Tallinnaland

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tourism is big business in Tallinn, the old town or medieval theme park as it’s also known draws in tourists by the boat, plane and coach load. And indeed walking its ancient cobbled streets is a great way to spend a couple of days. Although most stays don’t allow enough time to visit many/if any museums, the city has no shortage. Many are indeed not worth a visit, but I did feel during a recent short stay, it was worth paying a visit to the Occupations Museum, considering Estonia had spent considerably more time being occupied than not over the past 150 years. The museum was built a result of the backing by an Estonian American called Olga Ritos whose father and uncle were killed by the Soviets. The museum was opened in 2003 at which time rather than cutting ribbon she and the prime minister cut barbed wire. The sliding entrance doors are like those of a space craft, quietly sliding open as I drew near. The museum is quite disarming from the outset a result of it’s layout more than anything. There was no indication of a route around the exhibits – so I clumsily made my own. After a particularly disheartening journey back over years of Estonia’s often brutal periods of occupation (mostly in the wrong direction) I made my way back out onto the street. As I collected myself a coach packed with visitors swung up the hill towards Tompea, evidence that another occupation has taken hold of Tallinn – perhaps not as bloody as previous ones, but some would argue just as lethal.