Thursday, July 1, 2010

EASTERN BLOC ROCKS!!! - Tallinn, Estonia


Estonia, Eesti in Estonian, has a long history of domination by the Russian state. From 1710-1918 it was the proud possession of Czarist Russia before gaining its independence after World War I. Independence only lasted until the end of World War II in 1945 when Soviet Russia retook Estonia for the next 56 years until the breakup of the USSR in 1991.

So it was with great wonder that we landed Monday in Estonia's capital city of Tallinn.

The old walled City of Tallinn

This is the main tourist area of the city and we headed straight for it after disembarking.

Laurie was at it again

Undaunted in her failure to purchase any of Sweden's Crown Jewels on Sunday, she was quickly trying to corner Tallinn's lucrative textile market.

The City Gate

The old walled city is actually made up of two towns, the upper town of Toompea which was the seat of the government ruling Estonia, and the lower town that was an autonomous Hanseatic trading center filled with German, Danish and Swedish merchants who hired Estonians to do menial labor.

A Unique Seven Passenger Bicycle

While only one steers, all do pedal.

OSHA???

Ancient buildings require constant maintenance. How safe is this?

Fat Margaret Tower

This very un-PC tower guarded the entry gate of the town in medieval days.

Just an interesting roof line

The Three Sisters

It was a merchant's home, warehouse and office from the 15th century Hanseatic Golden Age. We bought a minature replica of these three buildings to remind us of the beautiful architecture of Tallinn's old city.

Until 1991, Tallinn's KGB Headquarters

From here after some intense interrogationing, many an Estonian started a long road of suffering as Estonian dissidents were sent to Siberian gulags.

Sutures, STAT!!!

Got a crack in one of your walls? NO PROBLEM!

Naked Women on Wolfback

You had to be there.

The Swedish Embassy in Tallinn

I suddenly felt better.

The Black Heads Society

Until Hitler called all Germans home, this building served as the German merchant's club. That is St. Mauritius above the door hence the name of the society.

Pühavaimu Kirik
or
Holy Ghost Church

It sports a very cool clock from 1633! Hey, its 12:30, time to eat.

Maiasmokk (Sweet Tooth) Café

The best café in town during the Soviet days, it was worth a try.

The Maiasmokk's very intersting interior

Maiasmokk's WAS sweet indeed!

Soviet proganda posters were
for sale in this shop

Great gargoyle on Tallinn's Raekoja Plats

That's the old Town Hall Square which has several nice places to eat.

This one's for Ian Murphy

Time for an Estonian beer

Nice Beer Hall Flag

We only had one

Pig planters are always nice

The old town's "Hi-Tech"
water fetching wheel

St. Nicholas Church, 13th century

Toompea Castle

Today it is Estonia's Parliament Building.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
INCREDIBLE!!!

Nevsky was a legendary Estonian hero who is buried in this Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Tall Herman Tower

The tallest tower of the castle wall is a powerful symbol. In 1987 while the USSR was falling apart, Estonians replaced the Soviet flag with the Estonian colors.

A great view of old town Tallinn

Laurie by the Toompea Castle Wall

Cuban Cigar Bar, I LOVE THIS TOWN!

Just another cool set of buildings

An Estonian lass selling traditional foods

The Kissing Hill

Yes we did!

Ruth and Mike Weiss

Two very interesting dinner table mates as I said in the previous post. Mike and I already have a bet going on the September 11th Syracuse at Washington football game. The winner gets the other team's T-shirt.

Dave, Cindy, Kylie, Samantha
and Shaina Wright

Just a great, All-American family! In his role as Athletic Director of the Gettysburg College Bullets, great nickname by the way, Dave warned Mike and I of the very serious implications and dangers of betting on college sports.

WWRND? . . . What Would Rick Neuheisel Do?
Take the points.

The Sun sets behind us at
10:30 p.m. Tallinn time

Royal Caribbean International
Vision of the Seas
June 27-July 1, 2010
Aquarius Dining Room - Deck 5
8:45 Seating
Table 119

We think everyone had a great time sharing lots of laughs and great stories!!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

George, Happy trails and sea lanes to you and Laurie until July 27th! Good luck with the restart. Paul P.S. How is YOUR training going?

David said...

I note the photo of Laurie shopping has her looking at something that is U of W purple. I'm assuming you didn't object to that purchase.

By the way, I'm currently in Phoenix on a Dodger road trip. Today's high: 112. Right now, someplace Nordic sounds really inviting.

George said...

At least it's 112 F not C!

Purple is a nice choice.