Follow by Email

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cruisin' the Baltic: Tallin, Estonia

Our first port stop was Tallin, Estonia.  We had been here twice before but only in the dead of winter and quite a different city greeted us in the spring time!  The port had changed dramatically and now passengers on the cruise ships disembarked just a short walk from the center of the Old Town. 
Tallin is a grand old walled city with beautiful view points and charming building squares.  We so enjoyed wandering around the cobble stone streets, taking in the Orthodox Cathedral and many other churches that dot this town, and seeing how much progress Tallin has made in the last several years.  The city itself was immaculate, even cleaner than Stockholm which is saying something.  It was a quiet day in the old town except there was a special happening in the old town square so a big stage was set up to accomodate different musical performances.  English is widely spoken and they now use the Euro as currency.  We had 52 Estonian crowns in our pocket from a previous visit and I was surprised to learn that they could not be spent.  But since the switchover had only happened about a month ago,  could turn them in at a currency exchange.  I was happy to walk away with my 2.5 euros!  
We had some time in the afternoon so jumped on a tram out to a lovely little town called Kadriorg.  Peter the Great built a nice little retreat for his wife Catherine, just a modest little palace where they could retire from the busy city life!   The manicured gardens were between full bloom but even so, you could see the care and beauty that went into these grounds.  I was surprised that the tulips and daffodils were still in full bloom.  Takes a long time for these "spring" flowers to find their way to daylight up north!  Eventually we found our way back on board ready to enjoy another night winding our way down the Baltic.  Our day in Tallin itself could not have been more perfect.  Tallin is a beautiful stop on the Baltic sea.