It was dark when I awoke on our first full day in Tallinn and we planned to visit Toompea. The hotel had provided a kettle and tea bags so my first task after checking for snow was to make cups of tea. As our booking did not include breakfast and rather than pay nearly 20 Euros at the hotel we headed off back to the Old Town.
This time we traversed the subway network under Laikmaa by heading towards the bus station.This meant leaving the subway through some doors before turning through more doors and then climbing up steps back to street level. This time on the same side of the street that we started.
McDonalds here in Tallinn did not have an obvious breakfast menu with McMuffins etc. I had McToast with cheese and bacon heated up between the bread but had to go back and buy two small cheeseburgers. The tea in proper large cups from the McCafe was good.
Up to Toompea
We carried on walking up Viru until we turned to pass St. Nicholas’s church on our way to Toompea. This was just past the Tourist Information Centre that gave out the best street maps of Tallinn on our last visit.
If we wanted proof that we were out of season then signs like this did help.
The steps up to Toompea were clear of snow and going up was a lot easier than the cobbled slope at the side where we had had walk in the Summer.
Once at the top we stopped to look at the first views of the Old Town below us. The small square had several statues and away to our left was the entrance to the Maiden’s Tower, now a museum.
The Dannebrog cafe
Above we could see part of the old walls and a sign promising Hot Wine at the Dannebrog cafe.
The steps up the old wall were initially straight but once past the first landing they became a tight spiral staircase. The stone stairs had a chain to hold onto. Once at the top we could see the door to the cafe along the covered walkway past a line of table and chairs.
We picked up a couple of glasses of hot wine and blankets and went back outside to sit at one of the tables.
The birds feeding above us were not phased by our presence and just carried on feeding.
Three guys came by and we chatted for a while. They had flown in via Ryanair and after the usual jokes about the airline we learnt that this was their first visit to Tallinn. They were finding it a more expensive place to visit than the other Baltic states that they had visited previously.
Before leaving the wall we went back through the cafe and climbed up the internal steps to the inside of the tower. This was remarkably warm and cosy. The high vaulted ceiling looked impressive. The slits for bows were now all covered by windows. The chamber was lit by candles and low intensity lights.
The spiral staircase was even more scary going back down. We opted to go down backwards holding onto the chains with both hands.