This was a special treat on our Baltic Sea cruise itinerary. I had seen an episode about this city on the Rick Steves travel show, but never imagined that I would end up there. It seemed small and very far away. One of those out of reach, “it would be nice to go there but I’m not sure I’ll ever make it”, type places.
The word I continued to think about as I walked through this city was, texture. Every surface had layer after layer of history, especially in Tallinn’s Old Town. It is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. Although Tallinn was founded in 1248, there are artifacts from earlier human settlements that date over 5,000 years. I could feel the lives before me on the streets in Old Town. The cobblestones were smooth from wear, the rooftops had aged patinas, and walls crumbled into layers of colors and textures.
We found our way from the port into the city center by foot. It was a bit of a walk but completely manageable. My preference is always to go by foot unless time is limited. After a long morning of sightseeing, we enjoyed local beers and cuisine in the center square. I try to dine alfresco whenever possible so I can watch the tourists and locals pass by. It is one of my favorite things to do while traveling.
It was a short but sweet visit to this beautiful, quaint and historically romantic city. As usual when I cruise, I departed wishing that I had more time in the city to explore, visit museums and of course, eat more local food!
Entry into the old town:
Textures of the old town:
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: