Here we are in June and yes, I am writing about Christmas and New Year’s! Here in the UK we have been having glorious sunny and hot weather so it seems an odd time to now be posting about our travels last Christmas… but here we are.
I feel the first thing I should mention is… Nick does not do Christmas. If I get him to participate in anything at Christmas I count it as a win. So when few weeks before Nick announces he is surprising me with a News Year’s Eve trip to Tallinn, Estonia as my Christmas present to say I was shocked was an understatement.
So, work finished for Christmas and week after it’s off to Tallinn!
Day 1 – Getting our bearings
Arriving at our hotel and it was amazing, a view over the city and old town and so much room but wait what’s that… eyes on the wall?
To this day we still don’t know why there was eyes stuck on the wall, but it was extremely creepy! There was a curtain across like it was known they were there but why?!
The rest of the room, however, was lovely. As usual we stayed in our standard Radisson Blu. My only criticism would be that it was a bit out of the way from the main center, this meant it was a bit of a walk to Old town or the Ferry port, however, the main positive was that even on New Year’s Eve it was nice and quiet.
Bags down it is time to walk around and see the city, with Google Maps on our phone and off we go.
We headed straight for the Old Town which as soon as you walked through the archways was incredibly Christmassy. In the center square was the Christmas market and giant Christmas tree complete with lights.
Down every alley and road was places to eat as well as small souvenir shops. The Old Town was one of my favourite parts of Tallinn, the cobbled streets and stone buildings were beautiful and felt so Christmassy with the lights and tree in the center. After walking around the Old Town we ventured to one the many shopping centers and stopped for a hot chocolate to warm up.
Later that evening we went back to Old Town (can you see a theme yet?) to see all the Christmas lights that were still up and to experience glögg.
In the Town hall square was the Christmas market with each stall selling gingerbread, little decorations and glögg, heated up wine and spices. After voluntarily giving up my half of the glögg to Nick I spotted the train… not a normal train but a Christmas train!
After dragging Nick over he agreed to go on with me, how we would regret it. Take one christmas train, cobbled streets and finish with potholes and it hurts. With every bump in the road it was down and up with a clunk. Once you looked past the bumps every 2 minutes, the train ride was really interesting as it took you round most of the streets in Old Town. It was a great way to see some of the streets we just wouldn’t have had time to see.
Day 2 – Helsinki bound
The second day bought another early start to head over to Helsinki. Being just a little way across the water we felt it was too good a chance to miss a day in Finland.
Read my Helsinki blog post here.
Back on the ferry, back to Tallinn, we enjoyed a small dinner, which was so good. Being a meal on a ferry we didn’t know what to expect or have high expectations but it was so tasty, I just had a mushroom pasta and Nick had chilli chicken.
This small boost kept our energy going to stay awake after an early start and long day, and meant that when we docked we felt up for walking back into Old Town to a bar we had found on Google the night before called Labor. After a long day in Helsinki we could have easily headed back to the hotel for a much welcomed sleep but we thought we may not get a chance again as the next night was New Year’s Eve. This, in hindsight, was a good call as the next night all bars were either ticket only or already full.
I am so so glad we ended up going, it was one of the best bars I have been too. A mix of cocktails in beakers and test tube shots greeted us and made for a great night.
The lights underneath would continue with colour changing patterns but would stop when a phone or a hand was placed on them and only show where they were. The touch effects of the tables were just an extra touch and although a gimmick we couldn’t stop messing around to get the lights flashing!
Read Tallinn, Estonia Part 2 here.