Hidden Tallinn has returned from the wilderness.
After a summer of ill-fitting bicycle shorts, smokey forest campfires and cheap cream cheese sandwiches we have arrived at the shores of the Baltic Sea with a diary full of stories and a warm inner glow that can only be attained through the completion of a long, human-powered journey. This summer, we cycled from London to Tallinn.
Travelling slowly by bicycle proved to be a beautifully simple way to carve a path across the continent. At an average speed of around sixteen kilometres an hour the world passes by incrementally. Landscapes are no longer unattainable vistas glanced at passively through dusty bus windows but three dimensional experiences.
The fresh chill of the morning air, the pungent scent of wild mushrooms scattered over the forest floor, the sounds of running water, of leaves rustling overhead, the beaming light of the full moon cascading over the mirror lake that was, in hindsight, probably too cold to swim in, but boy am I glad I did. Sense engage, views linger as these landscapes become, for want of a better word, home.
In the words of Alastair Humphreys, bicycle travel makes us appreciate the world as a “single, gradually morphing blend rather than the separate, isolated communities that air travel or television suggest”. Observing this long, unbroken chain of languages and landscapes first-hand from the saddle has really enabled me to reflect on Europe as a single unified entity composed of contradicting cultures peacefully and co-operatively co-existing. Estonia sits right alongside her European neighbours not as a post-Soviet state clambering for a foothold in the modern world but a progressive, independent state rising to meet these challenges shoulder-to-shoulder with her continental partners.
Arriving here slowly has afforded me a new perspective and appreciation this country that I call home. For a more stories from our epic bike ride head over to our website: Cycling to Estonia
Aside from jumping in freezing cold lakes, cursing ravenous mosquitos and developing a dangerous caffeine addiction I also utilised my time on the bike to quench a deep thirst for exploration. Below is just a tantalising taste of the kind of images and stories that I will be sharing in the coming weeks. With a shiny new layout, improved and updated content and a plethora of stories from abandoned buildings plastered with street art to quaint forest legends, Hidden Tallinn has returned from the road, ready to start telling these new stories. Thanks for being with me on this journey. Keep exploring!