Cobbled Stone old Town

Trip Start May 01, 2009
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11
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Trip End May 22, 2009


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Flag of Estonia  , North-West Russia,
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

     Well, last night I made it into Tallinn at 11 30 pm and I have contacted the accomodation by internet with no response. When I got there in front of the accomodation, I rang the door bell 3 times with no one answering, I thought I had to spend the night on the street.....NOT....I walked up the street to this luxurous hotel called Baltic Imperial and luckly they are open so I checked in for the night. My guide book said this place costs $150 to $200 a night but I got it for about $100 with breakfast, I guess it is low season. How nice....  blind cat meets dead rat,,,what luck...a Chinese saying..

      Today I spend most of my day wondering in the beautiful cobbled stoned streets of Tallinn. The winding narrrow streets are so relaxing and beautiful. At end of everyother corner is a church with high spires. I just could not stop taking pictures.
 
       Estonia is a one of the newly independent countries in the former Soviet bloc. Estonia has endured tremulous history in its 900 years of existance. They were originally forest tribes back in the 1100s. They the Danish conquered the area and introduced Catholicism. Then the Swedes took over and help the tribes united into one single entity. Then comes the Livonian order under German Teutonic order, the area gain alot more autonomy. The Russian monarchy then took over Estonia from 1400s til 1918. The Estonian lived under the shadow of the Russian tsars and empresses. In 1918, during the collapse of the Russian Monarchy, Estonia proclaimed independence for the first time and became a Democratic republic. However good things didnt last too long as the German Nazis and Soviets signed a secret pact allowing the Soviet to take over the entire Baltic 3s. The life under the Soviets were difficult with repression, Estonian citizens been sent to Siberian Gulag camps, killed, tortured or drafted into Soviet troops just to die in the world wars. The Soviets wanted to Russianize Estonia by putting a loarge number of Russian citizens here, as a result the percentage of the ethnic Estonian population drops.  In 1991 at the time of the collapse of Soviet Union, Estonia declared independence, the Estonian citizen sang patriotic songs, formed a human line from Tallinn all the way to Vilnius with millions of people. They were successful. Now since 2000, the Estonian voted unanimously to join the European union and so far the country is doing quite well. The people are seeing a growth in economy and GDP growth and attracting lots of foreign investments.  Tourism is also doing quite well here being just 2 hours by ferry to Helsinki, Finland, lots of people came by cruise boat to do their day trips here....not enough time....that is why I travel the way I do.
       
       I visited the old town hall, climb the narrow, dark tower. I saw the most spectacular view of the city up top, although the climb is a pain in the you knw what. The old town square has been the market palce since the 1400s that now a days it is filled with souvenior carts. There are plenty of restaurants facing the town square ready to serve those hungry tourists with fat wallets...haha...  I toured a few museums and climbed another church spire 100 steps of grueling, narrow, claustrophobic feeling. The top is once again stunningly beautiful.  There is a man at the top the church doem with no expression staring straight.  The day up here in the Baltics is long, the sun barely sets at 1100 pm, so while I am out having fun, its already getting late. 

      Tonight I followed the guide book to this restaurant called Old Hansa that serves food from Medievel Estonia. Th servers all dressed up like the old days, so is the menu written in old English. The food is interesting too that it is filled with game meats. I got brave and decided to try  the wild boar and elk meat.They are both red meats but the wild boar is so chewy that it takes me at least 10 minutes to chew each slice. In it, it is so vascular that I have a hard time chewing through all the veins and arteries. The mushroom sauce is delicious. 
       I will do doing more walking in the city tomorrow.```````````````````````````````````````
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