Friday, August 15, 2008

Tallinn, Estonia

After a relaxing day at sea, we docked in Tallinn, Estonia on Friday, 8 August. 08/08/08 was also marked by the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, but I have unfortunately been pretty far removed from outside events save my daily dose of CNN Asia while I'm on the elliptical at the gym.

In Tallinn, my family took a walking tour called "Glory of Old Tallinn," which took us through the historical section of town. We first visited a cathedral with strongly Russian architecture, then a Lutheran church. We all found it pretty funny that the Lutheran church had a balcony for the king and queen, even though Estonia has never had a king and queen. At one point we had a short break for shopping, and then we visited one last church for a wonderful concert by a string quartet.

^View of lower Tallinn on a rainy morning.

^This cathedral was our first stop.

After the walking tour, we headed back to the town square and ate lunch at a lovely little outdoor café. While we were there, a horse-drawn carriage with a newlywed couple aboard rolled into the square. I ran out and took lots of pictures, but the most interesting picture of the carriage is one I took later, when we saw the same carriage trotting down a main traffic road in the modern part of Tallinn. All in all, Tallinn was one of my favorite places that we visited (despite the fact that it was pouring rain half the time we were there). The buildings were colorful and picturesque, and it seemed to be a peaceful and quiet location in general.

^The town square where we ate lunch.

^Horse and carriage meets the modern world.

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