Posted by: travelrat | January 23, 2013

Exploring Tallinn

Tallinn 1

Tallinn: 27th November 2012.

Land at last! We finally arrived at Tallinn, which has been designated as a World Heritage Site because of its many imposing old buildings.

We took a quick coach tour around the ancient walls, before taking a guided walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old City.

Our way eventually led to the ornately decorated ‘Black Heads Guildhall’, formerly home to one of the merchant guilds based in the city, where, over coffee and cake, Soprus, a group of colourfully and traditionally dressed folk dancers entertained us with a lively display … there’ll be video coming up shortly.

Then it was on to the Christmas Market in the main square. It was a collection of semi-permanent wooden cabins where all sorts of predominantly local crafts were displayed. Most stalls were offering knitwear, but occasional stalls sold food, especially gloggi, or mulled wine.

The most noticeable thing seemed to be the total absence of tat. Even the tourist souvenir shop I called into to buy a couple of postcards was selling quality stuff.

Unfortunately, we were only allowed ten minutes here, although Lorraine did come away with a cuddly-looking hat-cum-scarf. We feel that, since the Christmas markets were the theme of the cruise, maybe the subsequent calls could have been curtailed or omitted. Other groups on the same tour got about half an hour, which is about right if you’re ‘just looking’.

But, no! Back on the coach, we were taken to see the open-air auditorium where they hold a Festival of Song every five years. Not an inspiring site when there’s nothing going on, but it does give a rather nice view of the harbour.

The last call was at the ruined convent of St. Birgid … interesting, but I’d rather we spent longer at the Christmas Market

Tallinn Christmas Market 1

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