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"You gonna love it"

Taking in Tallin, Estonia

rain 60 °F

The Gulf of Finland borders the northern part of Estonia, the Baltic Sea is on the west and Latvia borders the south. We will be travelling south on a bus from Estonia through Latvia, Lithuania and the two cities in Poland...Warsaw and finally, Kraków. We are on tour with a Tour Director
who will provide more facts so we can get a clearer picture of what life was like behind the "iron curtain". I know the basics and as a child I had heard stories from my family, their friends and people they knew who had different experiences during this terrible part of history.... I'd like to know more though. We meet Michael, our Tour Director, who explains a little bit of what we will be seeing and doing. With all introductions made we are ready! ..."You are going to love it!" he says..."especially Kraków", his hometown.

We also have a local guide join us for the city tour ..."Terre" = hello in Estonian-she says.

Here are some fun facts :

The Old Town consists of two parts...the upper and the lower... there are two different governments as well. This town is listed on UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. It is one example of a medieval European trading city that is exceptionally complete and well preserved.

There is a tower called "Fat Margaret" which protects the lower part from the sea. Both upper and lower parts of Old Town have cobblestone streets, beautiful spires and medieval walls. Lower town is where the churches are located and where the residents and merchants live. Toompea Hill is the upper town and the administrative center . The castle and cathedral are located here.


Salmon and trout is plentiful in the Baltic Sea which makes fish a popular dish. And for my sweet tooth...we stop in the world famous Kalev to see how marzipan is made, the molds, how they are painted etc. Marzipan is made here and decorated beautifully in many colorful styles, shapes and flavors. Of course, a purchase was mandatory.


Estonia was under Soviet and Nazi occupation until August 20, 1991 when independence was restored. The Singing Revolution was a non-violent revolution and is known by this name because singing was involved in the protests. They were on "hot coals" so to speak not knowing what would happen during the protests and never knowing what would happen under their leader (Gorbechov) . In the end, Moscow was pushed down, the economy was in ruins but Estonia gained independence ....needless to say, the song festival grounds are very sacred. This revolution overthrew a violent occupation and led to the independence of these Baltic countries...Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The stage holds 30,000 singers. Our tour guide, Michael suggested that if we want more info..."google it out!" .


Estonians are very well developed in Intelligent Technology and Transferwise ...they avoid banks by transferring and converting money

They are part of the European Union and use the Euro as their currency
There is only 4-5 % unemployment
Estonians are primarily Lutheran and not eager church goers except at Christmas

In the winter it gets dark at 3:00pm and light at 10:00 am...long days of darkness
In summer it gets dark at midnight and light at 3:00 am

The mermaid is a symbol in Estonia. Legend has it that the Baltic Sea is home for mermaids. The statue by the sea in Tallinn is dedicated to 177 Russian Imperial Navy Sailors who who died on the battleship "Mermaid".

We also visited the oldest pharmacy in the world. It was opened in 1422 (70 years before Columbus discovered America).


It starts raining sideways so we make a run for the KGB prison cells in this town. It is a self-guided tour which beside the cells consist of an interrogation room with film and documentary of an actual interrogation. The old walls of the prison were as they were back in the day and the film was played on them which gave it a creepy feeling. The building was the actual headquarters at the time but today only the original cells in the prison remain and the building itself was renovated by the owner and is now their private residence.


In this beautiful Old Town our group enjoys the first meal together...drinks included. Again..."you're gonna love it!" The food was good and the company exquisite. And from our Tour Director, Michael...we learned when he says "drinks are included"...always ask the waitstaff so you're not surprised with a bill at the end of your meal for drinks (not included).


.... another surprise....."everyone gets to walk back to the hotel"!!! ( Transportation not included. ) Granted...wasn't far...most enjoyed the walk except those who had some issues with walking and the cobblestone streets. A little mention of this beforehand for those who preferred not to walk would have been great. But, this Tour Director is a busy guy! He's got a soccer game to watch...(and something about 'potato juice').

"You gotta love it!"

Posted by Linda Fluckiger 15:45 Archived in Estonia Tagged and the soviet revolution nazi tallinn singing occupation

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