To awaken alone in a foreign city can be the worst nightmare for some people. But for me it feels like a tingling sensation under my skin. It’s a pleasant feeling. The day waiting to unfold is a mystery… What am I going to see?, What am I going to do?, What am I going to eat?! It is like a little adventure waiting to be lived. I am open to the unknown instead of being scared by it.
This time, the city that woke me up was Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, one of the Baltic countries. And oh yes, it felt like what I imagined Baltic would feel! The weather app reported “-4, real feel -11” with a high chance of snow. So my excitement was upgraded to 4 layers of clothes.
The one thing I did knew about the old town of Tallinn was that I didn’t need a map to explore it; the old town is that small.
While entering the old town, I was welcomed by the medieval feeling of the old and well preserved Town Wall, dated from the 14thcentury. A quick Google search informs me of the greatest ambivalence about Tallinn. It is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and therefore listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. And simultaneously proclaimed top 10 digital cities in the world, with Skype born here and home to a high security NATO Cyber Defence Centre.
Past the wall, quaint, pastel-colored buildings line up in cobbled streets. Small passages lead on to cute shops, and ladies at some restaurants dress up to welcome the visitors with a medieval atmosphere.
I walked around doing what I do best, pressing away the shutter-release button on my camera, and stopping now and then for pancakes, hot chocolates and pastries. And when the snow fiercely arrived to cover the streets of Tallinn within and hour, I went on a second round around town. What I came to find out was that the places were the same, but the magic of the white sheet of snow covering the city gave these same streets a totally different feel. I knew then, Tallinn was perfect for a winter city break!
Enough of writing… the photos, let them speak for themselves!
(scroll down for recommendations for eat & drink)
And then the snow arrived…
For something different, eat & drink here:
Kompressor– I must admit that I paced in front of the entrance for a little bit before I decided to walk in. This place looked like an old man’s bar very run down, with poor lighting, big rounded tables… the opposite of what I imagined a famous pancakes restaurant to look like. But once you make your choice out of the extensive list of pancakes they have on offer, you start to enjoy the quirky atmosphere. And the pancakes are ginormous and so delicious!
III Draakon– “cheap eat with good rating”! That was why I entered in here. What I wasn’t expecting was to be swept off my feet by the lovely medieval atmosphere. This thematic candlelit restaurant treats you like you are back in the medieval era. The choice of food is pretty simple: a hearty broth, six types of pastries made by the ladies and some grilled sausages and ribs. You can also help yourself to some gherkins out of a barrel for free. I sat here for longer than I had originally planed, just watching the ladies work, sipping on cheap and delicious mulled wine and waiting for some character of Game of Thrones to come in for a meal.
Pierre Chocolaterie– for the sweet tooth and Wonka lovers, this bohemian looking chocolaterie is located tucked away in a courtyard on Vene Street. And it serves the best salted-caramel hot chocolate I have ever had!! Believe, those who know me, would say “what a statement!!”