I returned a week ago from one of my most successful trips yet, 4 countries in 2 weeks, 4/30-5/13; all connections went off perfectly, I rode the bus between countries which was new for me, I discovered 2 beautiful new cities & revisited 2 beloved cities, and no physical ailments! Last year's 2 trips saw me suffer through 6 days of a spondylolisthesis flare in Munich and then knee bursitis in London. Weather was a bit chilly, but due to job changes I needed to go earlier in May than I prefer. Nevertheless, I had a spectacular time, starting with a re-visit to Tallinn.
For those who like to know about packing for a 13 night trip, here goes:
25" checked suitcase (27# going, 41# returning) and a foldable yet sturdy LeSportsac tote that brought home 15# of Hungarian pottery.
2 pairs skinny jeans--black Old Navy and dark wash Hudson
2 light but warm sweaters--black DKNY and grey stripe Calvin Klein
4 long sleeve tops, incl one black for layering, and one that was nice enough to wear to the Operett in Budapest
3 short sleeve Ts
1 sleeveless top that I never wore
2 scarves and fingerless gloves
3 pair undies and Smartwool socks-sink wash nightly
nightie and slippers
Hooded stretchy jacket, black
Light but warm black Calvin Klein jacket that has great pockets and can fit 3 layers if needed--and I needed!
LeSportsac Deluxe Everyday bag in a grey, taupe, cream circle pattern
I have now found The Best Boots EVER--Pikolinos Vicar in black; laced front with side zipper and they were so perfectly comfy I wore them every day of my trip--cushy soft inside, gel insole, great arch support and I never needed my black Ecco Soft 7 sneakers.
I arrived at 6 pm in Tallinn on a Tuesday and a taxi to the Von Stackelberg on Toompuiestee, the outer edge of old town, was 10 euro. The hotel was beautiful and I had an enormous room looking on the courtyard, excellent & helpful front desk staff. I immediately set off for old town for dinner, a 10 minute walk up Falgi tee and there was Nevsky Cathedral looking as beautiful as I remembered from my 2013 trip. I knew I needed a visit to Hell Hunt, cozy pub with great food and pear cider, but first I got reacquainted with Tallinn's delightfully twisty and enchanting little streets. Daylight was until 9:30 so that allowed for more explorations after dinner and solo time at the Toompea Hill viewing platform.
It was easiest to fly into Tallinn, and as I'd been there before for a solid week I had 2 full days here before continuing my tour of the Baltic states; another 2 this time would have been nice. First day, May 1st and they call it Spring Day, weather near 70 so I walked over to the Balti Jaama Turg, the marketplace behind the train station, 10 minutes from hotel. Excellent street food-type court and the shops ran the gamut between useful stuff to quality handcrafted items and the antique area, where I found a few goodies. I needed a book so to Solaris mall and the Apollo shop, then the streetcar out to Kadriorg where everyone was enjoying the warmth. Explored old town, some shops & museums were closed, and I chose to sit outdoors on the square at Kaerajaan, modern Estonian cuisine.
So much for T shirt weather--next day was 45 tops and a determined rain all day & snow that night. I visited the excellent Museum of Occupation & Freedom on Toompea, then the Tallinn Museum of Estonia in the old guild hall, then hit some shops I had on my list. Eesti Kasitoo (handcrafts) on Pikk has authentic Estonian knitted gloves and mittens and much more, also Madeli Kasitoo, A-Galerii for unique jewelry and overall I love Tallinn for their crafts traditions--pottery, leather and iron work and of course their knitting. Even in the rain I love wandering the old town, definitely a favorite city. Dinner was at the wonderful Farm on Murrivahe--look for the delightful taxidermy critters in the window having a dinner party--really fresh & unique menu, plenty of locals there.
Next day--bus to Riga.