Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and alongside Stockholm one of the most popular travel destinations for us Finns. It is popular to visit Tallinn either on day trips or on cruises. A good way to enjoy a bit of time outside of the homeland. Finns and Estonians are related and in many ways the countries are quite similar, even the languages are quite close, even though there are apparent differences in the languages as well.
One of the landmarks of Tallinn is the Viru hotel. It was build in the Soviet times but has since been completely renovated. Alongside a couple of newer high rises the Viru hotel is one those building you can use to calibrate your inner GPS to where you currently are in the city. Our hotel was located close by so it was even more convenient to navigate via the Viru hotel.
The modern business district has big malls and high rise buildings, the sort of cityscape you can see in major cities across the world. It used to be very cheap to buy clothes etc. in Tallinn, but the prices are rising evermore and nowadays, compared to say Helsinki, only food and drinks are noticeably cheaper.
Marketplaces are the ones were you may find good bargains on clothes, however the closer you are to the tourist attractions the more you are likely to pay.
Lot of handmade, local clothes and apparel were to be found in this “turg” ie marketplace.
Flower shops close to the entrance to the old city.
And more business done along the sidewalks.
Autumn was at the point where the few last leaves were yet in the trees, and the yellow and green giving way to darker colors.
The old city is lovely and cosy, lot of small shops and cafés to be found.
Some of the shops and restaurants take full advantage of the heritage of the old city.
Sometimes, it seems one needs a bit of a pause, even when one does not know it. A couple of days under the blankets, a forced rest if you will. Unfortunately I had no ready posts for the blog in store, so my absence has been 100% total from the webosphere as well. Anyhow, all is well, still a bit under the flu but getting better all the time though. It is the season for being sick here, lot of flu varieties around and influenza as well, so it sometimes seems only a matter of time before one gets the bug.
Anyway, trying to get back on form on the blog as well, stay tuned for photos of Tallinn as well as hopefully a bit more of this beautiful and damp, dark homeland called Finland.. 😉
One of the most beautiful buildings in Helsinki, the cathedral of the Lutheran church sits at the heart of the city. Lovely especially with a contrasting dark sky as seen in the photo.
In a world so uncertain
Through the clouds it’s hard to see
I will grab you and lift you
As you hold on tight and sway
We’ll go walking
Across the fields of gray
c. B.R Hornsby
As luck would have it the weather was nice for a few days before the constant rain continued and I had the possibility to go look for a very special bird. The Whooper Swan is the national bird of Finland and it is always a part of the autumn to try and see them before they leave. Whooper swans are relatively shy and they usually live in the lakes of Finland with very tight territories where they will not allow other swans to visit. They are one of those rare breeds that form a life-long relationship with another swan and they come back to their home every spring and build their home and nest their eggs. The bigger families are said to have up to nine off-spring. Usually the amount is much smaller.
As the autumn comes, the whoopers form bigger flocks and come from their secluded lakes to the fields of southern coastal regions. Families gather together and form small groups within groups. The youngster still have dark feathers, so it is quite easy to see the family formations.
The take-off of big birds can be stupendous to watch. I wish I had beem a little closer but with birds this shy it is hard. And I cannot afford the 600mm, 800mm pro lenses for bird shots.
Beautiful and very much relaxing to see this sort of spectacle.