Monday, May 7, 2018

Picturesque Tallinn, Estonia

The sky was bright blue and the weather warm when we walked off the ship in Tallinn, Estonia.

The tall tower of St Olav Church beckoned us into the cobblestone streets of the medieval city. St Olav was our first stop. John and Graham climbed the tower, but I stayed below in the church since I had read that the stairs were steep, spiralled and narrow (all 258 of them) with the viewing platform at the top also being narrow. The guys said that they had a wonderful view of the whole city.

The streets were picturesque with many restored medieval buildings.

We met up for a two hour free walking tour in front of the tourist office. It says free but you pay what you think the tour is worth at the end. These tours are usually excellent. Our guide Boris really knew his stuff and gave the history with an entertaining dry humour.

We started in front of St Nicholas Church which originally was built in medieval times but was bombed in March 1944. The USSR refused to give money to rebuild a church but finally the USSR agreed to pay to have it rebuilt as the Museum of Atheism which burnt down and was rebuilt as a museum of medieval history.

Our next stop was Freedom Square and the Monument to the War of Independence.

We saw many churches and cathedrals including the Greek Orthodox St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. We also saw Toompea Castle. It was a feast for the eyes everywhere you looked.

Then we went to some viewpoints overlooking the Old Town with its red shingled roofs.

The tour ended in the gorgeous Town Hall Square. We sat in an outdoor cafe, had a beer, listened to the street musicians and enjoyed the beautiful spring day.

We explored the inside of a few churches, walked some of the old city walls and climbed the old towers.

The day in Tallinn ended too soon. I would really love to see more of Estonia.

Back on the ship we had a delicious supper with a melt in your mouth, white chocolate mousse. It was so good that I had a second. I think our waiter noticed that I was practically licking the glass clean so they brought me another one to bring to our room for a late night snack.

We partook in a vodka tasting before I  did the 80s music trivia challenge while John and Graham played pool.

John and I had a glass of wine as we watched the sun slip into the Baltic Sea from the lounge at the back of the ship.

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