We accidentally ended up visiting Tallinn on one of the busiest weekends of the year. The country was celebrating the Estonia song festival – held every five years in Tallinn. It’s a celebration of national pride and linked with the singing revolution (I encourage you to read about this. The history of the Baltic country’s is very tragic but the determination of the people living here to fight for their independence is inspiring). There was an amazing atmosphere all over the city with so many people there to celebrate. On Saturday we watched the parade of the choirs all in national dress, Sunday morning we were treated to mass dancing at freedom square and Sunday evening we went to the main event. An impressive choir of 32,000 people (made up of over 1000 different choirs) and an audience of 80,000. It was a pretty memorable experience but a warning not to go if you don’t like crowds.
Graham’s Mum and Stepdad joined us for 4 days of exploring in Tallinn and around. After 3 months with just ourselves for conversation and spending near enough 24 hours a day with each other, it was a nice change to have conversations with other minds. Having guests was a great excuse to have a ‘holiday’. Spending 6 months travelling van style, we are pretty strict with our money and have rarely been out for drinks and food, but this was a great excuse to treat ourselves and to be treated to some great food and drink.
Tallinn is an absolute dream for vegans! Couldn’t recommend it enough as a vegan city break destination. We ate out at three vegan restaurants V, Vegan Inspiratsioon, and Plant. And they were all amazing, serving interesting creative food for plant and non-plant lovers. We also got treats from a vegan bakery and the highlight was a vegan chocolate shop – I was speechless when I went in and found that everything was plant-based!!!
We didn’t just eat the whole time, we did wonder between eateries. The old town is gorgeous, everything you want from a historic city break; cobbled streets, narrow lanes, lively cafes and bars, wide town square, interesting architecture, old city walls, churches after churches and a castle. Staying in the van means we often park out of town and cycle into cities which means you get to explore the more non touristy areas. I also enjoyed my morning runs around the various parks in the city and along the waterfront. Another interesting area to visit is the waterfront, via old industrial buildings, creative hubs, the communist prison and an old boat yard. We didn’t have time to visit museums but there were lots of them. Basically in summary, if you haven’t been go, its great!