Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

  • where:

    Tallinn, Estonia

  • what:

    Karaoke, Ginger Bread Sculpture, Fireworks

  • why:

    Why not

  • when:

    Year round

  • Geotag Icon Show on map

We did a whirlwind day and a half in Tallinn. One of which was New Year’s Eve. Let me say that Estonia doesn’t cheap out on the fire works. I think they started at around 6:00pm December 31st, and were still going when we left for the airport at 6:00am January 1st. They also don’t think it’s a priority to have the fireworks very high above the spectators head. Maybe they could afford the quantity by saving on the rocket fuel. Either way no one got hurt, and we had a great end to our year.

Photograph by Marcy MilksOther highlights included the Gingerbread Olympics where contestants from all over Estonia made elaborate sculptures out of this delicious cookie, and competed for I don’t know what, but I would say the prize was most likely in the effort. One of my favorite entries was a three foot tall bear, dripped with raspberry jelly, that looked a little disconcertingly like blood covering its entire body. Also, karaoke seems to be hugely popular. A large stage was erected in one of the old town squares where locals tried their chords at American pop songs—sans teleprompter—definitely not amateurs.

The most interesting thing we visited though was Patarei Prison. If you want get a glimpse of Soviet Prison life in all its brutality, this is the place to go. The facility stopped housing prisoners in 2005, which is shocking because the building looks like it hasn’t been inhabited for fifty years. One room we visited was where executions regularly took place. Our guide said that the guards would lead the inmate into the room, make him or her lie face down on the floor, then shoot them in the back of the head. The room had no feeling for me of past lives lost which was somewhat strange having heard the back story. I expected a tightening of the gut, goose bumps, hair standing on end, something… but it was just another empty room with peeling paint in the building.

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Patarei Prison

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Tallinn, Estonia

Photograph by Marcy Milks

Gingerbread Olympics, Tallinn, Estonia