Saturday: The planetarium at Ahhaa, somewhat disappointing. A lecture rather than a show, dry-ish and uninspiring. Presented by a guy picked for his knowledge rather than his presentation skills. Since he only gives a scripted talk his knowledge of astronomy is no use; I would have preferred someone with better diction and more charisma, or even a recording by a professional actor.
Sunday: drove to Tallinn. Got stuck in a massive traffic jam at Ülemiste due to some bicycle race that we didn’t know about. We could have taken an alternative route but the traffic authorities didn’t have the sense to inform drivers of the road blocks in advance. After half an hour we finally got to a place where we could escape the jam and zig-zag through Lasnamäe to Pirita where my friend V lives. Spent a most relaxing afternoon with V and family – the kids entertained each other, Adrian picked through their toy box, and we adults just lounged on the deck and ate and talked.
Monday: in Tallinn’s Old Town. The town was overrun with large guided tourist groups; they were everywhere. Both kids were in a bad mood, tired, didn’t want to eat at mealtimes and then complained of hunger a short while later, and generally complained about stuff all day long. We hardly enjoyed any of the stuff we saw.
Tallinn Flower Festival: small scale, low-key, pretty and fun.
Finally saw the much-discussed Victory Column with my own eyes.
Lunch at Olde Hansa: menu unchanged over the past 10 years, food still good, portions smaller than they used to be.
Climbed to the top of the tower of the old City Hall: good views but very windy; had to go down almost as soon as we got up because Ingrid wouldn’t keep still and got in everyone’s way, while Adrian squirmed all the time.
NUKU muuseum, the museum of Tallinn’s puppet theatre: far larger and more interesting than I had expected. But it was a total labyrinth, a tangle of rooms with confusing signs.
Kultuurikilomeeter, a kilometer of culture: “a lot of kilometer and not a lot of culture”. Instead of one kilometer the path is 2.2 km long but the culture along it is very, very sparse. From its name I had expected it to be lined with sculptures, installations, outdoor art… all we found was an “eco-island” (a cheap-looking café on some sort of floating island), a stage and some graffiti and another café in the old Patarei prison, a construction site which will at some point become a museum for sea planes, and a couple of historic ships. A lot of urban decay – hip and edgy, I know, I know, and quite nice-looking in places, but depressing in others – but very little of what I would actually term “culture”. We gave up about halfway through since Ingrid and Adrian were both bored as there was nothing at all to hold their attention.