I met up with the Intrepid tour last night (6pm) in Helsinki for the start of my Baltic adventures. There are 8 of us on the tour as well as our tour guide Andy (a girl from NZ).
This morning the Interpid tour took us to Estonia. We started off with a nice and relaxed departure time of 10am from the hotel and took a local tram down to the ferry station. The ferry was just like the Cook Strait ferrry, although we did have the added pleasure of having some bingo being played (in Finnish) in the section that we were sitting in. The ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is approx 2.5 hours so we arrived in Tallinn at 2:00pm.
From the ferry we had to walk to our hotel which was about a 15 minute walk away. I have discovered that my bag this time is actually bloody heavy, especially since it is such a tiny little bag. Perhaps the 20 tops, 7 skirts and 7 sweaters that I bought along is a little too much 😊.
Once we had checked into our hotel our tour leader (Andy) took us on a walk around the old
town of Tallinn. Tallinn is just beautiful! All the streets are cute and quaint and paved with cobblestones (which are great except for clumsy people like me - who has managed to stumble and twist her ankle twice today already). Our walk took us into the main square where the old town hall is. This town hall is the oldest still standing in Europe. It had the cutest little dragon heads at the top for rain spouts.
Our walk also took us past the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral ( another good old Russian Orthodox Cathedral that was built by Alexander the III), past the Estonian goverment buildings, to some lovely viewing platforms that gave you a gorgeous view out across the rooftops of the city as well as past the well of dead cats. This well was the well that the townspeople used to use to get fresh water in days gone by. Now according to Andy the water from this well used to have a bit of a chalky taste and somehow the townspeople got it into their head that to get rid of this taste, as well as making sure that there was fresh and clean water always
in the well, that they had to sacrifice live animals (particulalry cats) to ensure the water supply, usually by throwing them into the well. hmmmmmmm
After completing the walking tour MK and I decided to wander off and pootle around the streets of Tallinn. I managed to get totally ripped off exchanging my euros for the local currency (EEK) - silly chelle changing her money in the tourist part of town) by on a brighter note also managed to get my Estonian christmas tree ornament.
After completing our little trundle we headed back to the main square and sat in one of the cafes and had some tea and cocktails. I tried the local version of a mojito which was just lovely. It was exactly the same as a normal mojito except instead of rum it used a local licquer. This must have been red as the entire drink had a decisively red air to it.
Tomorrow we have a free day and 5 group members, including myself, are going on a bike tour of Tallinn. Here's hoping that it doesn't rain ( I checked out the internet forecasts and was told on one site that it
would be sunny tomorrow, another that it would be cloudy and on the third that it would rain. I gave up at that point. )
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