By the time we escape from the rehearsals of Eesti Laul, it’s been snowing, which gives Tallinn a pretty feel about it. Unlike the UK, several millimetres of snow doesn’t bring the whole city to a halt. That’s before we see the probable winners of this year’s contest, Traffic. Among the selection of power ballads and quirky folk backing dancers, here’s a proper group with a catchy tune and a history of performing here.
We’re staying close to the Old Town in an apartment overlooking a small cobbled street with a collection of souvenir shops and in easy reach of some rather lovely bars, including Karja Kelder, a cosy cellar venue doing what Estonia does best – large beers and carb-loaded home cooked food.
The rest of the evening consists of a crawl around several other venues, including the oddly placed Depeche Mode bar, which has so few customers inside we are able to Enjoy The Silence and head somewhere more interesting instead.
At the Beer House, – a traditional sprawling beer keller venue – a collection of stag parties and locals all out for a bit of Friday night singing and dancing. It’s not quite oompah – though a seventies covers band includes a customary accordion to help increase the cheese factor.
Thanks to our apartment host Phil calling it an early night and falling asleep, we’re temporarily locked out of our accommodation, and are forced to bunk down for further drinks in an Iriish bar which just happens to have karaoke, I had a terrible time.
So to Saturday morning, and it’s been snowing some more. Here are two shots of Freedom Square last night and this lunchtime.
It’s certainly a fairytale setting, and although the snow’s getting heavier, we make our way up Toompah Hill, home of the Estonian Parliament and churches of all denominations. I’ve noticed one or two families who’ve bought their children sledges for the ride back into town.
There’s only so much snow you can take, so time for a hot chocolate in Troika – a Russian themed bar in the main square. And NewsMutt continues to make friends.