Dec 152023

We saw this almost immediately after leaving the ferry dock thing and I was obsessed. 

Admittedly, Estonia was not really on my radar – I mean, I knew that it existed, but it wasn’t on my short list of must-see locales. However, when I was investigating Helsinkithings, I accidentally learned that not only is it cheap and easy to make a day trip out of Tallinn, Estonia, but it’s also a very popular weekend destination for people in Finland! The one thing I kept seeing is that liquor is a lot cheaper in Estonio, so people from Finland will do day trips there to stock up, but….is it still worth it even after adding in the cost of the ferry?! I mean, the round trip ferry fare was very reasonable, but still…? Anyone from Finland reading that who can explain? Lol.

My first impression of Tallinn though was CONSTRUCTION. So, pretty much like being home in Pittsburgh. Aw. We knew that Old Town was supposed to be easily accessible by foot but the construction definitely added a bit of chaos. We followed another family pretty much the whole way until they veered off and Henry was sure he knew the way by then, but does he ever?

Yo, I’m going to do something that I should always be doing but never do and that is drop some informational facts about this place.

Such as: Tallinn is the capital of Estonia.



I love the juxtaposition between gritty graffiti and historical alleyway here.

We hadn’t even been off the ferry for a full hour yet and Chooch was already over me requesting photos. I was just really excited! I even brought “the good” camera so that I could get some senior portraits of him there!

Tallinn’s Old Town, with its epic medieval architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You can tour the medieval city walls – and we did! Just not right when we arrived because it wasn’t open yet. FYI.

I was loving Tallinn immediately, even though I’m sure there was a lot of bickering with Henry since he nearly shat on the whole day with the EARLY DEPARTURE HOME time and then being a map idiot.

I was looking forward to this so much! It really delivered. Old Town was gorgeous, like being in a fairy tale.

And it was so good being there as early as we were because we were able to grab some great Instagram shots without flocks of tourists in the background. Because, you know, getting those shots for the ‘gram is the most important part of traveling….right? J/K I’m not that annoying (shut up) but it was still a bonus!

We had dinner reservations at 4pm (Old People Dining Time but I made the reservations months ago and wasn’t sure how long we were going to be there so I was trying to play it safe, god!), so we decided to get a light brunch type of situation.  We chose a cafe called Must Puudel.

Chooch was unreasonably mad because after he led us to a table inside, I said that I would prefer to sit outside because being indoors was making my throat tickle and then I would start coughing and no one wants that, OK. No one.

Dude. I got oatmeal with CLOUDBERRIES. The server actually tried to talk me out of it because, “….they have….unique taste.” But I knew that cloudberries were popular in that region (Finland and Sweden too I think?) so I wanted it. And guess what? I LIKED IT. It reminded me a bit of ground cherries in that they had a very mild sweetness with a tiny aftertaste of tomato? I’m not a big tomato fan unless it’s a fresh slice on a sandwich or in a grilled cheese but this was good. I liked it.

I don’t know what Those People got.

Town Hall Square. This is where the Christmas market is later in the year (LIKE NOW BECAUSE THAT IS HOW LONG IT HAS TAKEN ME TO WRITE THIS – I WAS HERE IN AUGUST FOR FUCK’S SAKE).

Did you know that Tallinn was the first city in Europe to put up a Christmas Tree in its city square?? It’s true, and it dates all the way back to 1441. I’m shook.

Anyway, after we ate, it was time to do the city wall / Hellemann Tower tour thingie! Apparently, the building itself was completed in 1355, 1410 for the tower, but it has burned repeatedly through the years and was most recently rebuilt in 2010 and reopened to the public.

It was actually harrowing to climb parts of it because there was no rhyme or reason to the steps and they were dangerously steep. I thought for sure, since I hadn’t fallen off the funhouse steps in Stockholm, that this is where I was undoubtedly going to bite it. But surprisingly, I made it up AND down without any bruises but I think I did scrape my hand off one of the walls at one point if I remember correctly.

Oh man. I could have stood there all day looking at the rooftops.

Also I would like to point out that I kept hounding Henry to take money out because I wanted to see what it looked like and he was all THEY DON’T LIKE DEALING WITH CASH I READ ABOUT IT. EVERYTHING SAYS TO JUST USE CARD and I was like, “mm ok” but then AS SOON as we walked into the tower, the man selling tickets was like, “HAHA YOU THOUGHT. CASH ONLY FOOLS” so then Chooch and I berated Henry the entire time he walked around looking for a bank or ATM. Henry can be so terrible to travel with sometimes, you guys. Leave Henry at home if you plan on visiting Tallinn. He will just hold you back and ensure that you won’t have enough time to do everything you wanted to do.

This was in St. Catherine’s Passage, where you kind find a bunch of little galleries and local artisans.

I knew this place existed from various travel videos that I had watched but I feel like if we were intentionally looking for it, FORGET ABOUT IT. We just stumbled upon by accident and I quickly realized what it was and yelled, “THIS IS WHERE THE GLASS SHOP IS!” I went inside and immediately bought cool handmade glasses for Janna and myself while Henry muttered to himself about how everything I was buying during this trip was glass.

Then we lost Chooch for a little bit. I think he was playing Pokemon Go. Henry didn’t seem too concerned.

We both had to pee really bad so we found another cafe and decided to get A SUNDAE while we were there because that’s obligatory when you’re on vacation. Sundaes for no reason, at any time of the day.

Pierre Chocolaterie Cafe!

The bathroom was soooo tiny and it was RIGHT next to the counter making it extremely awkward. Anyway, I thought the mirror was cool and I wanted to take a bathroom selfie because I’m a grown ass woman and if I want to TAKE A BATHROOM SELFIE I WILL DAMN WELL TAKE A BATHROOM SELFIE. However, as I started to take it, someone began to vigorously tug on the door knob which made me panic so I snapped it and then left only to come face to face with WAS LOST BUT NOW IS FOUND Chooch. What a fucking pest. He literally was born to troll me, I think.

I want to go back in time and get one of each.

We sat outside so I wouldn’t cough my face out, especially being surrounded by all that vintage fabric.

YEAH BOY. Henry and I shared the Dame Blanche, which was vanilla ice cream, Grand Marnier, fresh raspberry jam, and whipped cream. I wish I had just gotten my own because this was really delightful, a nice change from the standard hot fudge sundae that I would generally default to.

I made Chooch write a postcard to his Grandma Judy while we were sitting here and he was so pissed about it. He hates writing postcards which is why I, his own damn mother, didn’t get a postcard from him when he was in Mexico. I thought FOR SURE he would send one. No. Not even for my birthday.

I could have sat here all damn day.

But, we had shopping, walking, and looking to do before our dinner! MORE LATER.  I think Tallinn is going to be a whole damn series, I’m sorry. It was cool there and I took a lot of pictures, sue me.

Say it don't spray it.

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