In a Dream: Estonia

cathedral and rowhouses

It’s funny how, when you’ve traveled a good bit, details of certain trips fade but you can still remember precisely how the air smelled or how a place looked in the light there. The memories become fuzzy and patchy—dreamlike. Sunlight and shadows are what I remember most from a trip to Estonia I took several years ago with the tour operator Travcoa. It was a whirlwind summer with lots of long-haul travel, and this trip came right on the heels of another I’d taken to Peru, during which I landed the mother of all intestinal bugs (it lasted eight weeks to the day!). In the 10 days between those trips I underwent a litany of tests and was loaded up with antibiotics, whose side effects were unlike anything I’d ever experienced. They made me feel angry, depressed, frantic, and in a constant fog. It was a miserable way to experience a country as beautiful as Estonia. So many specifics of my visit—names of restaurants I ate at, museums I visited, towns we drove through—are a blur, so I’m grateful to have these photos to remind me of Tallinn’s clear skies, beautiful rooftops and steeples, and soft sunlight. I don’t remember much, but one thing’s for sure—Estonia is a dream, whether you’re heavily medicated or not.

hotel6I loved my hotel room from the second I set foot in it. So cozy, and with the most beautiful, romantic light.hotel5hotel4hotel3hotel2 hotelThe stone streets of Tallinn are lined with colorful Baroque and Rococo buildings and old Gothic structures. It seemed like the steeples-to-people ratio was quite high. Fine by me. Like everything else in this Baltic city, they’re breathtaking.

colorful buildingstowntown2stairssidewalksshadowswindowwalkingCathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin peeking out from behind some buildings…town10…and Niguliste Museum (St. Nicholas’s Church) peeking out from behind an old stone wall.
town9town8town7town6town5town4town3church1Have you ever seen a building as magnificent as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (I know, I know, but I’ve yet to see St. Basil’s in person…)? The photo below remains one of my favorites I’ve ever taken.

cathedral and rowhousesbuildingbelltowerarcheryThere’s always time for a little archery competition, especially when the winner takes home the Best Estonian Alcohol!archery2view3St. Olaf’s Church towers above medieval old town Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage site. view2viewtowers in a rowOur tour also took us to Latvia (it went to Lithuania, too, but my unrelenting Peruvian Montezuma’s Revenge and antibiotics cocktail got the best of me and I threw in the towel, heading home from Riga without every laying eyes on Lithuania), and on the drive south through Estonia we stopped in the adorable coastal town of Parnu for lunch and a walk, even a quick trip to the beach.  outdoor restaurantbeachbeachgoers

Life’s a beach in Estonia!

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