Tallinn, Estonia, Thursday
What a lovely city. We were able to walk from the ship to the medieval walled city. It is hilly and winds through tiny alleyways. The streets are mostly cobblestone and I have sore knees to show for the day. We simply poked our way through the city, taking turns and circles to discover churches and towers everywhere. There were many tour groups with guides speaking Russian, English, German and more. One of the churches was filled with photos showing the bombed out shell in WWII and the damage from a major fire in the 80’s. Very interesting although you can not photograph inside. We were able to go into the onion topped Russian church and could have bought candles to light to offer prayers. We didn’t. We found the old city square and walked around reading the menus until we found one that served food we thought would be palatable. We ordered a light Estonian beer and it was quite different tasting, almost sweet. We decided on a pizza but not the one with wild boar or the one topped with French fries. At the table next to us were two late 30ish guys from Cleveland and Chicago. They had met at Miami of Ohio and one had a mother that lived in Marysville, next to Plain City, Ohio. He asked me if I knew the restaurant the Der Dutchman. I stuck my finger half way down my throat to show my distain. How odd to be sitting in Estonia discussing the Der Dutchman!
By mid afternoon we had seen all there was to see in the old city and did not want to take any tours to see the countryside or the modern city. We walked back toward the ship, looking at the venders along the way. I decided not to buy the Barack Obama nesting dolls in one shop window. As we neared the ship a woman asked me if the harbor was the Baltic Sea. I said it was. She said good and opened her purse to take out an envelope that looked like the sort you get in the bank from a teller. The envelope had a little packet inside. She said she was glad it was the Baltic Sea because she had been carrying her late husbands ashes with her to shake out into the Baltic. I told her I thought he would be pleased to have finally arrived.
A nice late afternoon nap suited both Linda and myself. Following dinner, we are now in our cabin and filling out our paperwork for our day trip into St. Petersburg in the morning. We will have another one-hour time change over night, putting us eight hours ahead of home. As the ship sails back toward our starting point in a few days, we will then start unwinding the time zones. It’s all rather confusing and I’m not even blond anymore.