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Published: October 8th 2017
Russian Orthodox Church
There were full Sunday services going-on inside and I so wish we would have been allowed to video or photograph the services... it was an overload of colors, sounds, and smells. There were priests in gold and green robes and headpieces walking in circles chanting with candles, a choir in the balcony singing between chants, candles glowing everywhere and the fog and smell of incense hitting you the minute you walk through the heavy wooden doors. An experience to remember.
Today was a good day in Tallinn, Estonia. We were awake early today and ate breakfast with Paco and Wilfred, two gentlemen from a retirement community just outside of Brownsville, Texas. Paco has been to over 100 countries but he can’t hear a damn thing. Wilfred is super sweet and funny. Wilfred told us that Paco kept getting questioned about his wine in his suitcase yesterday but since he couldn’t hear them and they couldn’t understand him, they just let him go. We learned at dinner tonight that our escapade with customs has been talked about by seemingly everyone on the tour and the majority of them seem to think we were setup. Most of them have no trust it seems.. at least not in Estonia’s custom agents. They are all on "our side."
So, just a bit about the other tour members… My estimate is they are mainly late 70s, early 80s. I was being kind when I said 10 to 15 year age difference between us and our tour group members. The majority are well into their 70s and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn most are in their 80s. They all seem nice and have
This restaurant was in the old town and is where we had dinner tonight.
become very chatty and friendly. The only group that seems standoffish so far have been dubbed “The Golden Girls” by Kamie and I – four ladies who love shopping but all seem to have different personalities. There is definitely a Blanche among them! I’ll have to sneak a picture of Blanche so you will all know what I am talking about – they could be twins. Another of the Golden Girls got off the tour bus tonight and said “Is that lady wearing a tomato costume or did I drink too much today?” Well, she definitely drank too much today but there was a lady wearing a tomato costume too. Overall, it’s a great group of travelers with us! It also reminds me that most of these people are doing so well because they are fermented… just kept preserved by vinegar and grapes apparently.
This morning we toured the sites in and around Tallinn. It was slightly misting or raining off and on throughout the morning but it felt nice. My favorite part of today was visiting the Bay of Finland and seeing the ferry coming across the Baltic Sea from Helsinki. Kamie’s favorite part was walking
The zoo gave the city two swans to live here but people fed them bread until they burst so the zoo said no more swans for the city.
the old town of Tallinn.. the cobbled streets, the oldest pharmacy in the world, the buildings from the 1200s, etc. There is lots of interesting things to say about today but I took many pictures and will post several for you to enjoy and will try to tell the stories on the pictures.
Tonight we had a dinner in an old downtown restaurant called “Peppersack” – it was medieval in style with the waiters and waitresses wearing medieval dress. Dinner was nice and we had great conversations with many tour members. Our menu was a cold apple cider ale (yummmm – I drank mine and Kamie’s), cucumber and tomato salad, hot squash soup, pork & sauerkraut for Kamie, chicken and rice for me, and the best crème brulee in the world for dessert!
There is lots to say but I will try to say it mainly with pictures tonight (there are two pages of photos, FYI). It was a very good day today. Kamie was feeling a bit bad tonight about the run-in with customs over the cigarettes but I asked him... are you going to let one hour ruin over two weeks of
vacation? You cannot do this and we will not do this. I think he is embarrassed because smoking is so very taboo today and none of our other tour members smoke (publicly). He still smokes like a freight train with no thoughts of ever stopping. As he gets older, this will change. For now, I love him... smoker or not. Frankly, we learned a great lesson and it is a good story. I am already laughing about it because seriously... this customs guy... I'm pretty sure he has never smiled before in his life. Hee Hee We are excited for a new adventure tomorrow!
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