New Years Eve in Tallinn

Trip Start Dec 16, 2012
Trip End Jan 21, 2013

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Flag of Estonia  ,
Monday, December 31, 2012

We caught the ferry across the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn, capital of Estonia. It was an easy 2 hour ride on an enormous vehicle and passenger ferry. You could still feel the waves and be queasy - I thought with a boat that big you would feel nothing.

We have rented an attic apartment in the centre of the medieval old town. Have a look at to see our place - it is incredible. We walk up a stone circular staircase to get upstairs to the apartment that is so narrow we could hardly get up with backpacks on. The apartment building was constructed in the 1400s and our attic has all the original beams and stone walls, including a huge water wheel in the ceiling. It overlooks 2 lovely private courtyards.

Tallinn old town is completely different to Helsinki. Winding cobblestone streets, very few cars, pastel coloured decorative architecture and lots of minarets on top of churches. Very Russian and full of Russian tourists - Russians are literally everywhere we turn. Cryssi suggested we come here instead of St Petersberg for a little bit of Russia and she was dead on.

It is cold here of course, but also wet unfortunately so the streets are extremely slippery. On top of that, the snow that has been piling up on the pitched rooftops is melting and huge chunks of ice come crashing to the ground at regular intervals. This means that everyone walks in the middle of the road, which is a strange experience.

We have had 2 very long walks around the old town and seen all the major sites. The old town wall is still intact in many places and we climbed up and walked along it where we could. Tallinn is the most touristic place we have been, full of restaurants and souvenir shops (and did I mention Russian tourists?) but has a really quaint atmosphere.

New Year's Eve dinner at Old Hansa, a famous Estonian restaurant done up in medieval style with medieval Estonian food, decor, waitress costumes and menus etc. Kids tried lots of new food including caviar, herring and some other fishy delights! Very proud of them.

Wandered around the Old Town after dinner but not many people about. I guess it is too cold to wait hours outside until midnight - they probably all hide inside until just before midnight and then come out of the woodwork for the fireworks.

We went home for a night of board games before midnight. Penny made it until 11pm, Tom and Leonie watched the midnight fireworks from our attic window overlooking the Old Town hall, and Kirky the intrepid traveller went out in the rain and watched from the square. What a great way to see in the new year.

Happy new year to all!!
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Katie on

Loved the photos Leonie. You all look so happy and we are so happy that you are enjoying your adventure. Tom and Penny we are so proud of you for being such good tourists and trying the different foods. How did you like the Caviar. I bet Tom liked it.

Cryssi on

You all look so happy! I'm so glad you're having such a fabulous time. It makes me want to pull out my old photo albums and go through my old diaries. I'm so jealous you got to "winter" overnight in Tallin - I had to settle for a measly few hours....
Looking forward to hearing about Rome... have some gelato for me....

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