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Published: July 14th 2008
On the night of the 12th, we took the ferry from Stockholm to Tallinn. This ferry was bigger and nicer than our previous one. We were on deck 8 so well above the waterline and the car-deck this time. It was more like a floating hotel than a ferry and was quite enjoyable. There are many things to do on the boat including a show-lounge, karaoke and a club. The most entertaining part of the trip was watching two identical twin Polish brothers, with large mustaches of course, singing karaoke...twice!!!
We arrived in Tallinn around 10am, and checked into the hostel. The hostel is really nice. The building actually used to be an embassy! There is a bathroom here that could probably house six beds or so it is so large. It has a massive shower, a huge jacuzzi tub and a sauna. Who needs a spa! We also met a Danish girl named Karen whose passport had been confiscated by the Estonian border guards when she crossed into the country from Russia. She decided to tag along with us for the day.
We wandered around the Old Town next. The Old Town is still mostly walled in by 14th century walls, and the whole place is a UNESCO Heritage site. The city was part of the Hanseatic League, as have so many of the other northern cities that we have visited so far. The city is very pleasant to walk through. We went to Raekoja Plats, which is the main square in town. There was a medieval festival going on, so there were people dressed up in period costume and selling all sorts of medieval food and trinkets. We continued past the town hall and up to the upper part of the old town where we saw the Danish Gardens, Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral an d the Toom Kirik. The Orthodox Cathedral was really cool. There were many icons and lots of gold on the inside, and you could see the beams of light shining through the dust that was trapped between the double-paned windows. We then walked to the other end of the old town, past the Fat Margaret Tower (we're not kidding, it actually was called that) to the Laatuväljak which was where 300,000 Estonians gathered to sing during the late 1980's to protest Soviet rule. We continued to wander for a bit (wandering was a bit of a theme here) and went past a couple of other churches before returning to the hostel to veg. We hadn't vegged much this trip, so lounging on couches and watching a couple of movies was a great change of pace.
The next day, we actually slept in for a while (more vegging!). We headed to the Oleviste Church first so we could go up its tower for the view. The view from there was excellent but the hike up the tower was quite steep and narrow. It wasn't as bad as the markt in Bruges though. The tower was built in the 13th century, and at 159 metres, it was actually the tallest building in the world until the building of St. Peter's in Rome during the 16th century. We then wandered some more, along the top of the walls and through some of the towers. We went back to the main square where we picked up a couple of souvenirs and then had lunch at a great little pancake place. We went back to the hostel for a bit and packed up our stuff and watched a couple more movies because we were catching the early boat to Helsinki the next day. Dinner was at a place called EAT which served dumplings by the weight.
Things we learned in Tallinn-
-It is awesome to be in a country that doesn't cost an arm and a leg when you want to buy anything
-It is nice to veg sometimes
-Baltica 7 reigns supreme, atleast according to Peter
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