You feel transferred to the middle-ages as you cross the cobblestoned Town Hall Square in the Old Town in Tallinn. Thick-walled brick-houses from the 13th century surround you, and people dressed like extras from a Robin Hood-movie try to lure you into their establishment to sample medieval cuisine.
Idyllic Old Town in Tallinn was UNESCO heritage listed in 1997 but search a bit further, beneath the touristic varnish, and you find that the Estonian capital offers a very modern take on both its Baltic and its medieval heritage.
Innovative restaurants employ regional – mostly seasonal – produce to renew ancient recipes, and several of the medieval townhouses offer atmospheric, antique-filled five star accommodation.
Considering the 2nd World War did not end till the early 1990s in Estonia, when the last Russian troops left, and the country finally regained its independence, the country has a surprisingly international outlook. Most people speak English, and the country recently introduced the Euro having international banks predict an economic growth rate of 3-4 percent in 2011.
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Photo by Allan Alajaan, Tallinn City Tourist Office