Lokafyer Profile: Catching up with Björn from Tallinn, Estonia

The medieval city of Tallinn, Estonia looks as if it was ripped right out of the pages of a fairytale book. The city is lined with old castles, cathedrals and taverns and remains one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe- garnering itself as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With a rich history, delicious local fare, stunning landmarks and views, it is easy to get lost in this gorgeous city and its vivacious energy. We caught up with Björn, one of our Lokafyers based in Tallinn, Estonia and talked about what he loves most about the city, his hobbies and interests, and his favourite memories with Lokafy.

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Hello Björn. Tell us a bit about yourself!

I'm soon turning 35, originally from Frankfurt, Germany. I ended up in Estonia rather by accident: First I visited the country on a spontaneous day trip while being on a family visit in Finland back in 2005 and it was really love at first sight. In 2010 I eventually moved here permanently, not knowing anybody, without a place to stay or a job yet, with just one suitcase and a backpack full of things. 11 years later I can easily say that it was the best decision ever and Tallinn really became my home.

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Why did you decide to join Lokafy?

It was in the early days of Lokafy and I must have been one of the first Lokafyers in Tallinn - the founders back then recruited in the ex-pat groups on Facebook and I immediately felt this could be something I'm good at. Now I'm way into the triple digits of completed tours and never regretted a single one.

What do you love most about your city?

The medieval history combined with an innovative start-up scene and mentality - a real symbiosis of Old and New.

If someone comes to visit you, where would you take them to eat?

There are plenty of good options in Tallinn - Olde Hansa is the most popular one in the heart of Old Town. Guests will be served medieval dishes and there is a lot of show acts involved as well like singing and dancing performances etc. - there is no electric light in the building, only candles. It's a bit touristy of course but it's also a great experience and high-quality food which locals likewise enjoy on a special occasion.

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When you’re not working for Lokafy, what do you like to do for fun?

I love to follow all kind of sports, especially soccer (or football as we call it in Europe). I somewhat also turned my hobby into work since I'm working as an odds compiler for a local sports betting company. Doing Lokafy tours is a great antipode to working with numbers and alone in front of the computer.

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What is your favourite travel memory?

Spending our honeymoon with my wife in Las Vegas. Other than that, I like to travel off the beaten track and to countries that are not usually in the spotlight of tourism.

What is your favourite tour memory?

There are so many great memories that it's hard to single out one. But I remember well my first ever tour - it was actually somewhat horrible: The travellers arrived with a cruise ship and only had a few hours to spend in Tallinn, but we had such a strong rain as I've never seen before or afterwards in Tallinn. It was basically impossible to move around outside and everything I had planned for the tour was suddenly in vain. However, the travellers were very nice and understood that I can't change the weather, we made the best out of it and still had a good time and they also gave a very nice rating afterwards.

Have you kept in touch with any travellers?

I have indeed kept in touch with some and on several occasions, travellers returned for a 2nd visit to Tallinn and we met again - either for another tour or just as friends for a cup of coffee or dinner. One traveller actually became a good friend of mine and today we are running a rental business together with 10 apartments in Tallinn.

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Answers provided by Björn, 2021

Edited by Jade Encila, 2021