Two weeks later, I still didn’t upload any photos of Tallinn and Helsinki to my blog. I’m hopeless… Finally, here’s some highlights of our trip to Estonia and Finland. This is going to be a loooonnnng post.
If you go to Tallinn, this is the guide you need to have:
You can buy it in a tourist center, it only costs a couple of euros and it’s much, much better than any fancy tourist guide. It has everything you need to know. Better, you can also download it from here: http://www.inyourpocket.com/static/download/downloads_main.html Highly recommended! Another site where you can find good information: http://www.ttw.ee/ They also publish a guide who is similar to In Your Pocket Guide.
Tallinn is a small and beautiful city who easily can take your breath away. When you are walking those narrow little streets it’s almost like you’re time-travelling. The town walls and buildings are incredible well preserved and they date from the 14th-15th century, while the street network can go back to the 11th century. Imagine how magical this can be ! The city sure has a special feeling about it. You can see the mix of old and modern, sometimes without much care, but still there’s something about Tallinn that makes you want to visit every corner.
You can climb all the way to the top of the towers. I didn’t because I’m awfully afraid of heights. When I was here in the ramparts, I was shaking on my boots so badly I could barely look to the ground.
The Controvento is a very nice italian restaurante who is often crowded with tourists. If you want to have dinner there, don’t forget the reservation.
The walk since the City Hall until the Toompea Castle is beautiful! We were lucky that day, it was sunny and not too crowded.
That day the Archery Club was giving the chance to every tourist to play Robin Hood for a while.
More info about the Blackheads: http://www.mustpeademaja.ee/jutud/entekkelugu.html
A little note about one of the best places in the city to have a little something after those long walks, “Les Chocolats de Pierre”, a café who is absolutely adorable and has one of the best hot chocolates I ever had (especially if you like dark chocolate). The pastries and cakes are also very yummi and irresistible…
We also crossed the Gulf of Finland to visit Helsinki and while we actually loved the funny and warm Finnish people, the city was not what we were expecting. What I will never forget is the Market Square ( fruit market) right next to the harbor. Kilos and kilos of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, anything you could imagine. Of course we had to buy some blueberries and they were just wonderful.
It was wonderful too see people everywhere chatting, sunbathing, playing with their kids… It was a big change from Tallinn people who seem more reserved.
At the Uspenski Cathedral you have a great view of Helsinki with his harbor and the Lutheran Cathedral. I couldn’t really take any good photos because they were closing…
I had another mission in Helsinki: visit the Moomin Shop. I simply had to buy a couple of things for myself (the Mr. Moomin is in fact for a friend’s son and the cookies I bought them in Tallinn). I have to confess that I’m pretty much in love for my Moomin mug.;-)
In the end, it was a wonderful vacation and I’ll certainly return to Finland and I’m now very curious about Lithuania and Latvia.