Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tallinn: Part 5 - Day 3: Balti Jaam Market, Flea Market, Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn University, Rottermann Quarter

Day 3
Here is a summary of what is spent on Day 3.

6/1 Day 3: Balti Jaam Market -- Flea Market (both markets are in Telliskivi) -- Kadriork Palace -- Tallinn University -- Rottermann Quarter -- fly back to Stockholm 

Optional Costs
(1) Souvenirs (2 Russian wool hats) - EUR20
(2) Tuna croissants from the grocery mart - EUR2,70

The Story
06012019: Today is my last day in Tallinn. I fly back to Stockholm tonight. In the morning, I followed my friend to church which is located in Telliskivi. Coincidentally, a must-see local market is located in Telliskivi. It is called Balti Jaam Market. There is an outdoor and indoor market. I love going to markets to see how local it is, hoping that they are not catering to many tourists. I wanted to get some Russian wool hats and I thought that the market would be the best place to get it. It sure is as I explored further inside. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tallinn: Part 4 - Day 2 Afternoon: Medieval Walking Tour, Kehrwieder, KGB Prison Museum, St Catherine's Passage

Day 2 (Afternoon)
Here is a summary of what is spent on Day 2 Afternoon.

5/1 Day 2 Afternoon: Town Hall -- Medieval Walking Tour -- Kehrwieder Chocolate Shop -- KGB Prison Museum -- St. Catherine Passage 

Optional Costs
(1) Tips for the Walking Tour - EUR2
(2) Entrance fee to KGB Prison Museum - EUR5

(3) Tea break - Chocolate cake EUR4, Apple juice with Vana Tallinn (Liquor) EUR7,90, Chocolate drink EUR4 (friend's share)
(4) Lunch - Christmas meal set at the Christmas Market (chorizo sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes) EUR9

The Story
05012019 Afternoon: After Town Hall, we headed to the Tourist Information Center where we joined the Medieval Walking Tour that starts at 11.30am. It is a one-hour walk. It was -3 that day but it felt colder. It was snowing and it was blowing. I checked the weather app and it stated that it felt like -8. A lady dressed in medieval attire was waiting for us. 

It was a fun walk and here are some stories that I remembered. We stopped in front of this well named Cat's Well, and back then, there was shortage of water for the people. So, they dug a well which did not have fresh water. It was smelly. The people consulted the priests and one of them named Brother Albert suggested throwing cats inside and after 13 cats in 2 weeks, the water stank even more. I was in disbelief when I heard this and I googled. Turns out that there was no Brother Albert and not 13 cats, but a number of cattle was thrown inside. She said that it stank so bad that they had to seal the well till today. This, I doubt. To solve the water problem, the people brewed their own beer. Even the kids drank beer but with low alcohol. Beer kills bacteria which is much safer than the well's water.

She explained that Tallinn was previously known as Reval. Once upon a time, a Danish king Valdemar II was hunting for deer in Toompea when he spotted a beautiful stag. The king liked the animal much and so he ordered it to be caught alive. Unfortunately, the deer escaped, fell from a high limestone bank and broke its neck. In German, Reh-fall means "fall of a deer", and so that is where the name Reval was derived from. I got this explanation from Wikipedia. Her story was similar to that. Can you see the deer in the photo? It is at the far right corner of the photo.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Tallinn: Part 3 - Day 2 Morning: Town Hall

Day 2 (Morning)
Here is a summary of what is spent on Day 2 Morning.

5/1 Day 2 Morning: Town Hall in Old Town of Tallinn

Optional Costs
(1) Entrance ticket to the Town Hall - EUR5
(2) McDonalds Coffee to use the toilet - EUR1,40

The Story
05012019 Morning: We took the tram to Old Town again. We were supposed to go to Saaremaa Island but we missed the bus and decided to explore more of Old Town. I was very surprised that the tram services trust the people so much. There was no conductor to check your tickets when you enter the tram. You just tap your card on the machine and get your seat. If you don't have a card, you pay EUR2 for a single adult ticket. I saw a passenger who knocked on the driver's compartment and wanted to pay. A little pocket opened and he paid. In my head - SUCH HONESTY! The last time I saw something like this - trust in its people - was when I visited Norway in August 2018. You can read my post here. Now, I know Norwegians and Estonians are trustworthy people.

We arrived too early at Old Town and none of the tourist places were opened yet. So, we headed towards McDonalds to use the toilet. There was a toilet code and one needs to buy something to have the toilet code printed on the receipt. I was surprised to find that there were no English instructions on the sugar sachet for the coffee. I gradually found out that not many Estonians can speak English.

That is the front of Kalev Chocolate Shop. The building in the middle. I went in there yesterday. The streets were still very quiet.