Thursday, June 05, 2008

3.5 hours in Tallinn, Estonia (June 5, 2005)

Who ever said travelling by cruise ship was slow and relaxing hasn’t been on this Baltic Cruise. The pace has been anything but slow, with start times to go ashore sometimes before 7 AM. Today’s stop was no exception, but since we were exploring on our own today, we slept in and left the ship a full two hours after the first opportunity.

We had more wonderfully fair weather again today and calm seas last night. We woke up while docking in the Baltic Republic of Estonia this morning. After a more leisurely breakfast, we packed our cameras and walked into old-town Tallinn, which was only about a mile from the harbor.

Tallinn is a fascinating city with a very rich history and culture. The region has been ruled under the Danish, the Germans, the Swedes, the Finns and the Russians most recently, but the people have their own language and have managed to preserve their own unique culture through the ages and various rules. Tallinn is perhaps the most well preserved medieval town in Northern Europe, but one of the least known. I tried to capture some candid shots including some of the local people, showing how Scandinavian they appear.

When we stopped at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the upper town, there was an orthodox service underway at 10 this morning. I’m not sure if this was something that occurred daily, or it was some special orthodox holiday, but we listened to the choir sing for a while and tried not to disturb the worshipers, so there are no pictures inside.

Just after enjoying some of the local pastries in a town square cafe, Austin and I climbed up the 12th century bell tower of the historic Town Hall building. The very high steps of the spiral stone steps led to a great view over the city.

The pictures of Tallinn can be found here:

The GPS track log is located here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy seeing your photos. It looks like an incredible experience. Sounds like things are going good. I am glad that being stuck in traffic didn't cause you to miss the boat!
Your pictures are great! Have fun