It was in 2002 that I first came to Tallinn, Estonia, to spend four months working on a novel. On that trip I made some great friends and had a fantastic time. I've been meaning to come back ever since, but for one reason or another, it took me nine long years. Now, finally, I'm back! My friends Peeter and Aivar picked me up from the airport, and suddenly it was just like old times! I've rented a room in an apartment in the heart of the old town with great views and a very nice roommate. Pictured here is the view from the living room on the night I arrived, taken around 11 p.m.
So far I've noticed a few differences about the city since I was here last. On that visit, the economy was really picking up steam here and the downtown was abuzz with building activity and high-rise cranes all over. Now those projects are complete, but with the slumping world economy, the building boom seems to be over.
The other big difference is that tourists seem to have discovered this place in a big way! Back in 2002 there were surprisingly few tourists for a place as picturesque as this one. Perhaps it was considered too edgy then, being a former Soviet state, but now it is part of the EU and things have definitely changed.
Yesterday I took a stroll around the old town to re-acclimate myself and I stopped by a cafe tucked into an small courtyard just off the main square (right). It was one of the places that I used to like to write, and was always fairly quiet. This time I could hardly get through the alley and into the courtyard as it was choked with tourists, mulling around taking photos. And this is only May! I'm wondering what July will be like. In any case, I'm thrilled to be back here and now that my jet lag is wearing off it is time to get to work, since sadly, Sweet Ophelia refuses to write itself. :-) So here we go, off to the cafes!