Saturday, June 29, 2019

No 56 - Estonia - First of Three Baltic Countries

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Bjorn and Kristin drove us back top Alesund where we visited a few more local sites before being dropped off at a hotel at the airport.  Our early morning flight the next day departed at 7AM and with a  short layover in Oslo, we were in Tallinn by noon.  No immigration and the car rental office just a few blocks from the terminal had us in our rental car and running within an hour.  We we really early so we wandered around downtown a bit, found a shopping mall with an amazing cafeterias...yippee...eastern European prices again...and then did some grocery shopping for the next several days.

Our apartment was right in the center of town...walking distance to all the sites and we settled into a really, really nice renovated apartment with all the bells and whistles.  This one made it to the top ten of our journey so far.

I finally succumbed to Bobbie's suggestion to start walking Game of Thrones and devoured three episodes our first night.  Now I'm hooked...LOL.

We left Tallinn and headed due west to Kuressaare on the large island.  A short ferry ride brought us to the island where we wandered the coastline for a few hours.  Along the way we stopped to see the 425 million year old meteor crater.  It was not crowded at all, free to visit, and we enjoyed walking the rim and down to the little collection pond below.
We continued to Kuessaare where we had booked a lovely studio apartment for the night.  In the morning we took a quick driver around Kuessaare, visited the castle and walked the grounds.  Then it was a quick drive back to the ferry and then on to Tartu in the western portion of the country.

Our drive across Estonia was through thick Scots Pine forests and flat farmland.  It took us about four hours to reach the western border and Tartu.  There we planned a three night stay and lucked out with a small studio that fully met all of our needs in about 120 sq  The building was from the mid 1800's, fully renovated on the inside.  The neighborhood was full of these beauties.

We spent both of our full days in the city center.  On our first day, it happened to Victory Day in Estonia.  Lots of military parades and exhibits.

Most everything except the grocery stores were closed for the event.  We did however wander into the University Botanical Gardens.  That was lovely.  It was a hot day and the garden were beautiful.

The national holiday spilled over into Monday as well so all of the museums and other historical sites were still closed.  We opted for a movie instead and found a lovely, brand new 12 screen theater.  The surprise was that it is fully automated...from ticket sales, entry, to seating and concessions.  There was not a single human being to be seen...except for the guests...of which there were only four besides ourselves.  These are actual photos of the place...see NO PEOPLE.  We saw X-Men-Dark Phoenix.

Our visit to Estonia ended the next day as we drove on into Latvia with Riga as our destination.

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