Tallinn, Estonia

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Nice beer!  I’ll have one too!

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In most countries, any restaurant with menus shaped like giant, fake beer mugs is not to be trusted.  We were a little wary, but it was hot in the sun and we were thirsty, and it was WELL past time to start Happy Hour.  What a good choice we made!  A bowl of goulash and a plate of Nuremberg sausages later, we were really liking Tallinn!!

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We’d been told by friends that Tallinn was one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, so when we woke up Saturday morning in Riga to rain, decided to further our exploration of the Baltics by bus.  Besides, this would make six countries for Mike in one week!  It was a quick 15-minute walk from our hotel to the bus station, and we had a cool “executive” bus with very comfortable seats and a lady who brought us drinks.  It was a great way to see the countryside bridging these two great cities.

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Mike passed the time reading “Travels With Charley” by Steinbeck, while I, cursed by a lifetime of motion sickness, looked out the window.  I love looking out the window.  It is really pretty up here!  The greenest landscape you can imagine, with weathered wooden cottages, thick forests of birch trees, and hedges made of noble firs.  The 4-hour trip was entirely worth it, and we would definitely do it again.

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Tallinn was everything we were told it would be.  Charming, medieval, a little more touristy than Riga, but with better food, better beer and better people watching.  The sea was visible from the top of the hill, where there were old castle walls and a glorious Orthodox Cathedral.  We went in to light candles for Jake and Eli.  We miss them!

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The boys would have loved this dragon:

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Mike and I liked watching street performers and restaurant wranglers in this square:

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And we especially liked Old Tallinn, our after-dinner liqueur.  Mmm….

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Like Riga, the cruise ships provided gaggles of customers to fill the streets during the day and make the city feel lively and bustling.  There was a brisk business in matrushka dolls and amber jewelry, as well as the afore-mentioned beer (we actually thought Estonian beer was better, shhh, don’t tell Latvia).  As the sun started to set we hiked back down from the hill to start our 4-hour bus trip home.

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Mike took this picture for me:

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Thanks for visiting Estonia with me, sweetie!  I love you 🙂

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