Estonia Week on 501 Places – Finding our bearings, and a plate of pigs’ ears

One of the nice things of writing on the road is that you can capture your feelings, your impressions and your experiences as they happen. They are not altered by subsequent events; events which may confirm, contradict or deem irrelevant that which you noted at the time.

Arriving in Tallinn, my initial impressions were a feeling of having arrived in Scandinavia. The people on our Easyjet flight, the clean wooden decor of the airport and the sense of order and calm that was evident as we collected our bags and made our way out.

We had booked an apartment in the old city with Tallinn Apartments, and they had arranged a driver to collect us and take us into the city. It’s one of those cities where the airport is practically in the city, which means a thankfully short ride into town. I must learn some words of Estonian. He was a Russian so I could at least thank him in his language, although I understand it’s best not to dive in with Russian here, as history is still a bit too recent and resentment still raw with many people. I will try to find out more about this.

A plate of pig's earsA young girl showed us into our apartment, which looks as though it will make a comfortable home for the next week (we stayed a year in NYC in an apartment that was smaller than this one!). And given the chilly evening I am pleased to have worked out how to max the heating. Oh, and there is free wi-fi, which was a must for my project.

We had a few moments to stroll around the Old Town before it got dark, and being a Sunday night the town seemed very quiet. We found an Estonian restaurant which was very touristy but served up some decent home-style cuisine. I went for the pigs’ ears and fried liver, both nicer than they sound, although I will desist from pigs’ ears in the future, happy to have tried them once. A visit to a coffee bar on our way back and we are now relaxing in a warm apartment, ready to hit the town properly in the morning.

The people we have met so far have displayed that reserved politeness and friendliness that is a trait of many northern countries. I have encountered a similar manner in the Nordic countries and even in the Scottish Islands. It is a sense of hospitality that is very comfortable for the visitor to enjoy. I look forward to speaking more with people in the next few days. The city itself is beautiful, with coloured and ornate facades around every corner. It is quite and peaceful, but I am only too aware that it is probably very different when the British stag and hen parties descend. Thank goodness we are not here on a Friday or Saturday.

Next post on 501 Places Estonia week tomorrow.

I am grateful to Tallinn Apartments for their partnership and support of Estonia Week on 501 Places

Author Information

Freelance travel writer

3 Responses to “Estonia Week on 501 Places – Finding our bearings, and a plate of pigs’ ears”

  1. The Holy Lama #

    Thank You bringing Estonia alive for us

    September 14, 2009 at 8:59 am
  2. Andy Jarosz #

    And thank you for your kind comments. It's a beautiful place.

    September 14, 2009 at 7:46 pm
  3. Smita #

    Its refreshing to read your first hand account of Estonia , will look forward to the posts this week .

    September 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm