Leaving Estonia…:-(

Well, we’re now on a ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki.  The two nights we spent in Tallinn were so refreshing – although I think we’re only now realizing how tired we truly are.  Getting up this morning was a struggle.  Our room at the hotel was wonderful.  We got a complementary upgrade to the best room in the hotel!  It had its own sauna – and while we didn’t use it, the bathtub with jets was exactly what my weary feet needed.  While we really did like our hostel in St. Petersburg, our room at Hotel Bern was everything the hostel was not: clean, quiet, dark, comfortable, bug-free, spacious.  It felt so similar to the time I was in Ukraine and spent nights in a home, a hotel, and on a train.  When my dad, Tatiana, and I finally crossed the border and checked into the hotel in Warsaw we felt this huge sense of relief.  Once again we were in a place where things worked, we could let our guard down a little, we knew the sheets were going to be clean and the beds comfortable.  We would have privacy.  The comfort of familiarity, especially in a strange place, is unsurpassed.  And the feeling that you can let your guard down just a bit is wonderful.  Fair or not, western travelers are always warned of the dangers of going to places like St. Petersburg, “Always keep your passports on you and leave copies at home.  Make sure you know where your wallet is at all times.  Be alert.”  Scotty and I never felt threatened.  Not once.  But those voices are always in your head and it’s hard to ignore them.  So, arriving back in Estonia, the voices were quieted and we really began to relax for the first time in our trip.  I know that is not fair and I don’t really think I’m paranoid, it’s just how it was.  Anyway, Tallinn is a gorgeous town.  There are distinct old and new sections and we stuck with the old.  It’s so beautiful.  Winding cobbled streets meander between colorful medieval buildings.  There are several beautiful churches, including one orthodox one and another that was turned into KGB headquarters during Soviet rule.  There are tons of restaurants lining the town square and an old castle that sets the stage very well.  It’s so incredibly perfect it almost feels like a Disney version of European historical culture.  There are people in native costume hawking their wares from wooden carts.  There’s even girls on bicycles outfitted with wooden casks selling drinks.  It’s seriously charming.  And it’s been discovered.  The town was full of visitors but by the evening was quiet again.  I think that it’s a popular stop on cruise lines and so people spend a few hours here and then move on.  I could easily spend a couple of days wandering this town, taking pictures, reading up on the history.  It really is a complex history – founded in 1144 (or somewhere around then) and conquered and reconquered by all sorts of people it bears the marks of lots of different cultural influences.  There is a place built by Catherine I of Russia, monument to Fins, a statue commemorating those sent to Siberia, and much more.  Fascinating.  Out time was wonderful, romantic, and refreshing.  We really loved it and are thinking of returning over Christmas…

Tons of pictures to come.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
This entry was posted in Estonia, Tallinn, Thoughts, travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Leaving Estonia…:-(

  1. Katie says:

    sounds amazing!

  2. audrey says:

    Love reading your story…cannot wait for the pix. of course you chose the old section with the winding cobbled streets.

  3. Bethy Manor says:

    Thank you so much for taking us all with you and Scotty on your lovely journey to these various places! I can’t wait to see the pictures and especially if you were able to take a picture of Rembrandt’s, ‘The Prodigal’. That framed print in the Chautauqua house above the fireplace is Rembrandt’s ‘Storm on the Sea of Galilee’.

    I think we’ll all be thankful when you both arrive safely back in Edinburgh, but we’re so happy that you’ve had this opportunity!

  4. marty says:

    makes me want to go…and learn to read Cyrillic!

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