My trips to Estonia usually involve landing in Tallinn, which has the only major airport in the country, and almost immediately hopping on a bus or train and heading south to Tartu, Estonia’s “Second City.” Rarely do I spend more than a night in the capital city, which is the tourist destination people know most about. People don’t know Tallinn that well, but it is usually a day stop-over on many Scandinavian cruises, so it has some name recognition.
During my September trip, however, I spent three nights in Tallinn and explored some new areas. I walked around the artsy Telliskivi Creative Center, rediscovered some nooks and crannies in the beautiful Old town, and enjoyed pastries in the Rotermann neighborhood.
The catalyst for my trip was running in the 10K at the Tallinn Marathon, which was an incredible experience. Beginning and ending at the Song Festival Grounds, the route ran alongside the Gulf of Finland. It was a fairly easy run, with the weather being a cool 50 degrees in September. After having trained in Texas heat throughout the summer, it was a breeze.
I’ve learned not to raise my expectations with regards to pandemic travel, but I’m thankful I had a small window to return in 2021, and looking forward to spending more time in the place I love in 2022.