Is it crazy to go away just before Christmas? Well, in real life (whatever that used to be!) we did go away to write our Christmas cards for several years. But that was in another life and now our travels are flights of fantasy. Christmas was coming, we needed a Christmas market and we’d heard that Tallinn has one of the best.
To be perfectly honest I wasn’t really sure where Estonia is – I’d never have found it on a map! I thought it landlocked and much further south. I was really surprised in our first travel video to find a) that it is a most beautiful medieval city in a very Germanic style and then that b) it is a port on the Baltic and only a 2 hour ferry crossing from Finland. It’s always good to know where you are going!
The Christmas market was much curtailed in 2020 but there’s plenty on YouTube of previous events, runs from mid November to mid January. I’m trying to get this post uploaded before Twelfth Night and Epiphany have passed, but there would be another week or so of tasty treats, hot wine cups and stalls to tempt in normal times. Our young Australian travel vlogging friends Flying The Nest gave us our intro to the city. They are a bit dizzy but fun!
Friends who are Estonian had brought us a bottle of caraway vodka so we had the spirit to go with our richer dishes! Very unfortunately food was not top of their priorities when I contacted them for recipe suggestions as they had both contracted COVID-19 on their way home from Tallinn. Luckily they are both recovering well now.
Climbing up and down the towers of the walled city and exploring the cobbled streets from the comfort of our sofa certainly gave us an appetite for our final meal of the trip. Estonians love game, and in particular wild boar – which I am also very fond of. With none of that to hand here on Orkney I could have gone for pork but, as I had a small haunch of Caithness venison in the freezer that was our game.
Our trip was poorly planned, a bit rushed and very much about improvisation when it came to the food! But it was fun and we really enjoyed it. We are surprised how many people have told us that they have actually been to Tallinn, often as part of a Baltic cruise. I think it would be a great destination by train. Our next trip is to Eastern Canada – I shall be ordering the whisky once I have posted this!