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Apr 21, 2016 - Estonia -- The Singing Nation

About Estonia and its peaceful fight for independence Estonia's Singing Revolution began in 1987 when masses of peaceful protesters gathered on June evenings in Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds to sing forbidden patriotic and national songs and wave the blue, black and white Estonian flags they had hidden for 50 years. 10,000 people sang through the first night, returning home in the morning. Estonians continued their peaceful singing protests at the end of every traditional festival gathering throughout 1987 and 1988. The singing revolution...

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Apr 21, 2016 - Helsinki to Tallinn

Leaving for Estonia -- Nakemiin Finland! Thursday, April 21: Helsinki to Tallinn Weather: Clouds and drizzle/~35F in the morning, sun breaking through/42F in the afternoon Highlights: - easy, comfortable ferry ride but no sea life to look for - yummy smoked salmon and rye bread lunch from Alepa grocery store - a short walk to Tallink Express Hotel We woke up before the 7:00 alarm, mostly because the room was too hot to sleep any longer. We had expected Finnish buildings to be less heated. Breakfast was a flurry of activity. At 7:30 the...

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Apr 21, 2016 - Kadriorg & Kalamaja

Kadriorg to the east and Kalamaja to the west Thursday, April 21: Tallinn's Kadriorg and Kalamaja neighbourhoods Weather: cool and sunny Highlights: - beautiful, sunny afternoon to walk around Kadriorg and Kalamaja - walking right up to the front of the President's residents to take photos - a lovely Tom Kah Gai soup and Asian Veggie noodle dish at the hotel's Tempo Restaurant - 2 complimentary beers with dinner Today's plan was to take a €2,00/person tram ride east to Kadriorg Palace and Park then ride Tram #1 (another €2,00 each) to...

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Dec 12, 2015 - Dark passage

We had one last walkabout in Petersburg before making our way back to the boat for Helsinki. In spite of forgetting at first to check in, losing forms, and not looking exactly like our passport photos, we were allowed to reboard The sailing was delayed 10 hours because of storms. It was surreal to see the dock before bed time, sleep 10 hours, wake up in the dark, and find we had not moved. Finally under way, we were entertained by odd Russian television including extensive biathlon (skiing and shooting) coverage, bland overpriced food, a...

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Aug 25, 2015 - Cruise day 4 - Tallinn

A bit of a restless night - but not sure why. Today we dock in Tallinn at about 9.30am - was quite interesting watching us dock on the spycam (we actually docked early about 8.45am). So again up and happening to make sure we leave after the first rush. We bought a ticket to catch the bus into the city from the port. Map in hand we work out where are and start exploring. The old city of Tallinn is an amazing old medival city that I just love. Such beauty here and again history that the locals are proud of. We have no idea where we are but...

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Trip Journal


Our European/UK Trip

Jun 2, 2015 - Tallinn

The walled old town of Tallinn is a beautiful old medievel city. Historic churches, shops, and restaurants line the cobblestone streets. I’ve been to Tallinn once before. I think I was there prior to the influx of cruise ships…and the flood of tourists from Europe and the U.S. has changed the flavor of Tallinn. People dressed in traditional costume sell everything from amber to roasted nuts. Open air markets fill the city square selling handmade goods—clothing, hats, chocolate, jewelry, and so forth. We caught a taxi from the ship to Old...

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Sep 4, 2014 - Tallinn, Estonia - Birthplace of Skype

Estonia is a small nation with a turbulent history. Tallinn is its capital. Founded by a Danish King, sold to a German Order of Knights, ruled by the Swedes and Russians, all left their mark on this unique place. Tallinn was heavily damaged in WW II but Old Town is restored and a UNESCO World Heritage site. City walls, towers, ramparts, facades, Gothic style houses, narrow streets, and domed and spired churches all give the place its unique character. We had our first stop in Palace Square for Toompea Castle and the home of the Estonian...

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Aug 20, 2014 - Tallinn, Estonia August 17-18

17 -18 August 2014 Tallinn is a historic city dating back to medieval times. It became a pawn in the geopolitical games of its big neighbours, passing into Swedish hands in 1561 and then to Russia under Peter the Great in 1710. By World War I and the ensuing brief Estonian independence (starting 1918) Tallinn's population had reached 150,000.Estonia was eventually occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, only to be conquered by Nazi Germany (1941–44) and then retaken by the Soviets. In World War II, the city was quite extensively bombed by the...

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Aug 5, 2014 - Tallinn, Estonia

Departed Amsterdam on Baltic Air and flew to Riga, Latvia where we transferred to a small turbo-prop plane for a quick 30 minute flight to Tallinn, Estonia. Easy bus ride from airport, the #2, to downtown where we walked about 15 minutes to meet the owner of the apartment we rented while in Tallinn. Comfortably appointed, spacious, w/ modern conveniences, and very conveniently located to the downtown sights, yet in a quiet neighborhood. Spent the next morning on a free city walking tour conducted by the Information Bureau; the ubiquitous...

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Trip Journal


Baltic Europe 2014

Jun 7, 2014 - Tallinn

Tallinn On our first evening, the low sunlight was beautiful and we wandered from our hotel into Old Tallinn. We were overwhelmed by the swarms of tourists, apparently from a big Celebrity cruise ship. Sometimes there are seven or eight cruise ships docked at Tallinn. As the Old Town is pretty compact, I would not want to be there then. We ate at the "Old Hansa" restaurant. It was somewhat kitchy with rough wooden tables, pottery tankards, medievally costumed staff and criers who chased tourists and dragged them into the restaurant. There...

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Jun 5, 2014 - Riga to Tallinn

Riga to Tallinn We went by car with a driver AND a guide from Riga to Tallinn. Pretty posh! Grammar has never done that before. There is no longer a direct train route but we could have gone by bus. Traveling as we did allowed us to make some stops. We had three significant stops: The first was at the Bikernieki Forest just outside Riga. This is a beautiful, mixed forest but it has a dreadful history. It was the biggest site of mass killing and burial of victims of Nazi terror in Latvia. From 1941 to 1944, 40,000 people, including Latvian...

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Jun 4, 2014 - Related World Heritage Sites and "Intangible Cultural "Heritage

UNESCO World Heritage Site descriptions (these are the official short descriptions) Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, Russia Inextricably linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin (built between the 14th and 17th centuries by outstanding Russian and foreign architects) was the residence of the Great Prince and also a religious centre. At the foot of its ramparts, on Red Square, St Basil's Basilica is one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox monuments. Lake Baikal,...

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