Estonia wasn’t on my list of places to visit when I first started prepping for my trip. Even though a friend of mine recommended it to me, it wasn’t until I realized how close it was to Helsinki and how much of a discount I could get from using the Helsinki Card, that I was actually sold on going. In fact I didn’t even know Tallinn was a city haha. That’s how bad my geography is. =P
After having breakfast at the apartment, Aura and I took the tram all the way to the city centre. She was getting off at the main station, while I was taking the tram all the way to the end of the line, so I had to bid her farewell midway through the journey. (Thanks for spending the weekend with me in Helsinki!)
The Tallink & Silja Line ferry actually departs from the new Terminal 2 building, so even the tracks for the tram were brand new. I had to wait inside the terminal for about half an hour before we were allowed to board. Since the journey to Tallinn was only two hours, I wasn’t expecting a lot out of the ship. I did pay extra to use their comfort lounge, only because I had save enough from using the pass that it wasn’t even that expensive. Little did I know, the ferry to Tallinn was extremely swanky!! I expected something along the lines of the ferry from Stockholm, but this was a legit cruise ship! If it wasn’t for the free snacks and soft drinks, there really isn’t a need to pay extra to use the lounge. I would definitely forgo it the next time.
Once the ship docked in Tallinn, everyone made their way towards the buses waiting at the terminal. I had read that it would take about 15 minutes to walk from the terminal to the walls of the old town, so I decided to travel on foot. I don’t know where I got that information from, because it was not 15 minutes, more like 30 minutes+ before I made it to the exterior of the old town. (T__T)
However, the old town of Tallinn is best to explore on foot. There’s so many different side streets and pathways to take that it felt like I went around the town a few times. Some of the highlights include the two lookout points at the top of the hill and the numerous churches including the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Olaf’s Church. There are also many shops and restaurants everywhere you go and I even discovered a post office. One of the world’s oldest pharmacies, Raeapteek, is still in operation and has been running in the same house since the early 15th century!
After spending a good couple hours touring around, I finally decided to stop for a late lunch. I had originally picked out a restaurant to try since it was supposedly one of the best in the city, but when I got there I found out they were fully booked for the day! I was kind of astounded since I went there on a Monday. (@_@) Anyway, luckily I had backups so I went to one my friend recommended, called Bogapott. I’m so glad I went there cause I had a really good meal of herring with potatoes for only 5 euros! (For comparison, buying and mailing three international postcards earlier that day cost me 5,90 euros!)
I continued exploring the old town for the rest of the afternoon, only stopping once for dessert at their oldest cafe, Maiasmokk. Since I was taking the 7pm ferry back to Helsinki, I started walking back slowly around 5:30pm. By the time I got inside the ferry I was ready to collapse. I think I covered more ground in Tallinn in one day than all the other days combined. Lol. I did a little souvenir shopping on board and by the time I got back to the apartment I was definitely ready to call it a night. =)