Blogging Photography

Tallinn’s Time Zones and Warps

Pssst…! Hey you, come with me! It’s just around the corner..!

There’s a cool candy store with an old-time vibe! A flower market and mysterious red doors!

Let’s take an idle walk on the cobbled streets of Tallinn… where time has stopped and then jumped forward again.

Let’s look in through the windows and eavesdrop on conversations.

“For the teacher”, I’m pretty sure some of those hearts say

First, we explore the Kalev chocolate parlor, where I imagine myself as a 1950’s kid, giving my teacher a sweet gift upon entering the freedom of summer holidays – ah, sweet freedom and summer scents.

And then, too soon, we turn a corner and a magic carpet of a time machine swoops us up and flies us over to futuristic, industrial chic Kristinaplats.

Filled with hipster terraces and tasty little eateries. Beef and quesadillas, sushi and pastries.

We are whisked into a moment in time when smoking is still allowed in restaurant areas, giving me a bit of a surprise.

And then we u-turn back again towards the Middle Ages…

I hop off the time machine carpet and camouflage myself amongst the locals. As I wander up this street…

I think of my colleague, who has just told me about her visit to a Klimt-Monet-Van Gogh light show type of art exhibition in a damp-smelling little room with the tiniest of tiny doors, inconspicuous, undemanding, and hard to spot… a secret entrance. An enjoyable show according to her: the paintings came to life.

I doubt I’ll find her little door in this town of many doors, maybe if I have time later, I’ll look it up. But… hang on – there it is! Just like that! I found the door! Now I feel like I must enter.

An hour later, knowing more than I wanted to about three famous painters’ darkest thoughts, I wander some more, looking for something bright to make me forget, and I find a glimpse into the tropics.

And I wander ever further… into a patch of red doors, growing almost side by side, competing in redness.

I do not knock, nor enter. I don’t even make a noise. I walk on, glancing behind to see if you’re still following me. I see you are – good. The magic carpet is hovering above us.

Even without it, we seem to have taken a time loop backwards.

Where are we? And where are we going? We stroll past a rare bike predating the free-city-bike era.

The sun shines and I’m looking for a post box. Do they even exist in this time and place?

Sometimes different centuries come together in a nice way, harmoniously, looking like they belong.

Maybe I’ll stay here, wrap up my mat and use it for yoga. You’re welcome to stay.


Inspired by the great storyteller Equinoxio’s blogging style. The pictures are from two trips to Tallinn during summer 2019, explaining the color variations in the sky: one of the days was sunny, the other grey.

44 replies on “Tallinn’s Time Zones and Warps”

Ah! The Tallinn doors! Wonderful city that is within its Medieval walls, and a strange mixture of brand new and run-down outside. With a compelling art museum a bit further on. I envy your vincinity to Tallinn, just a ferry crossing away. I love the pictures and the story! (And yes, while reading Equinoxio did come to mind. 🙂 )

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You are indeed fortunate as Petergrey mentions to have Talliin at your doorstep. It was a highlight for me to visit there and I recognize some of the vistas. I so enjoy the step back in time that one feels in this city. I just have to add snow to your photos and imagine the smell of roasting chestnuts. A magical city it is. Was the art show a little depressing?

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Hello Amanda! 😊 Yes, the art show was a little depressing for my taste! And the room so mouldy that they couldn’t even disguise it. Anyway, if you ever go back to Tallinn, pop over to Suvi’s blog for some tips because she knows the city inside out! I’ve been there dozens of times but I always visit the same old area 🤨

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Oh, Tallin… Such a beautiful city!!! I loved “exploring” the city through your eyes!! You’re great at looking for details! And these photos bring me so beautiful memories of my years in Stockholm, exploring the Baltic cities…

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I was in Tallinn about 6 years ago, and some of this looks familiar. We spent most of our time in the old town area, and didn’t see many modern chrome and glass structures, These beautiful doors ring a bell, and the narrow cobblestone streets. Tallinn is such a beautiful place, with a very interesting history. Love the magic carpet ride!

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Tallinn seems to be a oases of nostalgia and modernism. I’d love to explore that art museum. Must be a hidden gem of the city. A very insightful introduction to Tallinn, snow. 🎈😊The photos are stunning, especially the narrow street where you spotted the art museum 🎭

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