After feeling like a local living in Helsinki, it was time for our first boat trip across the icy seas from Helsikni down to Tallinn, Estonia! Before heading here, we did very little research about Estonia, but one of the main factors for adding it to our list of “must sees” was purely because this is where Encino Man came from! “Hey Buu–d-d-y” ha ha ha after getting past the novelty and love of 90′s movies, we discovered that Estonia, was a very medieval, enchanting and amazing place to be. Right on the border of Russia, Estonia only claimed its independence 10 years ago, adding character to the many Russian flea markets we trolled through.
Estonia will hold a special place in our heart forever, our first night in the city of Tallinn encompassed a tiny Italian restaurant where we were the only patrons. It was so late and we were so hungry and having such a good run in Budapest, we thought we had made it through the roughest towns on the trip and would not have any bad luck from then on. Someone should have mentioned to us earlier, that if there is no-one else eating in the restaurant, then not to enter!! The food was GREAT, but we were ripped off silly, paying about $80 for a bottle of wine, when our meals were about $4 each.
With this bad luck, came some good in Estonia. While eating we met an Italian skateboard photographer, who has since become a really great long distance friend. We hung out with a New Zealander and some locals, snorted burning green drinks up our noses and discussed cultural differences. I discovered, by night in the winter, the only thing to do in Tallinn is drink, drink more and talk… luckily I love Red Wine and am also a really good listener! It was fun seeing that even the oldies were getting wasted and singing and dancing down the snow-covered cobblestone roads. <3
After our first night and making a new friend (Alessandro the Italian Skate Photographer) we were wined, dined and treated to a home cooked meal by himself and his lovely Estonian partner ‘Maria’. Throughout of brief 3 days in Estonia, we met many locals who were in love with the fact that we came all the way from Australia. I am not sure if they realise how big it is here, but most of them asked us if we knew their friend living in Melbourne or Sydney. Until we got back home, I had never actually met an Estonian living in Melbourne! We ate in the one Vegetarian restaurant Tallinn had to offer, climbed through snow covered castles and explored many flea markets (I picked up some incredible pieces of jewelry that tell the most amazing stories just by looking at them).
Our hotel was right in the middle of Old Town – Tallinn and much like the rest of the town, felt like a big old medieval castle. Big marble stairwells, beautiful high ceilings and a very fairytale like feeling when covered in snow & icicles.
I have fallen in love with Estonia and its medieval history & again, cannot wait to visit in the Summer.