Tallinn

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We really enjoyed Tallinn, mostly because it felt more Scandinavian than the other Baltic capitals.  The picture is of Arthur enjoying a spectacularly good cinnamon roll (from the supermarket!) and a coffee.  I think it’s my favourite city so far.  The fact that our hostel had a sauna may also have had something to do with it.

Tallinn generally had a nice feel to it though, an interesting atmosphere.  It was somehow bleak and cheerful at the same time.  We wandered through the town and the dockyards, and stumbled across all sorts of interesting things.

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This is Fat Margaret.  Our hostel was named after her.

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The old town was very pretty, but full of people in medieval dress and shops selling Elk soup.  Which is fine if you like that kind of thing.

By the docks we found a really cool abandoned town hall.  Sweeping concrete, with plants breaking through.  (ed. Turns out, it was actually a concert/sport venue called the V.I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sport, built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.  Those crazy Soviets with their palaces!  See here, and everywhere else. Unsurprisingly, when Estonia was in the midst of campaigning for independence from the USSR, the Lenin Palace became…unpopular, and was largely abandoned by 1990).

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We watched (wistfully) the passenger boat leaving for Finland.

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A little further along the waterfront was a gallery which was much too cool for us, but we went in anyway, and enjoyed sipping espressos while we wandered through the art.IMG_5598 IMG_5603 IMG_5613

On the roof was this mesh contraption, in the shape of a garden shed.

As we walked further along the docks it began to get dark, which lent the scene a pleasingly sinister edge.

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Our destination was a docks museum, which had a submarine from Barrow in it.  Because of all the art and espresso we arrived too late to bother going in, but enjoyed wandering outside and looking at the ships in the dusk.

There was just time to dip our hands in the Baltic (which wasn’t that baltic) before heading back to the hostel.

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Next morning, refreshed by the sauna and plunge pool, we were back on the road again.  There was a convenient recycling bin next to the bus station where we deposited our beer bottles from the night before.  Estonia is so nice.  Then we were off towards Russia, hoping that our visas would actually get us in…

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