We spend each summer in Finland and usually take a trip over to Tallinn in Estonia. This year was no exception, we booked tickets with Linda Line on their morning ferry which takes only 90 minutes between Helsinki and Tallinn across the Gulf of Finland. Landing in Tallinn, the ferry terminal is only a 10 minute walk from the city walls which are one of the most impressive features of the Old Town. The fortified city walls have been well preserved and at least 80% of the original stone walls and turrets remain intact today.
Walking through the walled archway we were transported back to medieval times. The Old Town is a charming jumble of cobbled streets with pastel coloured shops and houses. Soon we arrived at the main square, Raekoja Plats, with its perfectly restored medieval architecture.
Three sides of the square are lined with attractive restaurant terraces each bedecked with brightly coloured plants. On the fourth side of the square lies the impressive Town Hall. The square was full of life, today a craft market was taking place and in the far corner an outdoor stage had been erected and, as we passed by, an Estonian folk concert was taking place. I loved the hustle and bustle of this central area and, as we enjoyed glasses of the local beer sitting in one of the outdoor cafes we took in the picture postcard scene of well preserved Estonian life.
Continuing, we climbed the steep cobblestone lane to the top of Toompea Hill to visit the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Wandering a little further we came to the Kohtu viewing platform, from here we looked over the wall to views of red roof tops, grey towers, gleaming spires, the skyline of the new town and the Baltic Sea in the distance, it really was a photographer’s paradise.
We make our way down the hill and checked into our hotel which was located just outside the city walls. After a little rest we ate dinner in Old Haansa, just off the main square which is a tastefully ‘themed’ Estonian restaurant where waiters and waitresses wear national costumes. The traditional meal tasted delicious, accompanied with spelt bread and cinnamon beer served in earthenware mugs. A long walk along the waterfront was then required to walk off our hearty meal.