August 10 It was a competition to see who could get back to the cruise ship on time following our excursion into Stockholm. Steph, Bryan and a handful of kids elected to take the water taxi from Gamla Stan to the boat; Tim, Kristen, Bill, Eva and Lindsey tried hoofing it back to the ship. It didn't seem too far but when you're under the clock, every minute counts. Both groups made it back before the ship sounded its horn.
|Old town, Tallinn Estonia|
|Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Estonia Russian-Orthodox|
|We took the opportunity to walk on the old city wall|
|Tim and Lilly on a tandem bike ride|
|I couldn't resist the chance to be a "qualified back-seat driver."|
|The girls try on fur hats, Estonia|
|Sunset from the ship|
|New development in Tallinn Estonia|
Following another filling dinner meal and night at sea, we pulled into Tallinn Estonia at 7:30am. From the ship, we could see tall spires and red roofs dotting the coastline. We were eager to embark on our city walk. We left the ship and walked through a little market village set up expressly for the purposes of hawking goods to desperate souvenir shoppers. We browsed quickly through the wooden shacks on our way to old town, about a 10 minute walk. Estonia's history is a constant tug of war for domination of its ports by both Sweden and Russia. The people, however, demanded independence and currently enjoy a vibrant economy and tourists to Tallinn are not disappointed. The town reminded me of the Medieval Times Restaurant, with old town walls, wooden market stalls and vendors dressed in Renaissance garb. The smell of sweet-roasted almonds wafted around the town square and quartets entertained us with lively folk music. Several of us took the walking tour of the city and another group rented tandem bikes for an exhilarating tour of the streets. Cobblestones make for a bumpy ride but the weather was pleasant and everyone was in a good mood.
We returned to the ship back through the market stalls and managed to satisfy our souvenir craving as well with painted tiles and hand-made jewelry.