Tallinn. Estonia - May 27th

What a beautiful morning.
Check out the sunrise and sunset times.  So we arrive about 10am.
This is Tallinn, (yes it has a double n) as we approach. At 10.30 we leave the ship for our Tallinn Walking Tour - 3hours 30mins - strenuous, the blurb says!

We start in upper Tallinn which is filled with medieval splendour,  in this photo you can see what remains of Toompea Castle, built in the first half of the 13th century. Catherine the Great decided all the fortification was unnecessary and took half of it down and replaced it with the pink building which is now the Parliament building. Built in 1773.
This is the other side.
And if you turn around from here you are face to face with the Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
It is comparatively young as it is only 100 years old, as it has been destroyed a few times, but it is built in the traditional style of Moscow churches of the 17th century.
Today there was an open casket funeral taking place (somehow my camera missed it), but tourists were still allowed to troop inside at the same time. No photos allowed inside. 
Though there are many churches here our guide told us that less than 10% of Estonians are religious. This could possibly because they have been kicked around for centuries by others. First the Danish, then the Swedes, for a time (1918 - 1940), then the Germans occupied them to save them from the Russians and the Russians "liberated" them from the Germans. Finally in 1991 they became independent again and they intend to stay that way.  This is the view from the top looking down over Tallinn.

We saw a couple of these pieces around that obviously honour local heros. I think this is the top of St Nichola's church, (yes losing the plot)
It's Lutheran and normally these churches are sparsely decorated but it used to be that bodies were buried here (literally inside the church) but Catherine put a stop to the spread of disease and so there are dozens of shields around the inside put up by the tick to commemorate their dead.
Being allowed to take pics I also took the altar and the organ here.
Walking down to the lower town our guide told us of the deputes between the upper and lower twins and these walls separated them and killings took place here.
Such ancient walls - oh to be able to hear their stories.
I was fascinated to hear more about Estonia eg after tourism, technology is it's main money earner. Skype was invented here and though sold to Microsoft more than half the staff running Skype are still located in Estonia.  Everything is online, including voting, education, including parents being able to easily access school reports and even paying for parking.  Nothing medieval about it's economy and it makes Australia look very backwards in such things.
In one section tomb stones are preserved.
This sign explains them.
We saw the exterior of the church of the holy spirit and I totally forget why it is important. Our guides have been excellent but they tell you so much it is difficult to retain it all, but I look forward to looking it up and recalling it once we get home.
A medieval gate takes us down and into the town hall square.
Now the orange building the in the centre of this pic isTroika, a bar with great significance as we were given 45 minutes to ourselves so we headed in here both to find some free wifi and to taste some honey beer, which we both loved.

Here I successfully published three blog posts whilst downing half a litre of local honey beer. Apart from this, now, famous bar, the main building of note in the square is the town hall.
Then we all met up again and headed down what we think was called Catherine's way to the city walls and a gate.
A knitwear market takes place under this section of the wall, full of colourful clothing and characters.
And here are the two sections of the gate I mentioned.
We dropped out of the tour and spent an hour or so more in town, but alas, when walking back to the ship, someone walked in front of Garrie and stopped suddenly and in an attempt to avoid a collision he has hurt his calf muscle even more.  Poor man is in quite some pain now. I managed a couple more shots of the ship before re-boarding.
We have been by far the biggest ship wherever we are. It is becoming a home, with the group we dine with getting to know each other well and our Stateroom (have you noticed I like saying that?), attendant Luis, who has called me Miss Cheryl from the day we boarded, always being very welcoming and concerned for our welfare.  I have also discovered that I can have a classic cocktail from my 20s, a grasshopper in our drinks package and so am indulging - look out cous Sue, I must have some of your genes!

A beautiful clear night tonight but cloud forecast for our arrival in St Petersburg. Many are doing two full days of touring whereas we have two half days, which, given Garrie's leg problem, is probably just as well.