Don’t know Tallinn, Estonia? Have you heard of Skype? Started in Tallinn, Estonia. In fact, Tallinn is one of the most wired cities in the world. My wife, Deb, was amazed and found herself continuously checking for WiFi. She always had a strong signal everywhere inside and outside. (Interesting experiment, but got to be fairly annoying–reminded me of the old cell phone commercial– “Can you hear me now?”).
I was invited to give a workshop/presentation on “Becoming a better restaurant manager” in conjunction with EHTE (Estonian School of Hotel and Tourism Management and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland.
Deb and I took the Tallink ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn which takes about 2 hours. This is a huge ferry that also takes trucks, cars and oh, yes, people. No hassles, no problems.
As is typical in Helsinki, we just hopped on a tram and it dropped us off right at the port in Helsinki. After living in Los Angeles and Marin County in the San Francisco Bay area, this is such a luxury not to have to take the car, fight traffic, find a place to park, pay for parking and the list goes on. In fact, we have not driven a car in 4 months since we have been in Helsinki. This is not because we don’t love cars, because we are both car people, but not having to worry about traffic delays, accidents and idiots on the freeway is quite wonderful. Especially when the public transportation is so convenient, inexpensive, safe, on-time, and goes where you need to go. (Sorry, I’ll stop now, butitISgreat). We spent the entire time on the ferry chatting with the other keynote Kalle, who spoke on team building.
If you’ve never been to Tallinn, Estonia, you are missing out. Tallinn is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) South of Helsinki right across the Gulf of Finland. Very easy to add to your trip if you are visiting Helsinki, Stockholm or St. Petersburg, Russia.
Tallinn is a beautiful city that is both quaint and modern at the same time. Tallinn’s Old Town is also a United Nations World Heritage site. Old town is just a short walk from the Palace Hotel that Deb and I stayed in (highly recommended, by the way) and where my presentation was.
Great shops, great restaurants, excellent people watching.
The presentation “Becoming a better restaurant manager”
I gave a 3 hour workshop and I believe it went very well. The workshop had 47 attendees who were engaged and seemed to enjoy and, I hope, they took away some good things that will help in their daily jobs as restaurant managers. After the presentation, Deb and I enjoyed adult beverages with Pirkko, a colleague who had attended to talk briefly about Haaga-Helia University.
By the way, need to try Glogi…a great warm drink for the holidays. No, it is not grog.