Trip Start May 26, 2010
15Trip End Jun 10, 2010
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Today we visited Tallinn, Estonia. It was cloudy and cool when we arrived in Estonia. It looked like it would be another gloomy day. We slept late, knowing the next few days will be extremely busy. We missed breakfast, instead choosing to head to the main dining room as soon as it opened. The food has been excellent on board, and this meal was no exception. The dining room was deserted as most people had already departed the ship. The sky had cleared as we departed the ship.
Our tour left on time at 1:00 PM (1300) local time
The architecture of the city is very interesting. The buildings built before WW2 are beautiful and mostly well maintained. Sadly, a great deal of the building outside of Old Town was built by the Soviets during their cruel occupation, which lasted from 1944 until 1991. Their buildings are drab and, being kind, boring. They are also so poorly built that they are falling apart. Some new building has occurred since the nation was freed of the Soviet shackles, but the process is slow. The Soviet buildings will be used, as bad as they are, until they can be replaced.
Needless to say, Russians are not liked here. There are still several hundred thousand who live here. They are being required to learn the Estonian language if the wish to stay. I can't imagine why any of them would want to stay given the still fresh memories of their oppression.
Our guide made it a point to mention their economic struggles.
We were able to see the countryside, which is beautiful. Apple trees and lilacs are in full bloom. We stopped at a very famous outside theater called the Song Festival Grounds. This area was used at the end of the Communist Era as a place where local singers would perform in Estonian, singing subversive songs encouraging freedom, along with traditional songs. The people knew what was going on, but the Russians could not understand the words. The revolution here was peaceful, a testament to the will and character of the Estonian people.
There were a few people selling souvenirs at this stop. We were able to pick up a few things.
Our next stop was the Olympic Village, used in the 1980 summer olympics
We returned to the ship a little before 4:00 PM (1600). There were many vendors setup near the dock. Annie found a beautiful hand made sweater at a very reasonable price. Given how cool it has been, I suspect it will get used.
We enjoyed a nice dinner. I'm editing my photos and typing this blog while she watches a chick flick in the ship's movie theater.
It's 9:45 PM (2145) as I finish this. We have a bright blue sky and sunshine. I can see the south coast of Finland from our cabin. We will be docking in St. Petersburg about 6:00 AM (0600) tomorrow.
I don't expect to post a blog tomorrow night. We have tours scheduled from 7:30 AM (0730) until 11:00 PM (2300) tomorrow!