Old Tallinn of Estonia

Our first visit to a Baltic state which gave the world Skype was short but interesting.

For one, we stayed in a pretty little apartment near the Old Town, like those you’d find through Airbnb. And we cooked, watched TV, had coffee and surfed curled on the couch like how we spend Saturdays at home. Except that when I step out the front door, I am in Narnia (a fantasy of mine edited cos I don’t like finding weird things waiting for me when I open my cupboard) Estonia.

Old world Tallinn awaited as we passed the two 12th century towers that welcomed hordes of tourists into the town they protected. Many of the buildings within have been designated national monuments, with one UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the busiest old towns we have seen and perhaps one with the most character – probably so because of the costumes donned and play-acting by those in the stores. It reminded me of the Renaissance Fair we went to last year.

We had our afternoon meal at The Olde Hansa, a merchant’s store that served fish and meats using medieval recipes from days of yore. On me plate was grilled salmon in a bed of mushroom gravy accompanied by curried lentils, spiced barley rice with hazelnuts, and a wheat puff filled with too generous a portion of beans. I dug into the hearty meal with the weapons supplied by the kind hostess, and was too soon crowned by them beans as Madame Farts-a-lot.

There was a spritely sparrow we thought our friend and shared with him eight grains of barley and two crumbs of puff. He flew off after having his fill but not before hovering at our table now and then to join us in our afternoon reverie.

We paid the merchant for the delicious fare and spared some shillings for the nice hostess, and then went on our merry way towards the Old Town to see the apothecary, churches and dwellings of importance on rested feet and full tummies.

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