Saturday, 19 May 2012

Tallinn old town and Kuressaare

I had every intention of writing a blog before now, but apart from our first morning it has been full on. On Thursday morning we had a look round some of the old town with Sue so she could see some of the  buildings that have been wonderfully restored after the Communist era. In many ways their buildings are similar to what one sees in Prague or Krakow but none the less, the nooks and crannies, the cobbled streets and courtyards give Tallinn an attractive look.  We have used as our guide book the Bradt Guide to Estonia, and on the cover it has a picture of a door.  And we came across the very door!  Here are Sue and Ann outside it. 

Sue has apparently always been taken by men who are in shining armour, so she had to stop by this one!

Yet another colourful door, outside the House of the Blackheads!!

Part of the old city walls.

And then back to our hotel for lunch.  I had sult, my grandfather called it pork cheese, pork meat in jelly, with boiled potatoes, horseradish and mustard.  Just to perk it up!

On Thursday morning we had a brief walk around some more of the old town. There is something different and attractive around every corner. More of the narrow streets, 

knit wear, winter pullovers, hats and mittens, being sold beside the city walls,

one of the stalls at the flower market

and yet more of the city walls.

It was time for coffee and a bite to eat before Ain Vares' son Vilu arrived to take us to Kuressaare. We loaded up and were on our way. Mile after mile of spruce and fir and silver birch trees on flat countryside. Soon though we were going aboard the ferry for a 20 minute crossing to the Island. Even Sue said she could manage 20 minutes on a boat especially as the sea was as flat as a pancake. The Baltic Sea has a tidal range of about 6 inches and is far less salty than the open ocean. I have drunk some of the sea water just to check!
Here is Riina on the left, our interpreter for the whole of our time, she did a marvellous job, and now must be completely worn out.  Next to her is Marven and Vilu.

By late afternoon we arrived in Kuressaare and we stopped of at an Irish pub for a meal. An ice hockey match was in full swing on the tv between Finland and the USA, and the pub was crowded with noisy Finns. Kuressaare is a spa town and very popular with Finns and Swedes in the summer season from now until September. Then we went to the home of Kalmer and Angela where Sue is staying. This couple were part of the team who came to Kerith in March. And we went to our apartment. Just time enough to freshen up before going to the first of our many meetings.  We will be in touch. Ken

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