Monday 8 June 2015
The ferry was huge in comparison to what I would consider as a normal ferry. More like a cruise ship, the crossing from Finland into Estonia was very smooth and quick, taking only 2 hours.
Once I arrived in Tallinn, it was a short walk to the old town where I had reserved an apartment via AirBnB. I briefly met my host before I was out again to ride on a Segway courtesy of Blue Super Segway. Costing 30 EUR an hour, I took the 2 wheeled contraption for a couple of hours and bombed it around the city without a guide. For an extra 80 EUR, I could have hired a professional guide but this was a price stretch too far.
The sky was ever changing as I glided up and around the old wall and old town for beautiful vistas of the city. I was recommended to go over to the Kadriorg Park, east of the city. Knowing I had a Segway underneath me, I zoomed the 3km there to visit the Japanese Gardens stopping at a small lake and fountain on the way. Designed by Masao Sone, a Japanese landscape architect, the gardens looked stunning as the sun was high in the sky.
Reluctantly, I handed my Segway back to its owner after 2 hours. I was around 7pm, so I headed over to a pub called Hell Hunt. Furnished with sunken couches, I went for the Hell Hunt Tume (Dark Beer) accompanied by some nibbles of fried chilli cheese, garlic mushrooms, potato slices (or wedges to you and me!) and herrings with boiled potatoes. A nice little hearty selection, I went back to the apartment content afterwards…
Tuesday 9 June 2015
Having a lie in, I woke around 10am feeling excited about breakfast at Pannkoogipubi. How can I describe it? Simply put, it was an establishment that served all kinds of sweet and savoury pancakes as big as the steering wheel of a car. I chose the savoury option of Salmon and Cream Cheese pancake. Cutting into it, I could see this was going to be a challenge to finish it in one sitting. For 4.90 EUR, it was worth every mouthful.
I had reserved a place on the Hotel Viru and KGB Museum earlier in the day. For 10 EUR for non-residents of Hotel Viru, the tour lasted about an hour. The interesting fact about this hotel is that it was built with 23 floors but the lift only went up to floor 22. The top floor was occupied by the KGB. With about 60 rooms wired with microphones and listening devices, the hotel was said to be built with “micro-concrete” (50% microphones and 50% concrete). It wasn’t until overnight, when the KGB suddenly disappeared, did the hotel open up as a museum to show how the rooms were left.
I was allowed out onto the balcony on the 23rd Floor for some amazing views over Tallinn.
After the tour, I wandered over to St Olav’s Church for more city views at the top of the tower for 2 EUR. I counted 234 stone steps to reach toward the summit. Once there, I could see for miles as the wind helped give me a clear day.
I met up with a fellow traveller from my Trans-Mongolian train journey as we partied the night away in the Depeche Mode Bar ending up in Café Amigo. This was the nightclub in Hotel Viru which was free for me to enter since I had paid for the KGB Museum tour earlier that day. It wasn’t until around 3am did I decide to call it a day as I had another country to wander off too in a few hours…