Balti jaam trug, Tallinn

In the Baltic states food markets (‘turge‘) still play an important role. In Germany most people buy fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and fish at supermarkets and going to a farmer’s market is rather a fun activity for weekends. Here it seems to be still part of everyday live. Throughout Tallinn, Estonia you can find different markets – one of the newest and most modern is the one directly next to the Balti Jaam railway station.

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Occupation & freedom

VABAMU, Tallinn

Estonia is a young state gaining independence only in 1990. In the past it was occupied three times by Germans (1941-1944) and Soviets (1940-1941, 1944-1990) – independence and having an own state is therefore of big importance for Estonians. What occupation means and what chances and challenges freedom creates is discussed in the Okupatsioonide ja vabaduse muuseum (VABAMU) – the museum of occupations and freedom at Tallinn, Estonia.

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Cat eyes

Cat eyes, Estonia

When you’re at Estonia and walk around at night you’re required by law to wear cat eyes. A special situation I never had before and they tell you also where to wear them: at knees height on the right side of your body. It is necessary that they are visible from back and front. I learned about this from the travel advice of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

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Ships & more

Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn

Estonia is a sea-faring nation and of course there is a museum dedicated to that topic at Tallinn, Estonia. The Eesti Meremuuseum has it’s main location in the ‘fat margret‘ tower at Pikk 70 which is currently closed for renovation – therefore I could only visit the secondary location at the old waterplane harbour in Lennusadam. It can be reached on foot or by using a small train on wheels.

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Baltic sea

Baltic Sea, Tallinn

After visiting the Baltic states I’ve got the feeling that Tallinn, Estonia (formerly also called ‘Reval‘) is the one best known to Germans. That is probably because it has a harbour close to the city center where cruise ships can stop and unload masses of tourists. But that didn’t disturb me much during my visit and of course one should use the situation to give the Baltic sea a visit.

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City walls

City fortifications, Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia is beautifully located on and around the Toompea (cathedral hill). A unique feature of the city are the remaining historical city walls and fortification towers. In medieval times 40 of these towers with red roofs existed and still today they shape the skyline of the city. A tour to the city walls typically starts at the castle with the town’s landmark – the Pikk Hermann (‘tall Hermann’) tower.

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Aleksander Nevski katedraal

leksander Nevski katedraal, Tallinn

When you’re on the Toompea (cathedral hill) of Tallinn, Estonia it’s not the castle standing there or the Pikk Hermann tower that is catching your views – it is the beautiful Aleksander Nevski katedraal with its six black onion domes. It is a Russian-orthodox church that was built between 1894 and 1900 CE. The location was well-chosen and during the first independence of Estonia it was planned to remove the church as it was and is a strong symbol of Russian influence.

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Toompea loss

Toompea loss, Tallinn

The Toompea is a natural hill at the city centre of Tallinn, Estonia and as it is an easy to defend place it was used for hundreds of years as a stronghold. It is even named in ancient Estonia mythology and is said to be created by the giant Linda. In the year 1219 Danish forces conquered this place and according to a Danish legend the Danish flag – the Dannebrog – fell from the sky during an important phase of the battle and motivated the Danish crusaders.

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852 victims

ESTONIA memorial, Tallinn

When preparing for the trip to Tallinn, Estonia the English name for the country somehow had a strange sound for me. But I couldn’t remember why. That changed only when I was standing in front of the memorial ‘Katkenud liin‘ (broken line) – it remembers the victims of a ferry disaster in 1994. The ferry boat ESTONIA sank on its way from Tallinn, Estonia to Stockholm, Sweden and 852 persons lost their lifes.

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Public transport

Tallinn, Estonia

Travelling by public transport through Tallinn, Estonia is easy and fun. The transport system uses tramways, bussess and trolley busses – like in a lottery you sometimes get a brand new one or a historic vehicle. Locals typically use smartcards they can charge up and validate them when entering the vehicle at any door. You can also buy tickets by using the ‘pilet.ee‘ smartphone app (‘pilet‘ means ticket).

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