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FreeVol in Tallinn

Pictures from Tallinn

Either you live in Helsinki (Finland) or you only pass by, a “must” is taking advantage of the possibility of taking a peep across the sea waters, into the Russian, Swedish or Estonian neighborhood. For the pocket of “freelancers” such as ourselves (me and Vio), seeming a bit free…volous enough to admit that, yes, we're sick and tired of working so much without a reward like a holidays' voyage we're starved for, a mini-cruise to Tallinn, the Estonian capital, looks like the destination to pursue. Certainly, for us there are two options of embarking: if it's not EckeroLine, then it must be the “Viking” ship and a Monday-Tuesday run (there is nothing to be done, weekends are too busy!). The luggage is minimal, but still, loaded uselessly with a bunch of sunny time clothes. The Baltic climate would not allow though amnesic behavior and departure with no anti-cold carcass is out of question. Not too much romance on the ship (cold and rainy weather inhibited it and the walk on the deck, during a supposed June evening was compromised, too) made us abandoned soon the indoor dance floor also, as our talent in doing the tango didn't measure up with the moves of the better trained couples and older skillful generations. So, we stepped out and retired to retrieve last hours of sleep before what was to be my first Tallinn experience. And what an experience it was! Everything could have been perfect, if…

I'm just trying to forget about the wind, rain and clouds that darkened the sky of our photos and determined us posing with umbrellas. Nothing else did really spoil the pleasure of strolling through the old city or the new center as well. I must admit the grey of medieval buildings proved to be more of an attraction than the one provided by blocks of flats in non-touristic zones; it would be a pity though, to see only “dead”, beautifully preserved parts of a town (museums, palaces) or on the contrary, to do only shopping and drink cheap alcohol (a “trump” of the capital, that makes some of the tourists give up exploring Tallinn further than boutiques and bars in the harbor region). The city being of reasonable dimensions, we managed seeing everything we came for (including the baroque palace Kadriorg and its surrounding parks) by walking or by tram. As tourists conscious of the rare occasions to travel as much as we like, we stocked a pile of digital memories. Anyway, we are grateful to the authors of the rule allowing photographing (even if without flash) objects of art and historical places. Nowadays, Tallinn appears blessed by the East-West encounter; you can visit an EU space that still benefits by small prices for different goods (typical souvenirs worked in wool, amber, glass, wood and so on) and interesting offers to spend your time. To be remembered is also the aware attitude of a small ex-soviet country towards the obligation to preserve their values and display them in a neat, smart, attractive way for the traveler's eye and not only, so that in time, a potent reputation could be spoken of.

Copyright © Katiusha Cuculescu, 2004