Time to get our bearings before others arrive. Tallinn, pop 500,000,is compact and easily accessible on foot, with minimal traffic. The Old Town is one of the best Hanseatic town centres world wide and a UNESCO Heritage Site. Vibrant cafe and nightlife culture. Seaport Hotel
Hop On-Hop-Off bus Red Route to: the Sound Music Festival park (every town has one), Russalka Memorial (commemorating 177 Russians lost at sea in 1893 en route to Finland), very soft, sandy beach, walk in the park to the Palace gardens, the Kadriog Palace (Peter the Great’s intended summer house in Baroque style and now a museum) and Kumu Art Museum (both closed because of the music festival) then Swan Lake in the gardens. It felt good to be out and about.
Found a Hop On bus stop for next stage of self-tour only to find it was the wrong bus - there are two services which to the uninitiated look the same: bright red, called Hop on- Hop-Off. A German family stopped another bus "at random" which picked us up despite not being its official bus stop and took us off on a journey of discovery - into the forest, no less, past the Botanical Gardens (shut !) and up to the TV Tower. Not exactly on our list of "Must Do's" but worthwhile all the same. When we eventually returned to the city we took a diagonal walking route back to our hotel, through the Old Town, avoiding the tricky negotiation of the docks' peninsula, stopping at some good, some terrible craft shops.
Two hours later we were hurting and didn't seem to be getting to our destination. Sue spotted a cab driver who was actually recharging (we thought he'd stopped for a ciggie) and he drove us to our hotel. He completely double backed on where we had come from - and more. Oh well, good exercise and worth the 10 Euros - arriving at 9pm - 3 hours late for meeting the rest of the group.