Well...I absolutely loved Tallin. I want to move there, except for the whole "really cold in winter" thing. But other than that I think I'd love it. Love the people, the culture, the atmosphere, the city. It was simply, purely charming.
What did I do in Tallin? Walked around. That's it. I did some shopping, hung out with the tour group, got over jet lag, but mostly just walked around.
And around every corner, up every stair case, inside each alleyway, I was once again reminded of how wonderful European cities can be. How much fun the people, and how interesting it is to see different ways of living.
Tallin, well Estonia in general, has been under the rule of other countries for most of its existence. The Russians, then the Finns, then the Russians again. In 1991 Tallin was finally independent through a series of demonstrations called the Singing Revolution. Russia pulled out, other countries began to recognize them as independent, and Tallin as a city and the capital began the hard work of reenergizing itself.
Much of the medieval part of the city is still in tact and well preserved. The alley ways that can only be walked, the areas that are laid out for parks, the steep inclines, the sudden squares. Churches abound. Little amber shops and souvenir places around every corner.
And still, in all of that, there's a charm and a pleasantness that make it Estonian.
Being a crafter, knitter in particular, I'm very interested in the folk traditions of the hand-made goods. I wish I'd had many more days to gain my bearings a little better and explore a bit deeper.
But as it was, I was left with a strong desire to return, to live, to prosper in this tiny country on the Baltic Sea.