There are certain points in my travels where within the first 24 hours of being in a new place I either book extra days because I love it or begin to plan the few things I wanted to see before setting off for another new destination. Given that in 24 hours of being in Tallinn I had met the gorgeous girls that work at the hostel, made a new mate to hang out with and partied up in Old Town, it was a given I was staying here longer than the planned 3 days.
Slower to start my first full day than normal (obviously because I was out late at night) I was dressed and fed in time to catch the free walking tour of Tallinn. This tour is run by Yellow Free Tours and not by the same company I have used from Paris to Berlin so I was looking forward to comparing the two.
Luckily for my swiss mate and I, we arrived at the meeting point to find that it would only be us on the tour for the day. Having your own personal tour guide for the next couple of hours really made the walk much more engaging. On top of that, our guide for the day, Triin really loved the history of her town and by the end of the tour she had gone over time by 45 min or so and we hadn’t noticed or cared.
As always the tour helped me point out places I wanted to check out further and some I just didn’t even know existed. One of those sites I didn’t have any idea about was a local pharmacy. Raeapteek Pharmacy in the town square is the oldest continually operated pharmacy, having first been mention way back in 1422. Pretty cool fact I thought.
As the tour wrapped up we headed for a small cafe and relaxed with a beer and some food while deciding what was next on the agenda. My friend decided he wanted to go and read so I went back to re-trace our steps from the tour and grab a few more photos before climbing St. Olaf’s church.
Already pre-warned about the amount of steps I would need to climb at the church, I paid the fee to enter and headed up the long and windy stairwell. Now on the tour I also learnt of a legend about how this church was built. Apparently an architect back in the day said he would build the tower for a fee but if the townsfolk could guess his name then he would do it for free.
Obviously the town did everything to work out his name. It wasn’t until he was putting the finishing touches to the spire atop the great church that he came unstuck. Someone had managed to find one of his relations and find out his name. They subsequently yelled out his name, Olev. Upon hearing someone find him out he lost balance and fell to his death.
Right enough stories on with the days activities. Reaching the top of the church and embracing the cool breeze as it blew across me I just stood and admired the 360 degree views of Tallinn.
Descending the church (which is just as much of a mission as climbing it) I made my way back to the hostel to cook up a hearty feed of pasta and prepare me for another night out on the town. This time deciding to skip the Hollywood nightclub we relaxed at Nimita bar.
Now back home I’d never be the one to talk to random people at the bar like I have done since travelling. Sometimes you meet amazing people other times you just get ignored. This time however we ran into a group of Russian guys that were in Tallinn to compete in an ice hockey tournament. All passed the prime of their playing days the just playing for fun which was obvious as they were out celebrating a friends birthday with great gusto.
It was here also that I began to appreciate Vodka. Discarded as a girls drink back home my Russian friends enlightened me to it’s appeal. Especially after several free shots thanks to one of the guys who had visited Australia years ago and loved the place and everything about us.
Drinking and talking and drinking some more they made for a night of many laughs. It was almost a disappointment I’d never meet up with them again as we parted ways to head home. Had their tournament not been out of the way I think I’d have been going to cheer them on the following day. Instead I was left to decide about a beach visit or a museum as I drifted off to sleep.