The next stop on our Eastern Europe Odyssey, was to fly 1,200kms south from Lapland to Tallinn, Estonia The 4 star hotels we have been staying in have been to a very high standard. The 2 yo Metropol Spa Hotel in Tallin was not an exceptionthe fit-out was new, upmarket and enjoyable the spread available at breakfast was not conducive to reducing my growing girth (it is looking forward to all the passive exercise involved in sailing Logic and reduced temping foods and BEER)the memory RAM in my brain was full, with all the memories from Lapland, so I had to put them down in a couple of blog posts, before I could purge them, to take in the new ones from Tallinn. Which much to Lisa’s distain took up, my first day in Tallinn.
Between the posts I found a barber to de-Santathere was a communication misunderstanding, my asking for a number 3 comb on the clippers, was heard as 3mm. After the first run through with the clippers, we were locked in, to my shortest haircut ever. I now don’t recognise myself in the mirror. So if you are concerned that another person, that looks nothing like me has highjacked my blog, don’t be, I’ll be back to the South Seas Vagabond, you and I recognise by the time the next cruising season starts.
Lisa dragged me into the old town that evening
we ended up in a Beer Bar drinking beer and eating roast pork shoulder and sauerkrautthere was a very reasonable rock-a-billy bandbetween their sets, dancers came out dancing Estonian dances
with the memory RAM in my brain now freed up, it was time to go out and refill it with memories of Tallinn.
After the cold of Lapland, iced up puddle temperatures, felt relatively tropical
this post is going to take on the character of a “coffee table book”, which is what enjoying the old town of Tallinn is like. It does not have the “wow factors” of a Rome, or Amsterdam, but more the feel of a good, slow cooked home-made meal.
In the 4 days we were here, we never overheard a conversation by people with English as their first language. A lot of Finns, Swedes and Russians catch the ferry here for a cheaper holiday.
Everyone we talked to had very passable English.
the old KGB dungeon, where dissidents were interrogated/tortured
Old Town Tallinn is still very much geared toward the local population.
This highly recommended craft brewery pub, took a lot of finding – this was it’s non-descript street signageup an alleyway to another non-descript signagedown a set of stairsturn right, at the sculpture of a VILLAGE FEEDERFinally, one of their scrumptious beersTallinn Town Squarewith monsters on the gutter spoutsthe Orthodox Cathedral – Alexander NevskySt. Nicholasthe 12 appostles
then up the hill to St. Mary’s Cathedral
for an 30 minute organ recital
covering the walls of the Cathedral were the Coats of Arms of the Noble Families of Estonia
we were able to go up the bell tower
for the great views of the cityI came back to the Cathedral of St. Mary for Sunday Service the next day. The offical denomination was Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, but the service was very similar to the Catholic it was, prior to becoming Lutheran.
It was very special, going up to kneal before the alter to receive communion, in this magnificent Cathedral
more wandering around the old city taking photosParliament Housethe French Embassythe post office
the old town defensive wallthe evening we went to a Mediaval Estonian Restaurant, where they served the beer in ceramic jugs
we finished off the meal with some pepper schnaps.
The traditional way of drinking it, is to have one’s little finger all the way across the bottom, the next 3 fingers are closed and the thumb locks off the top. Plus the opposite hand needs to be holding your head on, so that it doesn’t blow off. There was enough pepper in the brew to clean out my sinuses and put a sweat on my brow. Very different and enjoyable. a walk up to the lookout, looking down on the old town
Lisa put together a collage of some of the doors of TallinnTallinn is very different from Vilnius, Lithuania, were I am writng up this blog post, it will be interesting to see how, I write up the next blog post, covering our time here