice building to look at. Instagram worthy. I guess it is similar to the one in Sofia – both are really nice buildings to take some photos. According to the tour guide this is the most photographed object in Tallinn.
Oh, and did I mention the awesome breakfast that we had every day in this crepe place – Kompressor. I ate a lot of pancakes there, savoury and sweet. Try the one made with condensed milk – heavenly.
And soon it was the day for us to leave, he was leaving later than me. I left Tallinn in the morning. And I arrived in London later that day. I learned that his flight was cancelled, and he stayed in a hotel. He stayed there for one more day and left the next day.