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August 20th 2008
Published: June 26th 2017
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We are in Talinn. This is a great city. We had been here in 2001 so we have noticed the enormous progress the city has undergone since then. We arrived here yesterday afternoon. Last night we had a meal provided in the hotel so we did not venture out.
This morning we left on a tour of the city. It was a public holiday here celebrating their Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Last night there had been a huge singing festival to celebrate this event. Our guide took us to the veue to appreciate the idea that 100,000 people had turned up, 10 percent of the whole population of the country!!
We then drove to the Old Town. We have been pretty unlucky with the weather. As we arrived at the walls of the city a storm and torrential downpour occurred. We saw the Presidential palace and the beautiful Russian Orthodox church opposite. The town was packed wth tour groups. There were several Cruise ships in port for the day so we had to weave our way through them. We stopped for awhile , hopefully to let the rain abate. When we regathered it was lighter. Uve , our guide, showed us the Town Hall Square which was much the same as we remembered except there was a large stage erected for a concert that afternoon. We then went down to Catherine street which was where the Dominican Monastery once was.
The tour ended not much further on but we stayed on in the old city.We had hardly seen any of the surroundings. We made our way along Pikk street. This has an amazing number of buildings of medieval and later origin, beautifully decorated and now wonderfully preserved. Went back to the Town Hall Square for lunch. We revisited Balthasar, a restaraunt we had eaten in in 2001. It was still the same in decor as well as in quality. Had a fabulous meal there.
We then wandered through the streets surrounding the square but returned there just before 3 as there was a free concert being presented. We had a table at a neighbouring restaurant, so had a nice bottle of rose while we listened to the concert. It was a popular classics concert containing such favourites as Beethoven's 5th, William Tell Overture, Peer Gynnt Suite and Ravel's Bolero to name a few. We really enjoyed it.
We have now returned to the hotel. Tomorrow we venture into Russia and from our guide's warnings are not sure what communication we will have. I will post what I can, when I can.

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