After a fabulous three days in St. Petersburg, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas stopped at Tallinn, Estonia. As you read this, we are on the way to what will be our final stop on this trip, Stockholm, Sweden. By the way, I’ve not forgotten to tell you about St. Petersburg. It’s just taking a little longer to write. Look for it soon!______________________________________________________________
Estonia is probably not on anyone’s bucket list, but our ship was stopping there and that gave us an opportunity to explore this little gem on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
We’ve seen some colorful places on route, but Tallinn has them all beat. Bright colors abound, from the clothing to the rooftops and there are flowers of every hue everywhere. I’m guessing that lots of color helps brighten one’s spirits when having to deal with what I’m sure are some very harsh winters.
Tallinn a very walkable city. In the Old Town, everything is compacted into a very small
footprint. With that said, don’t even attempt to tackle this if you are the least bit clumsy. There are steep hills; steps that seem to ascend endlessly into the sky and if you get carried away looking at the historical sites, you might just trip over one of the cobblestones in the street. Yes. It is an obstacle course, but walking is the only way to see the best part of Tallinn.
We wandered into a long, winding marketplace where everything from clothing to souvenirs was sold. These were salespeople hawking their goods and as that stuff goes, they were not selling junk. These were quality goods. We didn’t purchase anything, but enjoyed the atmosphere. Then there was the flower market. Almost a block long, cut flowers were for sale and beautifully arranged in each shop. I walked through it because I was there and it was pretty, and I paid for it with a headache later. Yup. I’m allergic to flowers.
We stopped in a local restaurant for coffee early in the day, then came by for lunch later.
We wanted something typical and our server recommended the Estonian Sandwich. It’s doesn’t get more local that that! As it turns out, the Estonian Sandwich isn’t really a sandwich at all – at least not in the traditional sense. While I was wondering what to do with it, our server delivered a basket with knife and fork and some condiments.
Here’s what it was: Raw herring, (When you’ve eaten live herring, raw doesn’t sound so
bad.) pickles, plain yogurt, raw, red onions and sliced hard boiled eggs. And here’s the ‘sandwich’ part: there’s a thin, piece of dark bread on the bottom.
I have to admit, the first couple of bites were pretty tasty, but it’s kind of like being in a room full of chocolate. You think you can eat a lot of it and you do, but after you never want to see a piece of chocolate again. The thought of this so called sandwich might have me shunning fish forever!
We really enjoyed the day and only wished there was more time to explore this tiny Country.