Friday June 22, 2012

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One of the really cool things about cruising is that you do most of your travelling at night – instead of wasting untold daylight hours getting from point A to point B. Although, here right now in the lands of the midnight sun, we’ve still got daylight in the middle of the night. It’s the weirdest thing – the sun finally goes down after midnight, and then pops back up again just an hour or so later. And if you don’t close your cabin curtains properly, you find yourself waking up at all hours of the night, wondering why it’s not dark.

Which probably explains why more than a few of our Mad Kiwi Midlifers can been found on the coach each morning – sound asleep, eyes shut and mouths wide open!

Anyway, we woke up this morning in Estonia (look it up on the map). And, while we ate breakfast, the ms Rotterdam was busy docking in the most stunningly-preserved walled city in Northern Europe. For over 700 years, Tallinn guarded the Baltic approaches to Russia from behind thick defensive walls – and today this medieval jewel simply oozes with atmosphere!

Our route, once we went ashore, took us on foot through the cultural heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Site … around the ancient stone walls with their fairytale turrets … into the amazing Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral … up Toompea Hill to the Palace Square where we were treated to a ye-olde-worlde Medieval Concert at the historic House of the Great Guild.… then down Short Leg Street to the Town Hall Square, where we were free to shop at street stalls, inspect the handcrafts and souvenirs on offer, and enjoy a refreshment in one of the many outdoor cafes that ring the square.

The sun was shining, the sky was blueing, the birds were singing, the flowers were blooming. And a top Tallinn day was had by all.


We arrive in Russia for a two-day stay in what is widely regarded as the most beautiful city in the world: St Petersburg. Dunno about you, but I can’t wait!

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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