This begins a period of 5 days in ports. No sea days to write my blog, so I will begin to fall behind at this point, but I promise you we will be enjoying ourselves and will tell you about it as time permits.
Estonia is a small country which was part of the Soviet Union and became a free nation in 1991, like so many other countries on the fringe of Russia, when the Soviet Union collapsed. While this was just an event in the news for we Americans, it is obvious that life changed dramatically for the people in these countries. While no one talks much about it, it is obvious the way these countries scurried into NATO and into the European Union, they do not want to go back. With Russia making early moves to re-take Ukraine, some of these smaller nations must be looking warily over their shoulders, as Russian tanks move to the Ukraine border.
Our reliable hop a bus strategy failed us here – we found one, and jumped on board, but rather than the normal informative circuit around the city, the driver slammed us through town like he was late for lunch, and the recordings were not synched up with the stops. After a quick circuit, we jumped off in front of the Russian Cultural Center, and began to hoof it.
The Russian Cultural Center.
The “modern” city, surrounds the medieval “Old Town” and is an interesting mix of pre-1990 Soviet era buildings and post 1991 modern ones.
The Methodists are here – obviously post 1991.
Sometimes the contrast is even broader – medieval vs modern.
We headed into “Old Town” which is fairly unchanged since medieval times, with narrow cobblestone streets, with the buildings mostly turned into shops, bars and restaurants.
Outside of Old Town, much of the residential architecture involved wooden homes, which had fallen into disrepair and is now being restored.
Out of Estonia, and off to St. Petersburg, Russia