After the lest few days barrage of old towns and soviet prisons we figured we needed a bit of nature. According to the guide book, there should be a beach not too far from central Tallinn so we decided to go there. From the shopping mall right outside old towns south-eastern end we got on one of several bus lines going to Pirita. Just when we hopped off the bus we stumbled upon a building that looked like it was only a gable with no roof, we just had to check it out.
It turned out it was the ruins of an old monastery that had been lightly fixed up. We walked around in it for a while and I explored as much as possible, jumping from broken wall to broken wall, walking down into old basements and climbing up jagged edges. It was really fun, kind of like a historic playground. All the while Yini kept snapping photos; my camera on the other hand was nearly out of batteries so I avoided using it and enjoyed the moment instead.
Some shots from the ruined monastery
When every nook and cranny of the old monastery was thoroughly explored, we moved on the place we came here for, the beach. It was a nice beach, just to the side of the marina with free changing rooms and benches. It seems the Baltic see is even colder than the waters around southern Sweden but I did go for a dip anyway. When I say dip I mean lie-down, it was so shallow I was able to walk around a hundred meters or more without getting in deeper than my thighs.
Having dealt with my compulsive need for getting in the water at any beach, we went for some lunch in the sun then ventured down to the river where we rented a row boat. There was no castle to look at like in Trakai but still a very nice little trip up the river. Yini even had a go at rowing and learned quickly. We explored most of the little channels hidden in the reads and even tried to get up a rather powerful and shallow stream for a lark. It was just a pleasant time all around.
Heading back to the city we visited the broken line monument commemorating the 1994 cruise ship disaster. It was a very good memorial, a big bow of stone rising from the ground, sharply cut off but seeming to continue on the other side of a wide gap – just like the course of the cruise ship was broken where it sank.
The Broken Line memorial
That’s it for Tallinn, all in all a very nice city. The old town is a bit too commercial for my taste, with too many clubs and too many tourists. When it comes to old towns I believe Riga is the better option. It is the other parts of the city that make Tallinn worth the visit, both Pirita beach and the soviet relics by the water front.