Sunday, May 19, 2013

Three Days in Estonia

We have mixed touring with resting during our Estonian stay. Our Euroopa Hotel, right on the water with a view of the ferry terminal, is well located with an ever changing view.

The Baltic Sea ferry network is massive. Several lines serve the city and, at times, there are several ferries in at once. Monday we will board one for Helsinki, Finland.

We have made several trips to Tallinns old town with its shops and restaurants, only ten minutes away. There are actually two old towns, upper for the nobel families and lower for the rest.

We took a bus tour of the city, which was quick since the city is relatively small. Soviet era apartments are overshadowed by new, contemporary buildings, built since freedom was obtained in about 1991. The tour included a stop on the highest point in this flat sea coast city, a "mountain" nearly 1000 feet above sea level.

We were not sure what Sunday entailed but it turned out to be quite interesting. First we visited what we would call a regional park, the Rocca Al Mare. If that sounds Italian it's because the land was owned by an Italian nobleman many years ago. Home, barns and other farm buildings, moved from original locations across the country, are displayed along with medieval crafts people displaying crafts from bygone times. (Think Estonian Williamsburg.)

We then moved to a working dairy farm for lunch where we heard the story of Villo and how he developed his booming dairy business following the departure of the Russians.(More on this in the next posting.)

It may not sound like an exciting visit but it was most interesting to see how quickly this vibrant people has recovered from 50 years of Soviet repression.

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