Published: August 4th 2011August 3rd 2011
Wow was it cold this morning. However it is sunny today which is a bonus considering it is so close to the coast and there is always the possibility of raining in this part of the world. We are in Tallinin, Estonia today, the crown jewel of the Baltic and one of Northern Europe’s best preserved medieval towns. Today’s weather will be mid to upper 60’s.
The view from the port towards Tallinin is absolutely beautiful. You can see the green parks and the various types of churches from the cruise ship. I have memories from our trip here in 2003 when everything was so close.
Today we are at port all day. We are scheduled for a tour however now I am wondering if we should have done our own walking tour since everything is so close. Anyways, we are schedule to visit the following locations; Kadriorg Palace, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Mary’s Cathedral (Dome Church) and Toompea Hill (Upper Old Town). Our tour starts at 9:30am and back to the ship at 1:30pm. After lunch I ventured out to see the Lower Old Town on my own.
As we walk from the ship to the tour
bus, the port is full of vendors ranging from clothing, to gifts, food and alcohol. I also noticed there was free wifi, more about that later.
After a short ride through this lovely city, we arrived at the Kadriorg Palace. Kadriorg Palace was founded by the Russan Emperor Peter the Great in 1718. It was built in honor of his wife Catherine, however she never visited or used this Palace. Before we toured the Palace, we walked through the colorful gardens that surround the Palace. The entire area was quiet and peaceful. It was interesting to see several people our working in the gardens, just like I would if I was pulling weeds. The Kadriorg Palace is small compared to other Palace’s we have seen in Europe. Must be nice to have a Palace at your disposal, but never visit. Catherine the Great is from St. Petersburg, Russia. The Palace was built in Baroque style. My favorite room in the Palace was the ballroom. The Fresco on the ceiling is incredible. The tour guide told us that depicted both myths and history. I attached a photo of this fresco. There were also several beautiful paintings in
From the Palace we walked towards the sea to view a large monument dedicated to the hundreds of Russia soldiers that died on their ship during a massive storm to hit the area.
Once we left the Palace, we traveled to the Toompea Hill area to first visit Nevsky Cathedral. Before entering the Cathedral, we took a short stop at the Estonia parliament building. The exterior façade of this building is fashionably pink. The cathedral is a traditional Russian Orthodox Catholic Church. The domes on the church resemble onion peels; however this is traditional Russian church architecture. We were not able to take photos inside the cathedral however the cathedral is very simple but colorful. You were not able to walk around in the interior like other European cathedrals. In the blog, there are is a photo of the exterior of the cathedral.
St. Mary’s Cathedral (Dome Church)
We continued our walk through the medieval area, viewing many of the beautiful and colorful buildings lining the streets. We then stopped at the St. Mary’s Cathedral (Dome Church). From the exterior of the church, it is not real memorable. However when you enter the
church, it has the medieval look. Once entering the cathedral I remembered being at this church before. The walls of the church had wooden crests of the various members of the church. In the front part of the church, right side, there was an enclosed box. This box was for royalty and those in the box can still participate in the services. You were not allowed to take photos in the cathedral; however I was able to snap a few (bad Todd). The tour guide told a story about a member of the church wanted to be buried in the church, however he was a drunk and liked his women. In the end, he buried in the floor of the church.
Toompea Hill (Upper Old Town)
Toompea Hill is the upper part of the city and is vibrant with tourists. There were three cruise ships in port; I think all of them were here at the same time. We continued our walk through the upper town area still viewing the beautiful architecture of the area. Our final stop before ending our tour was the overlook area to the lower old town. It was a beautiful view. Someone was very
kind to take a family photo. I attached this photo to the blog.
Lower Old Town
After eating a very quick lunch back on the ship, I ventured back on my own to visit the lower old town. The walk was about 25 minutes, but well worth it. The area was just as beautiful as the upper old town, however less touristy. I visited a really neat mariner cathedral named Oleviste Kogudus. The church was very basic compared to other cathedrals. As soon as I entered the cathedral I heard the pipe organ playing. Again, I love pipe organ music. I walked around town a little more and ran across a sign for a Mexican restaurant called “Texas Cantina.”
Once I finished my hour long walking tour, I returned to the ship and decided to go to my state room and grab my laptop to see if I can connect to free wifi. Bingo, I was able to get a connection. I quickly uploaded my Berlin travel blog, uploaded personal email and then let my daughter access her Facebook. For about one hour we had free, fast Internet access. The ship costs $.35 per minute.
This evening was
a good evening on board. After dinner we viewed our formal pictures. I will post a separate blog on the formal night.
There are more photos below