Viimsi Parish, Estonia
Make friends with your AirBnb hosts. Do it.
P’s hosts only put him up for a week before he found a longterm apartment for the two of us during our summer in Tallinn, but they hit it off and we all stayed in touch. Even after we’d gotten our feet under us in terms of navigating the city, they continued to invite us to this and that, always bringing us someplace we’d never have discovered ourselves.
On one of our last nights in Estonia they drove us out to Viimsi, a quiet little coastal community about 10 km from the center of Tallinn. On a peninsula that sticks out towards Finland with pretty if distant views of Tallinn Bay, we ate dinner on the ocean-facing deck at Rannarestoran Paat. This isn’t a foodie blog, but I’m giving this place a shoutout. After seeing the stylish restaurant and the food on people’s plates I thought we’d be paying through the nose for our meal, but the prices turned out to be modest and everything we ate was superb.
We did pick up our own dessert later so we could bring it to a secluded little slice of beach just in time for the sunset. We sat with our cake and wine on an old wooden dock and watched the sky morph into uncharted flavors of cotton candy long after the sun disappeared from view. Tallinn is far enough north that it experiences white nights around the summer solstice. Throughout June and July the sun sets, but leaves an early dawn glow in the sky for a few hours until it pops right back up again at 4 in the morning. To tell you the truth, it drove me nuts. But by August it was less intense and the payoff is this: A really good sunset can last for a couple of hours.
We were really happy sitting on our imploded dock eating cake out of the box, but if you wanna be fancy I’m told that Viimsi is also a good place to book a spa. There’s also an open air museum (Viimsi Vabaõhumuuseum), where a gathering of thatched-roof houses and fishing huts show what life was like in the 1800’s. In fact it’s right next to that restaurant. So in the summer I would plan around the sunset, but you could spend a whole day there easily.