Oh, but Tallinn is pretty. The old town is a warren of lovely old buildings, broken up by small parks and squares. And over it all at the moment is a nice, thick layer of snow. It’s proper snow that’s outlining the limbs of trees and balancing on railings and crunching nicely as you walk through it. It’s also just the perfect combination of fluffy and damp for making snowballs.
We got into Tallinn just after midday after a mercifully uneventful flight from Moscow. Almost immediately there’s a palpably different atmosphere to Moscow – it took a while to work out why but it seems that there are just many more people walking about with a spring in their step and a smile on their face.
Our apartment, is right in the middle of the old town. One set of windows looks out on a small park by a Church which, at the moment, has an ice-skating rink set up in the middle of it. The other windows, for the apartment is on a corner, look over a lovely street that leads to the town hall square where there’s a Christmas Market in full swing. The area is filled with cafes, restaurants and bookshops, all of which seem to have perfected a warm, inviting glow.
Poor Declan was close to bursting with frustration when we insisted on making a run to the local supermarket before any snowballs were thrown – although he and Callum managed a quick battle on the way. The most noticeable thing about the supermarket was the wide selection of berry juices, lots of salted fish, and a huge range of pancakes.
As we walked back from the supermarket it began to snow and so our snowball fight, the first of many I imagine, was undertaken in the midst of flurries of flakes. I was pleased to see the snow falling because we made quite a dent in the pristine snowfields of the park across the road from our apartment. The snow has continued falling for hours and there’s a good solid coverage. People are strolling about this evening pulling their kids on sledges, and snow-ploughs are fighting a losing battle to keep the road clear.
Bob, Ana and Julia flew in from Spain this evening and we had a meal in one of the restaurants opposite the apartment. Reprising one of our long-term travel themes, we had pancakes: And on this sample, Estonian pancakes are world-class. Right up there with their snowballs.