Friday, July 15, 2016

Days 11-12: Talinn, Estonia

Today was mostly devoted to getting from Riga to Tallinn, Estonia, with a few intermediate stops.

Latvian magazine selection in our hotel

Latvia-Estonia border -- no stopping!

Our route took us along the coast, with a stop in the Estonian resort town of Parnu.

Wooden buildings in Parnu

Typical housing in Parnu

On the beach.  Not good swimming weather.
In the center of Parnu

The main pedestrian street

The oldest building in Parnu--the foundation dates from 1250

For those of you wondering where to get Nepalese food in Estonia

A much newer house, dating from 1740

I defy you to tell me what this says

While I was having lunch at Restaurant Nikolai Lehtla, the sun came out, and I continued my walk around Parnu.

We then got back on the bus and headed for Tallinn.

On the road to Tallinn

Another shot from the road

A house in Tallinn

Radisson Blu Hotel Olimpia in Tallinn

My cramped, but otherwise nice room

As soon as I unpacked, I headed for Tallinn Old Town, a walk of about 1/3 mile.

Central Tallinn

Estonian Opera House and Ballet Theater

Estonian Drama Theater

Soprus Movie Theater

For my viewers in the Detroit area

Town Hall Square

 A few shots from various locations in Old Town

Holy Spirit Church

Tallinn Town Hall

As I was leaving Old Town, I encountered a guy playing blues guitar on the street.

He was fantastic, and I went up to him to ask if he could play "Hey Joe" (my favorite), and before I even got up to him to ask, he started playing it!

Flower vendors on the edge of Old Town

Saturday, July 16: Tallinn

Today was the "official" walking tour of Talinn Old Town.  We revisited several of the places I had walked by the previous evening.  This was actually my second trip to Tallinn--in 1993, I took a ferry from Helsinki for a 3 hour visit.  Some of the pictures below are paired with pictures I took in 1993.

Talinn Old Town consists of two sections--the Upper Town (where the rich people lived) and the Lower Town, where everyone else lived.  We started in the Upper Town.

Panoramic view of the plaza in front of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Toompea Castle and Pikk Hermann (the tower), dating from the 13th century

Pikk Herman, from my 1993 trip

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The front of Toompea Castle

Street in the Upper Town

St. Mary's Cathedral, established in the 13th century

We walked to an overlook that had some nice views of the lower town.

More proof that I was there

View of the Lower Town

Another view of the Lower Town

View of modern Tallinn from the Upper Town

Now, that's a museum!

Old and New Tallinn

The same view from my 1993 trip

Along the city wall in the Upper Town

Patkuli Viewing Platform

Another view of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Similar view from 1993

After touring the Upper Town, we descended to the Lower Town.

Panoramic view of Town Hall Square

Church of the Holy Spirit (in back)

Similar view from 1993

Estonian History Museum, located in an old guild house

Inside the Estonian History Museum

View of the Church of the Holy Spirit from the History Museum

Just off Town Hall Square was Raeapteek, a pharmacy that has been in continuous business since 1422.  It also houses a small museum.

In the Pharmacy Museum

In the pharmacy part

A fashion shot

Another panorama of Town Hall Square

A similar, non-panoramic view from 1993

St. Nicholas Church

Freedom Square, just outside Old Town

One of the old city towers

As it looked in 1993

Several houses from the 16th century.  The one now on the left is an archaelogical museum

Another street in Old Town

A similar street in 1993

An intersection in Old Town

"The Three Sisters", built in the 15th century, and now a hotel

The Three Sisters in 1993 (before it became a hotel)

"Fat Margaret", a tower in the city wall dating from the 14th century

Fat Margaret in 1993
Finally, I wandered back to the hotel.

A long wooden building across from the hotel

View of modern Tallinn from my room

A wooden church, across from the hotel

After resting up, I walked back to Old Town for dinner.  I stopped into a McDonalds, not to eat, but to see what was on the menu and what it cost.

A Big Mac with fries and a Coke is 5 Euros

Viru Gate, on the east side of Old Town, dating from the 14th century

I didn't intend to eat at an Indian restaurant, but I passed by one that had moose korma on the menu, and I couldn't resist.

My last dinner in Tallinn, including moose korma

After dinner I wandered over to St. Catherines Passage, the site of an old convent.  There were several tombstones from the 14th century on display in the passage.

A 14th century tombstone

More tombstones

Part of the convent

From there, a final walk back to Town Hall Square, and back to the hotel.

A last visit to Town Hall Square

And thus ended a delightful stay in Tallinn, the Baltics and Belarus/Moldova.