Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Another GREAT Day, This Time in Tallinn, Estonia


Tuesday, 23 May, 2017:

Before starting into today's great day in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn, it should be noted that there only remains . . .

. . . short days until . . .

. . . my bride and I are reunited!

Old Town Tallinn on the
Baltic Sea coast

A combination of twisting cobblestone lanes, Gothic spires and medieval markets, the Old Town was built up between the 13th and 16th-centuries when Tallinn, or Reval as it was known then, was a thriving member of the Hanseatic Trade League.

Tallinn's Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

This would be my second visit to Tallinn as Laurie and I stopped here on a cruise to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2010 and loved it. 

 I think that Kevin and Jacob
would love one of these

Probably Mary too come to think about it.

The things one sees getting off the ferry in Tallinn's harbor area.

 Entering the Old Town via the
Fat Margaret Tower

It was a cannon tower back in the day built to protect the city from attacks coming from the Baltic Sea. It now houses a Maritime Museum but I did not go in.

The Three Sisters

They were a merchant's home, warehouse and office from the Golden Age of the Hanseatic Trading League in the 15th-century. 

Lots of Arts and Crafts
in the Old Town

And lots of interesting
architecture too!

The guy on the left needs
a good dentist

Name me a great building
that doesn't have a dragon
adornment?
  
How old is this still
functioning time piece?

A reminder that for much of the
20th-century, Estonia was part of
the old USSR

A Gothic steeple

A random adornment
that caught my eye

 Since 1681?
WOW!

Hell Hound Beer Hall

Tempting but no.

Is that a naked woman riding the hound bare back?

Lots of steeples in
Old Town Tallinn

Entry door to the
Brotherhood of Black Heads

This building served as the unmarried German merchant's club during the Hanseatic Trading League years. They were responsible for organizing the town's defenses.

The Brotherhood got its name because of the image of St. Mauritius, a dark skinned Moor, above the door.

 This looked promising
for a light breakfast

I liked its looks inside and
it had been in business
since 1864

Why not give it a try?

Wait a second, it looked familiar.

Laurie and I had a good lunch here seven years ago.

 Ham and cheese croissant, coffee
and of course some healthy fruit

It had an awesome miniature
Ferris Wheel in the front window
that included old spoons

Chocolate?

Tempting but no.

 Coffee?

Also tempting, but no again.

I had just eaten and I have to watch my figure.

The Old Town's Main Square

Winged Mercury goes Doc Marten?

Again with the dragon motif

The 14th-century Viru Gates
are the symbol of the Old Town

A Tower along
the City Wall

And another steeple

Raw Coffee Smuut?

A dashing Estonian

 A reminder of Soviet days?

Tallinn has churches

 An Estonian Patriot

G-L-O-R-I-A!

Symbol of Estonian Freedom

And then there was an old bus
convention in town

My favorite

Interesting brickwork on
my way to . . .

The Museum of the Occupations

This small but interesting museum deals with the unforgettable events, tragedies and sorrows of Nazi Germany and then the Soviet Union having occupied Estonia for much of the 20th-century.

This led to the death, deportation and forced mobilization of 230,000 Estonians including 70,000 others as refugees.

 Pack your bags,
you are being deported

1950s era weapons used by
the Estonian underground

I'm guessing that wearing this
shirt around Tallinn could have
its repercussions in Soviet times

 "Adolf Hitler Liberator"

This might just be propaganda.

Huge bust of Lenin
by the basement toilets

I did not know that

It was part of a special exhibit on Sweden's open door policy towards immigrants.

It was a good museum experience but I was getting hungry again.

Aiki, who was born and raised in Estonia, suggested that I get out of the Old Town tourist trap restaurant area and find a less expensive, more authentic local's place to dine.

This was the place

A complete lunch for only 4 Euros!

It looked good inside and only
locals were dining

Well, except me of course.

Hearty and delicious!

The soup was wonderful and the cherry flavored juice drink hit the spot.

As usual, I'm glad that I listened to Aiki.

I just liked it

Another Estonian Patriot

Estonia was officially free of Soviet
domination on August 20, 1991

I was on my way up the hill from lunch and the Museum of the Occupations to the Toompea Hill area of Old Town.

 The old Toompea Castle is now
Estonia's Parliament Building

 The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Great onion domes

Mary Mosaic

And a Jesus mosaic too

No pictures were allowed inside of this incredible cathedral and, as you may know, I am deathly afraid of the Russian Orthodox women who guard these churches.

 On Toompea Hill overlooking
the lower half of Old Town Tallinn

The lower half of 
Old Town Tallinn

The wind is blowing
southwest I think

GREAT door

FIKA TIME?

It looked right

A coffee and a Sacher torte hit the spot.

But still, I needed something more . . .

. . . OF COURSE!

Did Tallinn have a worthy entry into my World's Greatest Hot Chocolate Contest.

We currently had two finalists, one from Stockholm and one from Rīga. Could an Estonian chocolaterie make its way into the finals as well?

Chocolate de Pierre's setting
in the Masters' Courtyard

This is the fun courtyard where many of Tallinn's master craftsmen have their shops.

I took it as a good omen.

Lets go in

Great vibe!

 Be strong, I was here only
for a Hot Chocolate after all

And it was AMAZING!

The capitals of Sweden, Latvia and now Estonia are all represented in the World's Greatest Hot Chocolate Contest.

 St. Catherine's Church
Passageway

 Tallinn is for . . .

. . . Lovers!

As for me, I was quite happy
with what I saw today!

The next time that you are cruising the Baltic Sea, you MUST make Tallinn a destination!

GREAT CITY!

But now it was time to head back
to the ferry for the trip home

 The "Victoria I" 
ferry awaited me

As beautiful as Tallinn's
Old Town is, the almost 8 miles
of cobblestones killed my feet

It felt good to be back in the cabin with my shoes off and my feet up for about half an hour!

The Adventure continues on Wednesday when I return in Stockholm.

After dropping off my bag in Upplands-Väsby, I will head back in the evening into Stockholm to watch an American football practice conducted by a Superserien club, the Stockholm Mean Machine.

Thanks to Lotta Douhan for setting this up with Mean Machine Head Coach Fredrik Pilbäck.

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