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Thread: The Slowhand`s cruise around Europe ~ Part 10 [Tallinn]

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    Monday July 26th
    General Info.

    The region of Tallinn was settled by the Finno-Ugric people around 2,500 B.C.
    Around 800 A.D. Estonian Vikings began trade in the area between the east and west. By the 10th century, Tallinn was known as a port and market place among Scandinavian and Russian merchants. In 1219 the Danes conquered the area and set their own castle on Toompea [Castle Hill]. The Estonians called it Taani linn which is Estonian for “Danish Town”.
    In the 19th century Russia acknowledged the independence of the Estonian Republic and Tallinn became the capital of the country, however in 1940 it was annexed to the Soviet Union.
    Finally the independent Estonia was established in 1991 and Tallinn became the official capital of the country.
    The current population is 400,000 and the local currency is the Estonian Kroon [EEK]


    I went for my customary walk on deck 10 just as we were entering the port of Tallinn where we docked at around 9.30 am alongside another ship from the Royal Caribbean line that had berthed a short while earlier, blocking our view of Tallinn from the “Magic”!
    After breakfast at Topsider`s we met up with Doug, Michelle & Dani at Studio Sea on deck 4 from where we set off on our “Old Town Walking Tour” at 10.30 am.

    We took the bus for the very short trip to the old town, a distance of only a mile or so away from the ship and our guide gave us some details of Estonia in general, and Tallinn in particular, along the way.
    We got off the bus adjacent to the wall surrounding the old town to begin our tour.
    Our first stop was at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which by “old town” standards was a fairly new building as it was built in 1900. Sadly photography was not permitted inside the cathedral although the ship`s photographer was at hand outside the main entrance.

    Our tour continued along the narrow cobbled streets to where we entered the Dome Church which was built in the 13th century, and in this instance non flash photography was allowed inside.
    We then meandered through the narrow cobbled streets of the old town and there was a great photo opportunity at every turn. I remarked to Doug at one stage “This would be a fantastic place if only there weren`t any tourists around!” as we sought out areas devoid of people and cars to photograph.
    We were taken to a part of the town which gave us some great panoramic shots of the general area and noticed that a tv crew were filming and interviewing a young man and lady. Our guide told us that they were among the Estonian entrants for the Eurovision Song Contest and that a tv programme was being made about them.

    The medieval old town area of Tallinn was certainly one of the highlights of our various excursions ashore and it really is hard to believe how old the place is because the buildings all appear to be in such a great state of repair, parts of it really resemble a film set.

    We were back on board the ship by 2.00 pm where we had a snack lunch before soaking up the sun on deck 10.
    At around 4.00 pm, the Royal Caribbean ship began to set sail, sounding his horn as it departed from the dockside as many of the passengers on both ships waved at each other.
    The “Magic” responded with a single blast of the ship`s horn and this was followed by 2 further blasts of the horn from the other ship.
    Not to be outdone, we gave them a blast of “When you wish upon a star” amid loads of cheers from both sets of passengers, and the other ship remained silent thereafter!

    We set sail at 5.00 pm and soon it was time to get ready for dinner at Parrot Cay and this evening was Pirate`s Night which our table companions were really looking forward to.
    We were told however that the usual on board firework display would not be taking place because they were deemed to be a pollution risk by the relevant authorities! This seemed very odd especially as we had passed through a huge oil slick on the seas only a couple of days ago, but I guess that rules are rules!

    Over dinner, Doug told us that he and his family had booked their 2011 cruise on the Disney Dream. They had wanted to arrange this cruise to coincide with the one that we, along with Tom [our very own catrancher], had booked, however the date of our cruise coincided with Dani`s final exams at school so they had opted for the next immediate sailing so that at least they could catch up with us for a while when we were all to be in Florida next year.

    To add to the disappointment of it all, as there had been a light rain shower at 8.45 pm [which lasted only 15 minutes or so], the Pirate`s Party was to take place in the Atrium instead of outside on deck 9. This came as a huge disappointment to all and I really felt sorry for all the folks who had gone “to town” by purchasing all of their pirate gear just for this one night and for the first time cruisers who had heard all of the hype about the party.
    DCL tried to do their best in putting on a show although all three deck levels around the Atrium were packed so unless you had arrived early, it was hard to get a good view.

    As tonight was Tim`s night off, we headed towards Rockin` Bar “D”, but did a hasty u-turn at the entrance when we saw that it was Karaoke Night in there!
    We therefore settled for a nightcap and a chat with Pio in Cove Café which was deserted, but nevertheless a good end to the day.

    An extra hour in bed was on the cards as there was a note in our stateroom reminding us to turn back our clocks by 1 hour tonight before retiring.

    Tomorrow it`s Stockholm.





  2. #2
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    Wow, the Ander Nevsky Cathedral is amazing! The Dome church is rather simple on the outside, isn't it? The interior however, is far more elaborate than the outside would lead you to believe!

    Sorry to hear that the Pirates party was not the usual... (same thing happened with us, very few passengers got into the party at all ) particularly the ban on the fireworks! That is a pretty cool event at sea!

    Estonia is quite a small country. I remember the Olympians marching in... Thanks for giving me a reference point on what their country is like!

    Those narrow, cobbled roadways are a little daunting!






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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink, post: 227934
    Those narrow, cobbled roadways are a little daunting!
    Those streets are really quaint Tink, and there were loads of photo opportunities at every turn. It was hard to get your head around how old the streets and the buildings actually are though.
    The main problem is that there were several tours of the old town area going on at the same time so in many cases the streets were full of tourists [like us ] which somewhat distracted from the views.





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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand, post: 227935
    It was hard to get your head around how old the streets and the buildings actually are though.
    I was thinking this same thing while looking at the "medieval" pictures you had posted Terry. To realize just how old some of those streets and buildings are is just beyond comprehension!

    Great report again, my friend!

    Tom (... and I though I was old!)

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    You passed on the karaoke???? I would have been up there singing every Eddie Rabbit song they had!!










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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyFreak, post: 228478
    You passed on the karaoke???? I would have been up there singing every Eddie Rabbit song they had!!
    Doug was at the front of our group and he did a quick about turn when he saw what was going on in Rockin` Bar "D", so we all followed him
    No-one argues with Doug due to his physique...if he says it`s Thursday then it is Thursday [even though it may actually be Friday!]

    [Only joking, as he really is quite a gentle guy.]





  7. #7
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    I loved Tallinn ... it seemed like a fairytale...





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