MONDAY 12th SEPTEMBER – EVENING
OK, I’m probably going to run out of puns about Tallinn before this blog ends, so I thought I may as well get them out of the way sooner rather than later.
Tallin’s airport terminal looks like a giant Toblerone with two shoe boxes at either end, which is apt – as nowhere else would you ordinarily buy a huge triangular bar of chocolate. Actually, that description is doing it a dis-service. The building is modern, functional and the staff are highly efficient. There’s no queue at passport control and the driver is proudly displaying a card with my name on it.
The flight’s arrived a little early, and the driver neatly weaves his way in and out of Tallin’s rush hour traffic to drop me off at the Von Stackelberg Hotel. I have to admit, when I booked it sounded more like the kind of place that should be in Vienna or Salzburg – and its Germanic courtyard made me wonder if I’d landed in the right country.
But the VSB (as I’ll abbreviate it to from here on) is full of surprises. It mixes classic European architecture with a modernistic and clean interior. The room’s not as big as those on its website – but how many are? After reading that rather pessimistic review earlier, I was happy to be staying in the same building.
And not bad it is either. My view from the window isn’t quite as good, but I reckon my hotel’s got more character than the one across the road.
And it’s pretty high tech too. Along with an enormous LCD TV on the wall, each room at the VSB comes with its own personal computer terminal, although I end up having to crawl under the desk to get the internet cable into my laptop (the wireless requires a keycode).
All in all, though, the VSB shows promise. Which is more than can be said for the weather – it’s raining on and off. But with the Old Town just a few steps away up the hill, I’m not going to let that dampen my spirits tonight.