Destination: Tallinn, Estonia
You know what’s totally adorable and nearly unheard of in the area? Estonia. It has a population of just over 1.3 million, so that’s fewer people than in the Triangle. Since it’s in Europe and snuggled up to Russia, there’s no doubt that it’s adorable. Tallinn was a super cute, and seemingly pretty well off, walled town.
We hopped off the boat in Tallinn, and made our way through a little booths. We spotted a couple sheep in a pen there. At first we thought it was strange. Then we realized that not only were they cute, but they were also super friendly! The ram pawed at the fence, rubbed his horns on the fence, and batted his eyelashes at people trying to get everyone to pet and treat him.
We had Rick Steves’ Scandinavia, so we were prepared to hit the top spots. Um… If you’re also working from this book, you’ll want to pick up another tourist map. It was a little tough to follow. That said, it definitely gave us a good overview of what to see.
We started at Fat Margaret, one of the best known towers. We wound our way through the town and found our way to St. Olaf’s church. This church was first constructed in the 12th century as “the center for old Tallinn’s Scandinavian community prior to the conquest of Tallinn by Denmark in 1219.” Between 1549 and 1625, this was the tallest church in the world. It’s life continues today as a Baptist church.
We wandered to the main square and puzzled over Town Hall. Why? Check out the gutter spouts. Odd! The streets were completely charming though.
We checked out the Church of the Holy Ghost, which “is the only sacred building from the 14th century in Tallinn that has preserved its original form.” Then we stopped by the Cat Well. The well is not quite as cool as UNC’s Old Well, but it felt comfortingly familiar… just so long as I ignored the fact that they used to chuck cats in there as sacrifices to the well’s spirit. Ew.
Finally finally finally, we made our way to the town’s crown jewels – the views and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The cathedral is Russian Orthodox and was built between 1894 and 1900. Although it was allowed to fall into disrepair during USSR days, it’s been restored. If you miss everything else, do not miss this.
I was really sad to leave Tallinn. I think it would be a great place to putter around and get to know for a week. Some beach time would be nice too. Check out a few more pics here.