Яussia* (Day 4, Part 1)

May 30

Tallinn

We watched this documentary right before the trip, so we were excited to go to Estonia.  We left Pam and Tom to their own devices – they had been to Tallinn before so decided to do their own walking tour of Helsinki.

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[The Helsinki ferry terminal – a beautiful place to start a beautiful morning . . . ]

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[We’re heading out across the Gulf of Finland, 50 miles to Tallinn . . . ]

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[And away we go . . . ]

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[Helsinki, we shall return!]

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[Two hours later and Tallinn is in sight . . . ]

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[Judging from the skyline, we have modernity on the left and antiquity on the right . . . ]

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[Our guide greets us on the bus . . . ]

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[An offhanded guess would be . . . chimney?  (Chimney of old Tallinn power plant, 280 feet tall.)]

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[Tallinn fortress in Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site . . . ]

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[Late arrival, so we had to park at the bottom of the hill and walk up – uffda . . . ]

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[The fortress is Toompea Castle, and dates to the 13th century . . . ]

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[It is also the seat of Parliament . . . ]

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[The Parliament building, a/k/a, Stenbock House, Government of Republic of Estonia, Toompea.  The two guys in the foreground were with our group, but they were at the end of their cruise – they started in Moscow and ended with 3 days in Helsinki . . . ]

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[The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral . . . ]

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[It is an orthdox cathedral in Old Town built in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn’s largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky, who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia.  (Wikipedia)]

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[Meanwhile, the crowd gathers back at the Parliament . . . ]

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[Shhhhhhhhhhh . . . ]

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[Back to our walking tour, where we were joined by school kids (or little “chidrun,” as brother Cam calls them) on a field trip . . . ]

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[With their teachers, taking all the proper safety precautions . . . ]

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[The Super finds an Estonian friend . . . ]

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[And so did I.  Her name is Liis!]

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[St. Mary’s Cathedral, 13th century . . . ]

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[It is the oldest church in Tallinn and mainland Estonia, and the only building in Toompea to survive a 17th-century fire . . . ]

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[This memorial to Voldemar Panso, an Estonian director, actor, theater director, drama theater critic, and author, is located on the outside wall of the Estonian Music and Theatre Academy Drama School.  (waymarking.com)]

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[More little chidrun . . . ]

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[With teachers and backpacks . . . ]

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[You can see the Nevsky Cathedral from everywhere . . . ]

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[An open square amid government buildings and embassies . . . ]

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[Beautiful courtyards through here . . . ]

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[The Super attempts to decipher it . . . ]

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[And now, the overlook.  That’s St. Olaf’s Church on the right . . . ]

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[The Super says, “Cool, huh?”]

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[This is Upper Town overlooking Lower Town, and yes it was a class thing . . . ]

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[Did you get a shot of St. Olaf’s?]

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[Not surprisingly, a hot tourist spot . . . ]

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[Elbow your way to the railing, take your shots, and move on . . . ]

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[As I posted on FB at the time:  What I’ve learned so far . . .
The Super can withstand a Dementor;
Although I know I packed all my hair maintenance devices, they somehow decided not to make the trip with me  (they weren’t at home either, meaning they must have been filched out of my checked luggage?);
I asked our server the first night how it felt to be a citizen of the smartest country in the world (Finland), she deadpanned, “I’m from Estonia;”
Our guide in Estonia was Russian;
Our guide in Finland is from Spain;
This was the hottest May ever recorded in Finland;
This is all the way of the world now kids, get used to
it.]

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[Oh, and here are the shots from the railing . . . ]

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[And here comes another pod of tourists . . . ]

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[Looks like fine dining could be had here!]

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[We’re wending our way along more overlooks . . . ]

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[And here with modern Tallinn in the background . . . ]

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[St. Nicholas Church . . . ]

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[Hi there, boys and girls!]

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[This is either a maze . . . or a giant jigsaw puzzle?]

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[OK, round ’em up, heading back down . . . ]

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[The ever present and delightful Nevsky Cathedral . . . ]

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[The fortress walls, lest it wasn’t obvious . . . ]

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[We start down to Lower Town from here . . . ]

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[Through the archway . . . ]

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[A final salute to Nevsky . . . ]

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[And came out the other side in wonderland . . . ]

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[More Dementors . . . ]

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[We’ll begin Part 2 heading down to Lower Town.]

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Vladimir Putin signed a treaty this morning that formally absorbs Crimea into the Russian Federation. So if you felt bad because you didn’t know where Crimea was, don’t worry, it’s gone.  ~  Seth Meyers

Up Next:  Part 2 in Tallinn

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