Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s old town is really fantastic. It’s well preserved and part of UNESCO’s world heritage list. The many old buildings are really fabulous to visit, especially since they’re not just museum pieces, but an active part of daily living and commerce: people live in the buildings, work in them and eat at restaurants located inside them – just as they would if the buildings were new.

Given that Tallinn is the birthplace of Skype, it comes as no surprise (at least not to me) that many places in the city offer free WiFi and almost everyone carries a mobile phone everywhere. I walked through the old city many times because I enjoyed the surprise of finding a new hidden alley where I could buy some chocolate or an ice cream cone or a coffee. As with the other places I’ve visited, I went for a run along the sea wall. Really fabulous, but Stockholm is still tops for that.

One of the parks where I spent a lot of time one day includes free WiFi outside. You send a text to a Tallinn phone number and you’ll get a reply with a username and password that is useful for 24 hours. I suppose that helps them track who is using the service and probably ban residents who lives near the part from leaching, or it merely helps with traceability.

The people at Tallinn Backpackers – guests and employees – have been really great, with the exception of a bunch of exchange students who were staying in my room last night. They arrived home from the bars around 4 AM, completely smashed, and proceeded to tell jokes, shout at each other and burn down a couple in the toilet of the room.

Sleep, in spite of the best 50 cents I ever spent, was limited. Annoyance, however, was peaking.