Mr and Ms X knew very little of Estonia. Many years ago, Mr X had renamed his school Eastona Park PS and we all know what happened. Colleagues just referred to the school as Estonia 🇪🇪. Our travellers knew it had once been behind the Iron Curtain and that it was part of the Baltic countries. Daughter, Ms C had visited 10 years ago and reported that it was a lovely place so it was added to the itinerary.
Getting from Stockholm to Tallinn was via an overnight ferry, the Baltic Queen. Interesting in so many ways but it did the job and surprisingly, both Ms X and Mr X reported a good night’s sleep. #makingmemories
Tallinn’s old town is old world Europe with its cobblestone alleyways, central town square and church steeples poking through each way you look, guiding you if you get lost. To assist in getting their bearings, the duo decided on a free walking tour for a couple of hours. It was a quality one, led by a local who delivered many stories and anecdotes with tongue in cheek. We didn’t have to play the game ‘Name a famous Estonian’ as our guide already told us there weren’t any! However, Estonia is on the world stage because of their advances in technology. They even brought Skype to the world as well as being the first country to have voting for their elections online. Impressive. If only they would get off computers and finish and fix up their Freedom Square and Independence monument.
The many churches are devoid of devotees as Estonia is predominantly atheist. The churches are the remains of the many uninvited visitors who have occupied Estonia over many, many years, from the Danes to the Germans to the Swedes the Poles and finally the Russians.There’s also little nooks and crannies which have various eateries tucked away. This was a top spot with great food which Mr and Ms X found right beside the city walls.
As is the case in Europe, there are always museums to be found everywhere, but our pair decided on just two. Firstly the Museum of Occupations. This place was interactive, as you would expect from this mob and reinforced the Estonians plight over the years and their struggle between resistance and collaboration.
Ms X was in her element in her much anticipated visit to the KGB museum which is found on the top floor of a once proud (but still functioning) Viru Hotel. The offices had been left in tact after the KGB fled once the Soviet Union had collapsed in 1991. Too many details to be in included here.
Tallinn really is worth a visit if you find yourself in that part of the world. And in finishing this post, Ms X leaves you with a sign that was on the secret KGB room’s door at the top of that hotel: “There is nothing here”