The BBA V2 needed to slow down a little and today was to be the day.Not too much, but just enough to restore some energy.And in the process of doing so we could catch up on some administration including clothes washing as we had a washing machine in the apartment to give the clothes a good doing over.
We have really been blessed with wonderful weather and we just hope that it continues.Being inside seemed a bit of a waste but administration needs to be done every so often but we do plan a walk out this afternoon to look at some of the sights.
Being on the 5th floor of an apartment block there is no outside washing line(not even one like the pulley system we had in Pula,Croatia)but the apartment and we assume all the others have a rather unique(well at least for us as we had not seen this before)system of hot water running inside the towel rail in the bathroom.The rail was not electrified in any way and was permanently warm and therefore a great place to get the drying process underway for the clothes before we finished them off on the clothes horse in
the window in the afternoon sun.This wash and dry cycle was the fastest we have achieved on this adventure so far and we had clean,dry clothes back in the packing cells before we went out for our afternoon walk.
The morning passed quite quickly and after lunch of tomatoes on toast we headed out into the afternoon sunshine for a walking tour of the old town starting at the highest point around,Toompea.
However before we got to climb the shot hill to where the fortifications were we called into the rather unique Museum of Occupations which documents the times the country was under Soviet then Nazi and then Soviet occupation again between 1940 to 1991.The collection of exhibits and the establishment of the museum was the idea of an Estonian woman with a very interesting past called Olga Kistler-Ritso.She was born in the Ukraine of Russian and Estonian descent who had family 'dissappear' under Soviet occupation and also had to leave her adopted home country of Estonia to escape the Nazi tyranny.She made a life for herself in the USA and went onto a very successful medical career enabling her to form a foundation to establish what is
essentially a memorial to all those who lived and died under Nazi and Soviet occupation of Estonia.
It was a very interesting collection of exhibits with heaps of information about the life and times between 1940 and 1991 and how people got by and finally gained their independence again.One of the exhibits documents the stories of the partisans who formed groups known as the Forest Brothers which was fascinating to read about.Olga by the way is now 90 and still alive living in the USA,her second adopted country.
Back out on the street again and we climbed the short hill to the Toompea area which was the home to the aristocracy and is dominated by a castle built in 1219 when the city was founded.Adjacent is the striking Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which had some similarities to St Basils in Red Square Moscow.
The views over the city from the terraces was excellent and at least gives a better idea of the layout of the city than trying to work it out while walking the flat streets.
We followed a path that took us along several cobbled streets dropping in on more terraces to see a different
part of the city each time.It was past afternoon tea time when we spotted a sign for a café down a dead end cobbled street offering coffee and cake for €3.50 each and this was too good to resist.The cake was an absolutely delicious sponge with berries soaked in and covered in a firm cream.It was the sort of cake that you could eat again and again if only you had the room to fit more in!And the coffee was excellent too.All too decadent.
Then it was down the hill to the main market square which was full of stalls selling handicrafts and people doing traditional dancing for the crowds gathered.We had noted from one of the lookouts on the top of the hill that there appeared to be at least two cruise ships in port and many of those in the square looked like they may have been passengers from those ships.
We found our way out of the old town and dropped into a mall on the way home to buy our dinner choosing a ready made teriyaki with potatos and vegetables as sides from the prepared meal counter.We are pleased now that the supermarkets in
the places we are staying in or at least passing through have this option for us as it gives a chance to try something local,not that the teriyaki was too local,at least in name.
We were back home at just the right time for pre dinner drinks and nibbles and with an easy action day we felt rested and ready for a fuller day of sightseeing tomorrow when we check out the rest of the old town sights.
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