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Tallinn / Stockholm  
29th-Aug-2013 07:00 pm
Tallinn was a pleasant little city that I would not really care to come back to (nothing wrong with it - just didn't seem interesting enough to warrant seeing more of than I have already).

It simply has 1/10 interesting stuff of other North European cities (that actually were capitals for hundreds of years - while Tallinn always was a sleepy backwater of various empires). Its main art museum is a good analogy - feels like 3 or 4 rooms from a real European museum were taken out for a traveling exhibition. Here is its main attraction - one of the two small Bruegels (compared with size of paintings he is famous for - this is just a small scene):
On the other hand, this is a very interesting painting. It was put up as an altar piece in some European city and depicts the scene when Jesus turns water to wine. The cute part is that it was paid for by the wine producing guild - they essentially got to advertise their product in the most prominent part of town - on the altar of main cathedral!

This scene was very cute, though - детская экскурсия

Stockholm, on the other hand, was much more impressive. Perhaps my view toward Tallinn was affected by going to it afterwards. Overall I was very impressed with the city. This was my first overnight visit (spent an afternoon before). A few random points:
Time to go - definitely in August. When the rest of Northern hemisphere is suffering from 30+ degree weather, Stockholm is extremely pleasant - 25 in the afternoon, shy of 20 at night.

Where to stay - we mistakenly booked a Hostel on the boat. Was so bad that did not stay and left for another hotel in Gamla Stan. Still - had I thought this through, would have booked a flat on AirBnB. Location - inside the old town.

MUSEUMS
Vasa Museum - definitely a must. One of the coolest museums I've ever seen - a huge navy ship was built in 1628 and sank on its maiden voyage right in the Stockholm harbor (poor design). Sat down there for 300 years and was pulled up and fully restored in 1960s. Now it's an awesome museum - extremely well done.
City Hall - we missed entry by a few minutes, but looked very interesting. This is the place where Nobel Prize banquet is held.

Fotografiska - new art gallery with temporary photo exhibitions. Saw Helmut XXX. Overall disappointing - aside from the few famous portraits of 80-s models with long legs & perky tits, the rest of his work I found pretty boring - 9 out of 10 photos that lacked tits&ass weren't that interesting (but a few portraits were great).

What I did not see but want to do next time - visit cool subway stations on the blue line, Stockholm Art Museum & the Nordic museum.

Check before going if any concerts are happening (we didn't go to a music festival where Prince performed), take a ferry to an island with lunch.

The following articles will be useful:

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/48-hours-in-stockholm-8602764.html

  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destination/sweden/86222/36-Hours-In...Stockholm.html

  3. http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/travel/36-hours-in-stockholm.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


Restaurants - rakultur (amazing sushi) & rolfs kok.

Prices - one of the more expensive cities in the world - on par with London.
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