Day 4 - Tallinn Estonia

A cloudless sky greets us when we awake, the ship is  slowly backing in to the dock at Tallinn. Its just ourselves and Viking Sky here today so hopefully not too crowded. We dont have a tour booked for Tallinn as we have an intensive package booked starting tomorrow for the two days in St Petersberg - so after a nice relaxing breakfast on the balcony  we head out down the gang plank to take ourselves around Tallin with the help of a tourist map and some bits and pieces on the ipad.

Mmmmm Croissants :)
NCL hull art - you always know when an NCL ship is in port.
Its a short walk from the ship across a couple of roads to the old city walls. From here you find yourself in a lovely medieval town - hardly touched by the Second World War as the bombing focused on the more modern industrial and port side of the city. In fact the whole town is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Entering through the gated walls you find yourselves walking towards the beautiful town square which is a little reminiscent of Brugge which we visited last month. Its a good (though typically for a town square - slightly overpriced) place to sit down for a nice fresh coffee and to get your bearings on where to head next. Tourism (and especially cruise ships) is a huge industry here and you will notice most of the restaurant waiters and waitresses dress in costume - It adds a slightly odd Disney feel to the whole place.

Tallinn Town Hall Square
Also worth noting is that the other big industry here is technology; Tallinn is in fact Europe's equivalent of the Silicon Valley California - so its a bonus to get non stop city wide wi fi and whilst here: time to delete those hundreds of useless emails sent to you whilst on holiday.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
The town is split into two parts - the lower town (All-linn) where the Town Hall Square is located and Toopea which sits on a fortified hill and is topped by Toopea Castle part of which is now the parliament and several fine churches including the  Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky. Beautifully decorated inside and out with gold leaf and mosaic.

Toopea Castle Walls
After a morning exploring we head back towards the town square where we are accosted by a couple of not so buxom wenches trying to entice us with  large 'gentleman sized beers' in huge clay vessels. Who can say no to such an offer. The bar/restaurant is called Hortus and is directly behind the town hall. You can choose to sit in a tent inside or use the lovely sun deck next to the town hall tower.

We wander back through the stunning flower markets and the south gates of the city. Its still lovely and warm. We are both highly impressed with Tallinn its an exceptional little jewel of a medieval city - despite the weather we buy a new umbrella (this should guarantee we have no rain)  as we left the Berlin ones on the coach - Doh!

Viru Gate - Tallinn
Lifeboat testing on the Getaway.
We take a late lunch back on the ship.  Today the buffet excels itself with some of the thickest, juiciest  and meaty king prawn burgers I have ever tasted - mmmmm. Perfect with an ice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc or two. As usual the time soon flies by when you're doing nothing and we and the Viking Sky are pulling away together and heading out into the Gulf Of Finland towards St Petersburg. Woohoo!

Oyster Rockefeller at Ocean Blue
Dinner tonight is another visit to the Ocean Blue. We have tried to book most of the premium restaurants to tie in with the nights when we are not out touring all day and half asleep by the evening.  The food is excellent as usual - in fact tonight its better than usual if a little sinful (Scallops and Belly of Pork really ought to be banned under some cholesterol law - but the 18 hour slow roasted pork is like butter (wait that sounds even worse)and the scallops like pure silk).

Scallops and pork belly with veal jus and grapefruit
Its a great meal and another great evening - but can you  please go dark at a decent time - tomorrow I suspect is going to be a seriously busy day.

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