From Medieval City to Modern Cruise
Late last night we found out why the Hotel Barrons in Tallinn places cute little boxes of earplugs in every room. Outside on the cobblestone streets an establishment was having some sort of shindig that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. There must have been some sort of sporting event going on because cries of, "Defense defense!" echoed through our third floor room.
All in all it really wasn't a problem and we started the day with renewed energy. At the Estonia City Museum we learned that during World War II, much of the city was destroyed. Photographs, artifacts, and posters showed how this now thriving town has changed since it became free from Soviet occupation 20 years ago.
In a cafe filled with old world charm known as Sweet Tooth, I was delighted when my cappuccino arrived with a decorative leaf etched into the foam. I had just learned of this art form last week. Just down the street is a candy shop where visitors can create their one marzipan animals in a studio setting and paint them with food coloring.
Tallinn has many winding alleys, so it's not always easy to follow a map. Looking for Cafe Pierre Chocolateria was quite a challenge. It felt as if we circled the town a few times to find it, but when we did it was worth it. Located in a tiny courtyard, it's decorated with Indian print tablecloths, colorful plump pillows, sprawling vines, and flower pots bursting with flowers.
While sitting at our table, we experienced the most amazing "back door" experience: a bride and groom arrived and sat down at our table with us for photos. How unusual to have your wedding photos taken at a tourist restaurant, but if the photographer was looking for an ideal setting this was it.
Next we climbed the tall steeple of Saint Olav's Church. It has a narrow spiral staircase where you can find yourself in a forced march to the top with nothing but a rope to hold onto. The view at the top made the climb worthwhile plus one could see the modern, sprawling city of Tallinn just beyond the walls if the medieval town.
At 6:00 pm sharp our overnight ship Tallink Victoria pulled out of the harbor headed for Stockholm. It seems brand new with plenty of fun places to explore. The duty free area was stocked with everything from gummies to alcohol. Shoppers piled their carts high with goods. Outside on the deck, big sausages roasted on the grill giving it a party atmosphere.
Dinner was a buffet with a choices ranging from "Whole Foods" type salads to meat and fish. Kids had their own buffet, but wasted no time heading over to the "Make Your Own Sundae" area on a table heaped with cakes.
We ended the evening with a show and agreed that being on a cruise ship, even if for one night, is a pretty nice way to travel.