It is eight years since we were here last. Then snow tyres rattled along the roads, the streets were snowy and empty and we walked along the shore of the frozen Baltic. Things have changed; certainly it is warmer and I am told the shops have improved whilst the streets, far from being empty, were swarming – there were four cruise ships in the purpose built harbour.
Tallinn is a mini Prague, more compact and less wearing; everything is accessible and a short up and down hill hike. The old town is in stark contrast to the suburbs which are haunted with crumbling Soviet housing schemes and overly wide road systems designed to give easy access to tanks entering the city from the East. Outside the old town in the shadows, pressed between architecture of the old regime and the new regime, are the remnants of an entirely different history.
The churches, castle and museums are unchanged and predictable. It is the unexpected which sticks in the memory – on this occasion the Tallinn TREFF Festival – Different Cultures, one language! www.nuku.ee.