Off the Beaten Path

We’re back in Tallinn this weekend, 3 days this time. Wasn’t really sure what I was going to do for 3 days in the city; I don’t drink and I don’t club. There is one thing I like to do, and as it turns out Tallinn has it in spades: exploration. Walking about the city. There’s the obvious going through Old Town, checking out the shops (I managed to score an antique Red Army belt) but there’s a lot more. Things a regular old walking tour probably wouldn’t give you. The old town hall where the Linda Line ferry runs is a pretty interesting place to hang out at night. An outdoor concert with a 3 Euro admission (ended up climbing a tree and hanging out on a branch over the fence for a bit just because I could). The more suburban areas on the outskirts have some rather unique design, especially their driveways which are like watching a car try to hide behind a bush, only to disappear in an alley. The motorized “museum” next to the Seaplane museum, which is really more like someone put up a few signs next to a bunch of Cold War era vehicles that had been dumped long before. A concrete shack in a fenced off area that looked like the start of every scary story I’ve ever read.


And the old Tallinn prison. We got there 5 minutes after the sign said it was closed, but the gate was open and there were still a few people there so it was probably fine. Climbed up into a guard tower, which had a pretty good view. There’s quite a bit of very well done graffiti in there was well. But perhaps the best part was going a little beyond, around the walls, literally off the beaten path. Signs of activity that weren’t about the prison so much as the people in the area, including a clever system of branches to aid in scaling one of the walls around the place and a doghouse that looked like it was lived in. Things a tour guide would most likely leave out. All in all quite the experience, and not what I had immediately thought of when I heard 3 days in the city, and there’s no doubt still more to uncover.


-Eric Chowning


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