Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Helsinki to Tallinn: Sunday 15th March 2009

We took the ferry across the Baltic to Tallinn , Estonia, today. The journey was 2 hours and we arrived at 12:30. The average age of people on the ferry would have been 70 years old. There were a few bus tours and the ship was full of people. The sea-ice extended at least 45 minutes out of Helsinki.

The enormous baltic ferry "Romantika"

The NOT enormous cabin, before the bed and sofa are folded out

We had originally intended to spend one night in Tallinn but had miscalculated the days when we pre-booked our overnight ferry to Stockholm. So we just had an afternoon exploring the old town. Tallinn has a walled old town and a very long history. There were gravestones displayed from around 1381. The main square has a chemist store that has been operating in the same premises since the late 1400's - probably with a few adjustments over the years. It was seized by the Russians after WWI and only resumed independence in 1991.

Market Square

The town itself was quiet probably due to the fact it was a Sunday, it is not summer and it was snowing.

We visited a Russian orthodox church and an evangelical church which had quite unusual decoration in that the pews were fully enclosed with "gates" at the end of each pew.

We came back to the port to board the Tallink Ferry, Romatika for the 15 hour overnight trip to Stockholm. It is a bit of a cruise ship. There is a tango bar where you can get lessons, a disco, a stage area where a variety show will be performed, a casino, three restaurants and a sizable shopping area. Gratefully it does not appear to be full of passengers. The boat can take 2000 passengers and cruises at 22 knots.

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