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Battles in Baltics: Tallinn

ESTONIA | Friday, 25 April 2014 | Views [398] | Scholarship Entry

[...] I took the plane from Amsterdam to Tallinn. I still remember the twin-engine airplane we flew with. I had to bend my back to reach my seat. Please note that it was just January. I arrived in the capital of Estonia, while the temperature reached to -23 ºC. At least the sun was shining...

I browse on my files and photos. I could never imagine I should spend half a year in Estonia. Really low temperatures and lot of snow that appeared with a slight delay.

I used to spend my days among the walls of our apartment at Narva Str. The tenant of the flat was joking with me. He advised me to watch out my movements, since where I lived it was the former offices of the KGB, and it could still be tracked.

The bad weather could not hold me inside for long. Two-three shots of Vana Tallinn (local rum) and I was literally running out. My gang and I, just five minutes from the old city of Tallinn, were lost in its paths. Picturesque buildings, rich night life, and (very) cheap alcohol. Usually, Americans, Irish and Norwegian tourists were visiting. "We came to Tallinn for exotic vacations," they were saying. Exotic? Since that time I used to consider exotic a place with palm trees and coconuts.

I loved the afternoons in abandoned buildings near the port (Tarkovsky filmed there the «Stalker»), with beers and sunbathing, rides on the Russian market, trying to deal good prices with the sellers. I was delighted with the day length. Night lasted only for few hours as we approached near summer. I had not ever seen before miles of frozen sea, particularly the Baltic Sea; a view that literally takes your breath away.

Thursday night meant Red Emperor Bar. For the best quiz night you have never participated, for the incredibly jelly shots, the billiard pools, the huge "Jenga" and for Craig, the barista, from Australia.

I miss the Hell Hunt with home-made beer and well done baked potatoes, the walks in the old city, the Pirita Beach and the twelve kilometres bike ride.

Tallinn has obvious remnants of the former USSR, one of them are the buildings. It's okay though, because I discovered there are many things, among those the «Ewert and the Two Dragons». You must listen to them.

I conclude with the quote, I saw written somewhere: "Tallinn is the Arctic Tundra". _

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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