Pizza, carbonara, pesto pasta, minestrone soup, fruit platters and ice cream bowls filled with strawberry ice cream and decadent toppings were our Thanksgiving Fare. Definitely atypical! We missed our cousins and Uncle Troy’s stuffing but we were thrilled that no one felt sick or uncomfortable on our little cruise. When we arrived in the harbor it was a fairly easy transition to the other terminal where we enjoyed unique fruit smoothies while we waited for our Tallin ferry. As a nod to Grandpa Curt Mike and all the kids indulged in the upscale full size Burger King on the boat.
Tallin blessed us with excellent winter weather during our stay and it was easy to fall in love with the atmospheric Old Walled City. Our lodging was the old post and telegraph building right in the heart of the old downtown. Perfect location. We took Rick Steve’s Walking Tour around the city with Hot Chocolate to help us adjust to the crisp air. The Christmas Market was our favorite with all the lights and music and local dancing. A fabulous Thai Dinner made up for any lack of bounty on Thanksgiving. Starting with mango sticky rice it was all superb. It was a toss up as to whether the Thai Food or the Scandinavian sauna, steam room and spa at our hotel were the hit of the evening.
Outside our historic hotel-
Saturday dawned equally gorgeous so we continued exploring the town by foot. Popping into one beautiful church after another we continued to marvel at the architecture and stained glass windows. The city is full of amazing expensive churches and yet there are almost no church goers. Decades of nazi and soviet occupation in which religion was illegal at worst and highly destained at best (one couldn’t even have a Christmas Tree up in their window) seemed to squelch all love of organized religion. The empty churches now double as concert venues and museums. We were lucky enough to enjoy an organ concert at the St Nicholas Church and to climb the tower of the Dome Church where we were favored with gorgeous views. The kids enjoyed all kinds of local delicacies from quiche to gingerbread to reindeer to moose to sauerkraut to Glogg to enormous pancakes filled with everything from peaches to turkey. What a fun day! After another evening at the Christmas Market and another therapeutic visit to the spa and sauna we watched the highly recommended, “Singing Revolution” which taught us much about Estonian heritage and history. We felt like we learned even more than we had at our earlier visit that day to the Estonian History Museum. The power of music and dancing explored in the movie was still present in the people today who we enjoyed watching sing and dance on the stage in the town square. Little Tallin sang its way right into our hearts.
Famous pancakes……lines were out the door….
St. Nicholas Church-
“The Dance of Death”-Originally it was nearly 100 feet. long, but pieces have been lost in the centuries. It was a representation of the Black Plague, showing that the plague affected the peasants as well as the rich and wealthy of the Middle Ages.
The Dome Church-