With no plans, the best way to explore Tallin is to get lost. Enter through the medieval gates and open your heart to the energy of Tallinn.
Especially on a cloudy winter day, there is no better day to enjoy Tallinn cafes than with a bite of chocolate washed down by a frothy café latte. Sitting in a red velvet chair accompanied by a dresser topped with a candle and a guestbook, I could not help but contemplate how many souls (and visitors) have sat in this very spot. The deep-rooted history is wild.
The Baltic is known for its sauna and spa culture, and healing tea concoctions.. Exploring Old Town we ran across Tallinn's oldest public bath house, Kalma. I stripped off my clothes and entered the tiny and basic bath house only to see three older women with unshaven legs beat the shit out of each other with bushels of leaves and juniper. the saunas are hot and found my mind crashing after several minutes with the need to plunge into the ice-cold bath. Taking my breath away, I walked an old bushel of wet sticks and leaves. I looked at the old women and said, "Can I use this?" In broken English they replied, "Ah no good. No good. Fresh! Fresh!"
After several saunas and ice bathes, I walked into the locker room feeling refreshed. One women also came into the locker room and opened her hot tea canister where she steeped fruit tea.
She said, "You want?" I obliged and there she handed me a small cup and said, "Tea good. It makes you..." as she lifted her arms and flexed her muscles. I replied, "Oh strong. Yes! Yes! Teas makes you strong." Naked, we smiled and sipped tea and I proceeded with the adventures in Tallinn.
Walking up Toompea, the limestone hill, we explored the castle, neighborhood and the cafe built inside the stone wall. How unique, how amazing. Walking up those stairs was not only a mighty-fine glute workout, but I couldn't help but wonder how 5'2" nobles made it up these deep stairs. The doorways were as tall as chin and I huffed and puffed my way to another tea.
Tallinn's old town, completely left untouched of mainstream bullshit and tourism invited me into a world filled with unique history. From soldiers shooting bow and arrows out of castles to ancient knowledge on the healing powers of tea - Tallinn is by far a spectacle that is true to its roots. Now we must head off to the ferry for our day trip to Helsinki.
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