With all remnants of the winter snows gone, temperatures up 10°, and a few extra hours of daylight. Tallinn is becoming a different city. The tourists are starting to arrive en masse, wheeling their crates of cheap vodka, beer, and cigarettes around their harbour.

Tallinn LinnahallYesterday I took advantage of a sunny day to explore the Linnahall. This was built for the 1980 Olympics, and serves as a ‘bridge’ into the city from the harbour. Any of my readers who went to QUB can consider it a cross between a Mayan temple and the David Bates Building. Mostly it’s a huge series of crumbling stone steps on a wide variety of split levels. I’ve wanted to investigate this since I arrived here, but it’s precarious enough to navigate parts of it, and it would be almost impossible in snow.

A building like this could never survive in the UK. The safety elf would have it closed down in a heartbeat. Stone steps that have crumbled away into nothingness, with no handrails, and no guard rails to stop you tumbling over the edge are a distinct no-no there. Walking across the top of buildings generall doesn’t seem to be a major tourist pastime in the UK.

It doesn’t seem very touristy here either. A few tourists peer quizzically at it from a distance, or take a few photographs, but clambering all over it seems to be reserved for locals – particularly at the sides and back, which are covered in graffiti, and where you have also have to keep a look out for extreme cyclists racing down the slopes at the sort of speed where they’re not going to be able to get out of your way.

Back of LinnahallBut there are few hidden treasures, and it’s worth spending a while investigating, if even just for the exercise and the great views. There also seems to be some sort of nightclub tucked away at the back, and this is also where the Copterline 18 minute helicopter journey to Helskink departs. I must return soon take some photos of my own, so I can replace these “borrowed” ones…


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