My Time Capsule: September 2017


Estonia: Tallinn Haunted Story, Seagull & Almonds

Estonia, October 2016

I'm not a morning person.
Funnily when I travel, I don't mind at all getting up early even before the sun rises.
On the second day in Tallinn I woke up at 5 am feeling energised despite the long haul flight from Singapore on previous day. I was overly excited because when picking me up at the airport, Nikholai - my cicerone told me that he was going to take me to the Short-Gate tower which is infamous for its black monk ghosts. Me likey spooky thingy! 😍

roasted nuts vendor 

But first Nikholai took me to Kohtuotsa viewing platform on the northern side of Toompea hill. It offers charming view over the red roofs and towering spires of the Old Town with the Gulf of Finland as a background. It was soooo mesmerising that I shed happy tears. If you love exploring a place when the streets are empty and quiet (like I do), you should really consider to visit Tallinn during autumn. There was no one else around in the viewing platform which normally is packed with visitors. And those colourful autumn foliage was the icing on the cake.

freshly roasted assorted nuts 

The aroma of caramelised sugar with a hint of cinnamon tickled my nose. In one corner I noticed there's a wooden food chart and a woman in a medieval attire was roasting some almonds. Snacking time! My mom, my sister and I spent a good 15 minutes choosing which flavours to buy. Cherry cinnamon cashew nuts, cinnamon caramel peanuts, gourmet almonds and more variants to choose from. I opened a the pretty package of the roasted almonds to taste it. It was crunchy and the coating wasn't overly sweet just the way I like it.

"Pa, please hold this package for me." I handed the almonds to my Dad as I needed to get some cash from my bag. "Try it, Pa. It tastes really good."

"Sure!" He replied and walk away towards the terrace. After paying, I turned around trying to find my Dad......and my jaw dropped when I saw what he was doing.

I turned around and saw this!!! 😱😱😱

He was feeding a seagull with my yummy and precious caramelised almonds! NOOO!

"Pa! Why are you giving my almonds to that bird?" I whined as I saw the bird gulped my €2 delicacies greedily. "We are not supposed to feed the wildlife, you know?"

"But this poor guy is hungry. No worries at least I left some for you. Here!" He chuckled and handed me back the package.

"Yeah rite, Dad! I have only 5 almonds now including the crumbs." 😭😭😭

It's a good thing that on the way to the Short-Gate Tower, my attention was distracted by gorgeous architectures along the way. It didn't take long for me to forget about the almond tragedy.

that lil' thief savouring my almonds

Walls of Tallinn was constructed around the 14th centuries to fend off invaders. The 5 metres tall walls are connected with multitude gates and towers. Some towers have interesting stories behind its closed door. Such as the Virgin's Tower which was used as prison for prostitutes. And another one that stuck in my mind is Kiek in de Kök Tower, simply because I found the name kinda amusing. Errr...kick in the cock? Ouch! 😂 Actually Kiek in de Kök comes from German words which means peek in the kitchen. A legend said about some soldiers who often peeked from the top of the tower into the windows of Lower Town Kitchen.
(Disclaimer: Don't worry, no medieval cocks were harmed in this tower).

I'd really love to explore all the towers, sadly due to limited time I could only visited a few of them. In particular I was interested the most about the Short Leg Gate Tower. It is believed to be the most haunted building in the city!

We were just passing the gate when Nikholai pointing up something above me. I looked up and my soul jumped out my body. A faceless dark monk was staring down at me! I breathed a sigh of relief upon finding out it was just a statue. Phew! It looked sooo real, it gave me chill.

staring down fiercely at me

The Short Leg Gate Tower would be locked every night to keep the lower town out of Toompea Hill which was reserved for noble or higher social people only. Apparently also meant to keep out the ghosts from the Danish King's Garden. Infamous frequent sightings are a floating woman in medieval dress, lions, life size ships sailing through the walls and the Black Monk ghost. Rumours said that the monk's name was probably Justinius, a novice set on becoming a monk and was killed in 1233 before he could repent for his sins as a executioner's apprentice.

black monk ghost

a cafe in the city wall tower, how cool!

Kohvik Dannebrog, the Tower cafe

Before continuing our Old Town walking tour, Nikholai took my sister and I for a morning exercise by climbing some killer steep stairs to Kohvik Dannebrog. It's a cafe nests at the top of the old city wall tower. We didn't order anything because Mom & Dad were waiting at the courtyard. It would be too challenging for them to climb those old stone stairs. The cafe has a lovely settings and pretty view from the terrace. So it's definitely worth the leg and bum workout.

Vana Tallinn, a rum based liquor 

view from the terrace

climbing the steep stairs

Kohvik Dannebrog Cafe

gorgeous view from Kohtuotsa 

I can now safely say that I've been to Tallinn and met the infamous black monk ghost (well, kinda :p). As one of the most perfectly preserved medieval city in Europe, a bunch of terrifying dark stories  can be easily found around the city. I wished I could stay longer here. This city is charming and intriguing at the same time. I know that I have made many promises to other cities around the world to revisit. But hey, Tallinn you are right on top of my list. Please always stay as you are. xoxoxo


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