Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Port Call Series-Tallinn, Estonia

The first day in Tallinn, I had duty, and was lucky to get to explore for two other days!  I went and toured around the medieval city with my liberty buddy.  We ventured to the Old Town area, despite it being much of a tourist trap.  We perused the cobblestone streets, and around the hills and fortifications, and were able to see the harbor from the heights.I was able to get some shots of the FARRAGUT from there.  It is a great sea port for cruise liners, and there were at least 7000 visitors from the cruise ships yesterday.  We found one unique bar on our trek back to the ship for the reception.  I saw a sign that said "DM" and a picture of a rose.  There is was, a bar dedicated to Depeche Mode.  There was a sign outside that said it made the top ten list for "Worlds Strangest Bars". True statement. I went inside, took some pictures, and had to get a shirt to remember the experience. 

After the short venture into town, we went back to the ship for a reception onboard.  Some of the guests included the Prime Minister of Estonia, the Ministry of Defense, and the President of SKYPE.  I was able to talk to many people, even the US Ambassador to Estonia's family, who are from Peoria, Illinois.  Everyone told me when they found out I was from Chicago was how beautiful and clean it was.  Most of the guests were there for the NATO conference in May.  After the reception, I headed out into town to a place called "The Brewery" to enjoy a local Honey Beer, and watch the Olympics with friends.

The next day, I went out all day and found some of the older sights in Tallinn.  One of the things we found was the Harju Gate, from 1377.  They built this gate years ago, and it was the most important part of the medieval lower town fortification system.  I went to the Estonian History Museum, where they have many great displays from 11,000 years of Estonian history.  There was an incredible Armory Room, with various swords and pistols throughout the ages.  We also shopped for some local items, such as Baltic Amber, warm hats (it is about 50 degrees and decreasing), chocolate, and some souvenirs for the nieces and nephews back home.  Tonights dinner was a local dish, made of sausages, sour kraut and potatoes.  It went well with honey beer, and more watching of the Olympics.  That is when I discovered that the Swedish are serious about handball. 

Random grafitti
Depeche Mode Bar.  In Love.
Loved this place!

Had an "Enola Gay".  White Wine spritzer.
Day out and about in town

Picture of me with the Prime Minister of Estonia.  Everyone said I looked "Not Impressed".  Truthfully, I was just trying to hide my beer.   

Best Beer in Eastern Europe!

Harju Gate


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