vendredi 2 août 2013

Tallinn, Estonia, April 2013

As you may be aware of by now, I've been travelling a lot this year around Northern Europe, and I've come accross countries I had never expected to visit. Staying in Finland has this kind of advantages : you don't really know where you're going and what is around, especially if your geographical notions of Europe are as good as mine.. When my Czeck friend David told me about a trip organized through the Baltics ( Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), I was very perplexed only because I thought those countries were a bit far from Finland.. Well, the answer is no. Tallinn, Estonia is only a few hours away from Helsinki by ferryboat. The longest journey I've experienced during this journey was actually when I had to take the train from Oulu to Helsinki ( around seven or eight hours long..) Finland isn't that small guys ! ( or at least, trains are not that fast..)

First things first : Tallinn, Estonia.

Tallinn was the first and last step of our trip through the Baltics, and I have discovered a nice little capital city, which has both a medieval side and an 'ex-URSS-poor' side as you'll see on the photos below.. Tallinn is quite small when you are used to capital cities like Paris or London, but it is absolutely nice and amazing to walk through these little streets, especially if you can get a guide who will tell you about the intimate details of the town and its inhabitants. Life is pretty cheap over there, which is why bars are full and Happy Hours turn out to be very interesting for your bank account. Unfortunetly I did not succeed to get a good picture of the little 'restaurant' which was a bit more of a medieval tavern, where you can get traditional warm wine, dry sausage, pie and soup in authentic wooden plates and bowls, and for an incredibly cheap price. The mood is set, even the loo is all wooden, and you won't get more light than a few candles can give you. For those who'd rather eat a lot for a very cheap price, you can also get enormouuus pancakes in the heart of the old town. I was quite surprised to find out that Estonian pancakes are in fact considered as a national pride ( and it actually turned out to be the same all around the eastern countries I've come accross). I was so proud of my French crepes, well... On the cultural side I have to admit that I did not see much, but we only had one day and it is kind of short to see everything, but we went through Tallinn City Museum (, and I especially remember a video showing Tallinn through ages, and how it was destroyed during the wars, and on the second floor, a bunch of objects of everyday life during the Soviet Occupation were on display.
It might be a shame to write about my travels only now, but I guess I did not find the time back then, and of course I have forgotten a lot ( silly me !).. But here are the pictures, enjoy !

A pretty nice view of the Old Town !

Just some old wall for tourists, so you know.
 ( You pay 3 euros, you climb, you see nothing but this view on the street, and you get back down.)

Those old stones are everywhere in the Old Town

Probably the same street, or another, who knows ! 

You can admire the pastel colours of the houses, which make the Old town so special.

Just like Finland, Estonians like bikes. Yes they do. 

View on the other side of the town, residential houses.

An old Sovietic something. 

' In America we used Myspace. In Soviet Russia we use your space ! '

These huge ' rag dolls' are pretty much everywhere around souvenirs shops ! 

Find the star. ( Mario Mario..)

Cat's Well !
I remember the guide saying that the inhabitants used to throw cats into this well in the Middle Ages, here is the full story :

The funny story is, I love this kind of  Russian-style cathedrals and churches, but for Estonians, this church is more the sign of a long time spent under the Soviet Union than a beauty of architecture.. my bad !

Apparently in Tallinn, all important buildings are recognizable by this pale pink colour. This would be their parliament !

Every town has his ( f*cking expensive) souvenir shops!

Another view, with the sea in the background... ( Nostalgiaaa)

Flags and puppet on the main square.

En Avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil.
 ( Pardon my French)
We left the next day for Riga , the capital of Latvia but more on that later ! 

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