You are here

Tallinn Reflections

Tallinn's WiFiedTallinn (and by extension, I guess, Estonia) is an interesting place. The rapid changes it's gone through over the last decade or so seem evident at every street corner - from the many new buildings and cars to the renovation work all over town to the English-language for sale/rent signs everywhere. This is also the first place I've ever seen an official city council WiFi hotspot sign!

City Hall under Surveillance?What's interesting is that any evidence of the past under Soviet rule is virtually absent. Russian language is nowhere to be seen, and is heard mainly as you walk past the building workers and the old women at the flea markets. On the other hand, the antiques and souvenir stores are full of discarded Red Army hats and medals, Lenin and Stalin busts, and Russian orthodox icons.

Modern Times (for English Speakers)There's a real energy to the place now, and the town seems to be positively booming. I'm hoping there won't be a rude awakening at the end of this, though - perhaps the Estonian economy can come to a soft landing after this expansion phase. Certainly the younger people especially seem extremely friendly and (as far as I can tell from the exhibitions here) very inventive, and there's a lot of interesting stuff happening.

Tallinn is also already a very cosmopolitan city - 15th-Century City Walls and Chinese Restaurantswe ate last night in a Sushi restaurant built into a 14th century tradespeople's house which was recently refurbished by the architect who was also responsible for the stage design for the Eurovision song contest finals Estonia hosted a few years ago...