I first laid my eyes on Tallinn last December. At the time, I was on my trip to Helsinki, the Finnish capital two hours away by ferry from Tallinn. Given their close proximity and shared heritage, these two cities are often referred to as twin capitals, Baltic sisters, or simply Talsinki. Castles and other churches and buildings lie scattered all over this tiny country. Then there’s the aftermath of two World Wars and the Cold War, as well as Soviet occupation and withdrawal, making it a fascinating country to visit.
Tallinn’s old town is just marvellous. Visiting there is like stepping back a few centuries and they have done a good job of preserving their history and medieval structures. I walked around there shuffling down cobblestone paths which are lined with medieval homes and ancient churches. Tiny alleys lead to tinier lanes, where you find cloistered yards. The city is still ringed by much of its original stone wall and many guard towers. It’s breathtaking.
I don't really use a map nor an itinerary to discover it. I realise just going by foot everywhere and stumbling on interesting things is fulfilling enough. I like medieval towns to be empty and quiet. It personally helps me appreciate them more. Medieval towns are much better when they are empty and peaceful. In winter, the narrow cobbled streets that take you past grand merchants houses, medieval walls and hidden courtyards are almost deserted.
由于爱沙尼亚的首都塔林 (Tallinn) 就在赫尔辛基 (Helsinki) 两小时的船程范围内，于是我便贪心地把塔林这城市都加插在我芬兰旅行程之内。在港口便望见一大片白墙红顶、高矮参差错落有致的房屋，间或有一个个突起的墨绿色尖铜顶刺向天空，勾画出一道耐人寻味的天际线。那里就是塔林的老城区。单是听名字，已经觉得浪漫。塔林老城是欧洲唯一保持着中世纪外貌和格调的城市，因此被列入世界文化遗产。
I tend to shoot as I am going about my life so much of my photography is 'daily life' or places I have chosen to visit. I have not actually photographed many of the 'tourist' places and I probably need to do a bit more of that.
While I have not completed my Finland winter stories, I shall bring you back to Japan, precisely to one of the most crowded and vibrant cities in the world, heaven for street photographers: Tokyo.
One of my favourite spots in Tokyo to wonder around photographing and a paradise for street photographers is Ginza; the Grande Dame of high-end shopping in Tokyo. This is the place where all the main fashion brands show their beauty and richness by installing enormous stores and decorating the spaces with the most extravagant architectures and billboards.
There is also a sort of sophistication that Ginza still holds onto that the other districts just do not have thanks in part to its wide streets and sidewalks. This makes a much more relaxing place to shop. I would love to go back again and again and again, as there is always something new happening in these crowded and exciting streets.