On our recent tour of Scandinavia, we spent a day in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I’m not going to pretend like I knew what the capital of Estonia was (much less where Estonia was) before this cruise was booked. In fact, and this is pretty embarrassing but we’re all friends here, the only reason I knew about Estonia was from How I Met Your Mother. Do you remember that episode where Barney is trying to, um, meet a woman from every country in the world? Well, he meets a street performer from Estonia and exclaims “Estonia? That would close out the Baltics!” So…. yeah.
We arrived in port early on a Monday morning and headed out to walk around the Old City section. Bill had mapped out a walking tour for us with a pretty cool app that also saves information about the landmarks you’re heading to.
We started at one of the city gates, which is also the site of a memorial to one of the biggest maritime disasters of the 20th century. The MS Estonia sank in 1994 in the Baltic Sea, resulting in a loss of 852 lives.
Next on our tour was St. Olaf’s Church, believed to have been built in the 12th century. Like any good European church, it was burned down several times before finally being constructed of a material that isn’t flammable (I’m assuming). The tower of the church has apparently been struck by lightning at least 10 times, and the spire was also used by the Soviet KGB until 1991 as a radio tower and surveillance point. St. Olaf’s is currently just over 123 meters (403 feet) tall, which of course meant we were going to climb it!
Once I stopped freaking out that the sidewalk around the spire was about 2 feet wide and slanted (downward, of course), I quickly realized that the view from the top was pretty spectacular!
After climbing the church, we continued our walk around town, finding beautifully ornate buildings, bustling shopping squares, and many more churches.
Before heading back to the ship, we stopped at a brewery (I know, you’re all shocked!) to enjoy some local beer.
Overall, Tallinn was a beautiful city with lots of great architecture to appreciate, but since I think the above article summarizes the highlights of the city, I think I’ve seen all there is to see there!
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