Thursday, 12 August 2010


Tallinn, the capital of Estonia is given the nickname of Disneyland of the North. It has a busy ferry port with boats to Scandinavia and is visited by many cruise ships. They claim to have invented marzipan in Tallinn, but Lubeck also claims to have invented it. We appreciated the small streets and beauty of the old town heading to a view point on arrival and witnessing a mighty fine sunset.

After our National Park adventures and bites still itching ferociously we decided to give yet another bog forest a miss. We took it easy looking at the Tallinn flower festival, visiting the beach on a rainy and blustery day, stumbling upon an overpriced eco-shop and seeing the park where the president resides. Fish head upon fish head could be seen along the high tide mark and we decided this would not have been our site of choice for a swim. In the wood above the beach was an impressive set of exercise equipment almost on a par with that in our park in Norwich. Jenny was not all that impressed and managed to turn herself upside down on one of the pieces of apparatus. Similar apparatus could be found in the town and we started to think that Estonia must be a bit wealthier than its neighbours.

The drivers in Estonia were a pleasant surprise. We had become used to zebra crossings just being road markings with no apparent purpose, dicing with death at every crossing. In Tallinn drivers actually stopped and waved you across as if it was abnormal that we hadn’t stepped into the road already. Estonia is also a Lotte haven. Lotte is an Estonian children’s animation character, she’s an inventor and can be found on drinks cartons, exercise books, pancake mix packets, cereals, ice creams/lollies and iced bar things with gelatine in them (so we never did find out what they were). You can also get cuddly toy Lottes on keyrings or on their own. We were slightly tempted to buy mum a silver spoon with Lotte on that we spotted in a jewellers shop window. There was a Lotte disco and treasure hunt at the flower festival on the 18th and they’ll be having a Lotte musical there sometime in August. All that was missing was the real life Lottie from our small corner of Devon.

With the marzipan museum, which was actually just a small room, ticked off there was not a lot left to do in Tallinn so we decided to go day tripping to Finland in search of Marimekko t-shirts and adventure.

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