We had a wonderful day in Tallinn, Estonia and this place has made it to one of our best ever stops list. The day started with a walk....as usual....from the port to the walled city or town. The walk this time was barely a kilometre and much more bareable than the one the day before. It helped that you could see parts of the town as we walked, spires from churches and the classic Russian style roof of one of the orthodox buildings, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Estonia is independent from Russia, obvious really because the locals are fully aware of how to smile....They declared their independance in 1991 from what was then the old Soviet Union. Estonia is actually one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. If you ever get a chance to visit....do it. The place is gorgeous, streets with uneven cobbles which are as charming as they are lethal. You need to have a sure footing in some place and sheer dumb luck in others to avoid slips trips or falls. The people of Estonia were fun and friendly. They were happy to answer questions or point lost explorers in the right direction.
We could have wandered around the narrow streets all day but on a cruise time is always going to be your enemy when you find a port that you fall in love with. We spent half our time staring up at the grand old buildings, including the incredible catherdral, and the other half peering into narrow alleyways which hid a miriade of secret passages and shops not visible from the main road.
Beautiful does not give justice to Tallinn....it was the perfect port. Founded in 1154, the charming old town has not changed much for over 600 years. There was lots to see....shops to walk around and view points which took in the entire city. I could happily come back here and spend a city break if we were into such things. We stopped for a coffee quite early on and sat outside to absorb the atmosphere. Unfortuneatly the weather took a turn but not even the rain could dampen just how lovely this place was. It rained a lot! The rain meant that the cobbled street were even more lethal but more fun too. I lost count of how many times Barbara told everyone she was wet....
Still, we had fun and even made a second stop where Babara tried to local liquer, Vana Tallinn, in a coffee. Back in harsher days, food was really scarce in Estonia and they had to be creative with their dishes.... one restuarant we popped into was serving delicacies like chicken gizzards....they are are also famous for their jellied veal and herring with sour cream. Not for me but thanks!
Time was our enemy and we eventually had to wander back to the ship and prepare for our next stop of St Petersburg, Russia. I recall Dave and my last trip to Russia.....he was yelled at for standing on the floor....happy bunch! I am sure this time they will show their more welcoming side!
Last night, prior to departure for Russia, was spent at crooners of course. I was chatting to some dude who told he he loved my individuality and style, commenting on the fact that i wear bow ties and blazers. Turns out he is an ex detective superintendant, retired 7 years. We had a really good chat and he has now declared me his prodigy from afare. Really, really nice chap and i am so glad i got the opporunity to meet him. He said that he was the least surprised person on the ship when i told him that i was job too.... i must ooze police officer lol.
We had a very nice evening at crooners and stumbled back to our rooms quite late but in the safe knowledge that we had a lay in before our booked canal tour in St Petersburg. We are actually staying overnight in the port of St Petersburg and, for that reason, we have a tour booked on both days. Neither of them starts until the afternoon though so we have a good chance for a rest in the mornings.
Anyway, this blog is one day late, we have actually had our first tour in St Petersburg now and i wll write that up in a moment.
Estonia, gorgeous.... go there. We loved loved loved it.
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