One night in Tallinn

For once it was a relatively warm day of our June that just seems to drag on cold and dreary this year. I even thought my leggings to be a tad too much under my micro shorts, and a T-shirt to be enough without a jacket. Up until we were on the deck of the boat to Tallinn, that is. The cold sea breeze brought me back to reality.

We were on our way to Tallinn for a mini-vacation of just one night, vacation thus being more like just a little break away from home and the everyday stuff. Though actually, we had opted to rent an apartment there, and decided to cook our own dinner too, which meant shopping for food there too. But an apartment is just so much nicer than any hotel, and a home meal beats most restaurants – peace, quiet, only the two of us, and food exactly as we like it.

Once we were off the ship in Tallinn we walked to our apartment, where we were to meet the lady who would give us our keys. We were about twenty minutes early, so we just idled there on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette, taking a few pictures. The apartment was a couple hundred meters from the center, and right across the steeet from a church. I tried to go in to take some photos, but the sign on the door told me it was in fact forbidden. So I took a cursory peek inside instead, noting the missing benches and wondered whether it was catholic or orthodox.

Standing there at the curb again, watching other people go in and come out, I noticed they were all doing the cross sign before going in, some on each step of the stairs leading to the door. Later on I was sitting by the window in the apartment, watching the same church door, and the two beggars who had parked there and were reaching there hands to the churchgoers. Apparently the catholic (or orthodox?) guilt works better than the lutheran one, for most people passing these two on their way to the church did actually give them something.

Once we had settled in our very nice spacious apartment with thick brick walls and fire places both in the living room and the bedroom, it was time for that food shopping. Last time we were together in Tallinn, we had wandered around in this big Rimi near the harbor, looking at all these nice things like ducks and such, all so much cheaper there than in Helsinki. But now we found nothing! I don’t know what all we missed what with their freezers all having melted, but be as it may, we were disappointed, and headed to the Kaubamaja in Viru-keskus.

Not that that was too much better though. We were loitering in the store for a long while, walking around checking the counters and freezers and shelves for the thing we would like to eat, until we finally settled on some real sausages and a huge fresh onion, and some meat slices, cheese and pomegranate juice for breakfast. Looking for some mustard to go with the sausages (which we found, funnily enough, in the cold, right next to yoghurts and eggs), we spotted some huge ostrich eggs! Never seen those in any store before.

Back at the apartment we cooked our maybe not so fancy but still delicious meal od fried sausages and onion, enjoying it with some Masi Campofiorin Rosso wine. Feeling quite stuffed, we decided to go for a walk, and maybe have a drink somewhere. We walked to the main square and about, and stepped inside the Tallinn Beer House, a German style restaurant with big wooden tables and benches, and a relaxed atmosphere.

A group of dancers were performing some sort of national type dances – much more jolly than the Finnish ones – and later on a pretty good cover band took the stage and people started to dance. Couples hit the floor, but what I found interesting was that those few dancing without a dance partner were men! We had our drinks, took a stroll to the small courtyard of the restaurant, and left.

We walked a bit in the still bright night, visited a small “poodi” selling T-shirts and alcohol and learned that there is a berry called Barbaris, and continued back to our apartment. After a nice hot bath in the jacuzzi and some chilling on the sofa while listening to the tecno playing in the tv, we were ready for some sleep. We slept well in the huge bed – a bit too huge even, for it was possible to end up so far from each other in sleep that the blanket became too small to cover both properly ;) – until 6:23 when we were jolted awake by a banging and doorbell ringing frenzy.

With the sudden rush of adrenaline and confused about the whole event, it wasn’t that easy to calm down and fall asleep again even when it was over (in less than a minute), but we did manage to sleep until nine, finally. Still don’t what it was all about! Probably some drunken guy staying at one of the other apartments was coming back from the nightclubs and was mistaken of the door.

When we woke up, it was raining. So we didn’t even venture out to any coffee shop for a morning cappucino, and when it was time to go leave for the harbor again, we took a taxi. After getting our tickets we sat down to have those cappucinos before heading to the ship. The boat was absolutely packed, and this one happened to be the slower one too, so the boat trip back to a stormy Helsinki was quite straining.

Still, once back home, we defied the storm and walked to the store to get some food and such. And ended up cooking two spring chickens that I learned are actually not spring chickens in English, but cornish hens.

[More pictures from our trip to Tallinn in Flickr]

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