Finally an old town worthy of the name
Trip Start May 25, 2012
17Trip End Jun 06, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
This time, instead of immediately gorging ourselves into immobility at an outdoor cafe, we did some touring.
The first place we went was an old defensive works that included a tower called "Kiek in de Kok." No, it's not a S&M place where they kick you in the personals. The literal translation is Peak in the Kitchen. It was named that because at the time it was built, in medieval times, the soldiers manning the tower could peak into the kitchens of all the houses. Imagine the plump little Estonian girls with flower in their dimples, making Estonian Rye bread, flirting with soldiers in the tower
After getting Kieked in de Kok we did a longbow competition thing. It was pretty fun. We went two rounds and each of us won one. We're prepared to survive in the woods with a longbow as long as deer are willing to stand still about 10 yards away.
We checked out Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an orthodox church from around the turn of the century. It's spectacular. A service was going on when we went in. It was all very reverent, the service in Latin or probably Russian, a fantastic male choir singing upstairs in the phenomenal acoustics, fervent adherents lighting candles, and one hell of a gift shop that you had to exit the building through. Maybe they'd have a better chance of eternal life if they stripped off some of the gilding and fed the poor beggars in the streets of Tallinn.
It was freezing in Tallinn today. The wind off the Baltic was like a razor slicing through the umpteen shirts and jackets I had on. We refused to give in, though, and ate outside like every other old town we've been in. Fortunately they have heating lamps and blankets, but none are really helpful
We spent the rest of our day in Tallinn wandering around trying to figure out where we were. These little towns are notorious for not labeling their streets well, the maps are approximate, and the clouds and rain obscured the sun so navigating was impossible. At one point I looked at a picture I took from a place I could see and knew what direction I'd taken it in order to figure out where the port we needed to get to was.
Max and I thought we'd left ourselves enough time, but it was another down to the wire experience getting to our boat. The last check-in time was 1:40, we made it there by 1:38. The ship sails at 2pm, but it's really based on that 1:40 time. As soon as all the people that checked in by 1:40 walk the gangway and enter this ship, it sails. Get to the window to check in at 1:41 and you're screwed. Go back to Tallinn and have a beer and take tomorrow's ferry.
Speaking of beer, this route between Helsinki and Tallinn is notorious for riotous drinking on the weekends, moreso on the Tallinn to Helsinki route
That's it for today. If we don't sink we'll be spending the evening and all day tomorrow in Helsinki. Until then!