Tallinn — A Baltic Fairy Tale | Tallinn, Estonia Trip

Location

Old Town

Since time was short, we had decided to visit only the old town, a UNESCO world heritage site. But if you have the time visiting the entire city would be an excellent idea for it is a heady mix of the old and the new.

City Walls

So from the ferry terminal, we began our walk towards the old town, soaking up the vibe of the city along the way. The old town is surrounded by these medieval defensive walls, and you enter the town through one of the many entry points. These walls are almost 800 years old, and that is one of the reasons why the old town was named a UNESCO site in 1997.

Lower Town

We learned that the town has two parts; the upper and the lower. The upper part was for the rich and the well-heeled, while the lower was for the local commoners. At one point, the two towns were separated by gates but not any longer; a pointer towards how the divide between the haves and have nots has always existed.

The Three Sisters

I observed that the townspeople in those days placed a lot of emphasis on women and their safety and security. The guide showed us a building with three houses built by a father for his three daughters who had not been able to get married. Since he was concerned about their future, he got the building made so that the three could live close to each other. And very aptly, he named the building “The Three Sisters.”

The Flower Market

We were walking along, trying to absorb everything she told us. And then I saw an incredible sight!! It was something that has remained with me. As we were walking, I just happened to turn and saw what seemed to be like a flower market. There was no way I could resist taking a look. So all future sightseeing plans were put on hold, and I almost ran to take a look. And what a look it turned out to be.. on both sides of the street, flower vendors were selling the most exotic and beautiful flowers. The fragrance was intoxicating, and flowers seemed to be in the air. The colours, the types, and the presentation had me spellbound. But not spellbound enough to not click pictures. What’s more, the vendors were friendly, smiling away as I clicked away.

Cat’s Well

Among the many interesting sights that we saw was the ‘Cat’s Well’, which was once one of the primary sources of water for the people of the city.

Raamatukoi (The Book Moth)

But before that, I had to make my pit stop. I had to visit a bookshop, and our guide guided me to this lovely independent bookstore called Raamatukoi, which means The Book Moth.

Upper Town (Toompea Hill)

Then we moved to the upper part of the town called Toompea Hill or Cathedral Hill, which is the seat of the government. There are two narrow streets — the Long Leg ( used by horses in days gone by) and the Short Leg ( an alley with stairs for people that connect the two parts of the town). We went up the stairs admiring the beauty and the fairytale-like ambience of the place. With the trees and the greens around, the climb up was a delightful experience.

The Viewing Platform

And then, we went to a viewing platform to see the entire city from that height. That, believe me, was a breathtaking experience. The terrace area offered stunning views of the whole city. Along with the hustle and bustle of the town below, one could also see the Gulf Of Finland as the backdrop. One could see the signature red roofs and the high-rises of the newest part of the city.

Town Square

And then, from there, we turned to go back to the lower town. Our stomachs were growling by then, so our guide took us to the lively Town Square. The Town Square is the heart of the city and a centre for colourful historic buildings, the town hall and some lovely restaurants and cafes. The oldest working pharmacy in Europe, dating back to 1422, can also be found here.

Maismokk

Now we were ready for dessert. And on our guide’s recommendation, we decided to go to Maiasmokk, one of the most beautiful and historic cafes I have ever visited. Maiasmokk is the oldest operational café in Estonia. Its history goes back to 1806. The café also has a museum which takes one through the history and uses of marzipan. The interior of the café has remained unchanged for almost 100 years now.

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Through her life, she developed the belief that a woman’s life journey is never devoid of obstacles.

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