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Taxis in Tallinn/Guidebooks

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Jul 5th, 2004, 07:37 AM
  #1
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Taxis in Tallinn/Guidebooks

I'm going to Tallinn (as well as a few places in Russia and Finland) in August. My flight arrives around midnight. I'm planning to take a taxi to my hotel - and was just wondering if anyone had any experience/tips of taxis in Tallinn (I'm not expecting trouble or difficulties, but ...)

Also, can anyone recommend a guidebook that focuses more on the sightseeing/culture rather than accommodation/restaurant option (my accomodation and transport etc are already organised)

Thanks!

-- Viola
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Jul 5th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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ttt for viola
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Jul 5th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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In Tallinn, we used Rick Steves self guided walking tour of the old city, and really enjoyed it.
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Jul 6th, 2004, 05:14 PM
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I used Rick Steves and it was quite helpful. Below is my dad's view on Tallinn.

We arrived in Tallinn on a slate grey, dark day which fitted the town since it had a look of a 50's black and white news reel report of a Mayday parade in Russia. They built the colorless uninviting, buildings near the boat harbors.

Our hotel, the Reval Hotel Express, was a short walk from where Regina was docked. Although painted white and blue, it was, I suspected, built by the Russians. It was not your Holiday Inn. We got there around ten in the morning .Our room wasn't ready and wouldn't be ready until noon something I heard often during my working travel days. We decided to go into Tallinn.

As we waited for our breakfast-lunch, I heard a loud noise, and saw a table in a near by restaurant tumble into the street with a clatter. It was followed by a bedrabbled young man of twenty or so who, I suspected was drunk. He fell with a concrete thud on the cobble-stone public square. A waitress stepped down, picked up the table. She ignored the supine man who appeared unconscious. The square was fairly crowded but nobody paid attention to him.. (Which I must say included us) In Manhattan it would have attracted a small but verbal crowd. He lay mostly unnoticed until about twenty minutes later when an ambulance came, picked him up and took him away.

I quickly finished eating, and since I didn't feel well, I wanted to go back to our hotel and rest up. It still wasn't noon, but Connie told the clerk that I was sick and we got the room. It was adequate, it did have a window with a view of a gas station.
If you are ever near Tallinn make a dedicated effort to see it before it becomes a major American tourist stop. See it before it becomes like Brugge which once was delightful but now is a commercial disaster.

Talinn is a wonderfully well preserved un spoiled old town. We went there early on Midsummer's Eve which is a holiday. Tallinn was relatively empty and we got to see these remarkable old buildings . A pharmacy was still in business in the same building since 1422.!

The old town is preserved because of an economic fluke. The Russians wanted to replace the old town with a Soviet-style city, but they never got around to it. After the war there was no money to modernize and the buildings remain relatively untouched.

There are many restaurants, shops and churches. We went into an Orthodox church and the incense smell evoked memories of going to the Greek Orthodox Church in Philadelphia and being frightened by the icons featuring how I would suffer in hell if I didn't behave. There were women begging for money, the stood on the steps, holding out baskets, heads nodded as if they didn't want us to look them in the eye. I had seen the same begging by women in front of Notre Dame but they were verbal pleading and crying. Here, silence and your own conscience. Although it occurs to me that the church should be taking care of the poor.

There is modern building going on in the town but when the building is completed, there are open parts revealing the ancient foundation. Walled cities always fascinate me, the ones which are preserved in Tallinn are excellent with its gates and towers (29 of them) Again, we're struck with how they were built. The stones are not of equal size or shape, we get the sense that they were built in a hurry and used anything to repel the Vikings.
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Jul 7th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Thanks. I'm not sure I've heard of Rick Steves. Is it a U.S. guidebook series?

Anyone got any experience with Tallinn taxis?

-- Viola
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Jul 7th, 2004, 05:18 AM
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Yes, Rick Steves is a US guidebook series -- there's a current thread on him, actually. He was profiled in an article in the NYT magazine over the weekend. See

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/04/ma.../04STEVES.html

He has his admirers and detractors.

Don't know about Tallinn, so can't help you there, but enjoy your trip!
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Jul 7th, 2004, 06:13 AM
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If you're worried about being ripped off, you could arrange for a private company to collect you at arrivals. It'll be payed by you in advance, so no hassle with the fare. Just type in "transfer from tallinn airport" on google and you should get a few options.
Personally, I had no trouble with taxis in Tallinn though. Actually, 1 ot 2 of them were quite amicable.
Enjoy.

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Jul 7th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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We did get ripped off by a Tallinn taxi driver... he did use meter but, we found out later, must have used the wrong "rate"... perhaps night rate or such.

We paid maybe 40% more than we should have but wasn't enough for me to make a real fuss though I did take issue with it before paying.

I would ask your hotel to prebook a taxi at an agreed price or with a trusted company and have it meet you with a name card.
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Jul 13th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Thanks. I suspect that the 'wrong rate scam' happens in a lot of countries. Worth keeping an eye out for in Tallinn though, I suppose.

-- Viola
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Jul 13th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Viola
Yes indeed, it's a common enough scam.

Re guidebooks we were happier with the Bradt Estonia guide than with the Lonely Planet guide for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
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Jul 13th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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For any particular reason, kavey? Or just generally?
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