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Published: December 25th 2017
r Sunday 17 December 2017 Helsinki – Tallinn - Helsinki
An early start, meant that breakfast this morning was a buffet on board the ferry. The ferry to Tallinn left punctually at 6.00am. We were taken by bus from our hotel to the ferry terminal. The breakfast was expansive but Sheryl, Tom & I didn’t do it justice due to our big dinner the night before.
Today we were going to have a full day excursion to the medieval town of Tallinn in Estonia, our guide Inger’s home city. She was very excited to be going home as she had been doing almost back-to-back tours for the past couple of months.
The ferry arrived in Tallinn at about 9.00am after 3 hours. We were then handed over to a local guide who was a very tall Swedish
man. Whilst on the bus he gave us a brief run down of the history of Estonia and how it had been ruled by the Soviet, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia at different times since the 11th
Century. The significance of this history was to help us understand the diverse architecture we saw during our city tour and walk through the old town of Tallinn.
Stops in the bus included the baroque Kadriorg Park, Song Festival Grounds and the seaside district of Pirita. During the bus ride section of our tour, it was lightly snowing after the sky had been blue when we got off the ferry. The weather was very changeable!
We then walk through the winding, cobble stoned streets of the Old Town, cross Toompea Hill, before continuing to the Palace of Toompea that today houses the Estonian Parliament ‘Riigikogu. We visited Aleksander Nevskij Cathedral and the Dome Church.
We then arrived in the centre of the Old Town where there were more Christmas Markets and of course, a Christmas tree. There was also a Christmas-decorated stage where a choir was singing Christmas carols.
3 of us had got cold during our walk with our guide, as it included a lot of standing and listening to chat about what we were looking at, we decided to find a very warm restaurant after the tour had ended. It was a big relief to go inside and have hot coffee and soup. Sheryl even had an Irish coffee. After we warmed up we decided to return to the Christmas Markets and walk around the Old Town more. This was when we decided to walk separately and meet back at the Christmas tree at 3.00pm where all the rest of the group were meeting Inger.
The streets were full of Christmas lights, a Santa singing, a decorated Christmas train carrying people through the town and shops full of Christmas wares and window displays.
On meeting back at the Christmas tree, Tom had tried the hot berry goggi drink so Sheryl & I bought one too. It was very warming. Once all our travel companions gathered, Inger led us back to the bus where we were taken to board an afternoon ferry to return to Helsinki. On the ferry was
when we shared our naan bread we had saved from the night before!!!
Once arriving back in Helsinki, we headed straight from the ferry terminal to dinner, and farewell each other at a special local restaurant, The Kappeli Restaurant in Helsinki. We had a magnificent dinner, shrimp salad for entrée, a special chicken dish both served beautifully with amazing flavoured sauces, finished off with crème brulee and berries.
It was a bitter-sweet evening as we were all to say goodbye to each other including to our fantastic guide. It had been such a great tour, with so many different features and experiences, and so different to home. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone.
At 9.30pm the bus took us back to our hotel where we packed our bags, preparing for our departure to Shanghai the next day.
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