Estonia II
Home Up

Russia 2012 - Missing Passport Russian History Copenhagen Denmark Stockholm Sweden I Sweden II
Who Went Helsinki Finland St Petersburg Russia Tallinn Estonia I Estonia II

Tallinn, Estonia Part II
Written by Rick Archer
February 2013

After lunch, Velma, Marsha, and Sandy wanted to do some shopping. 

Marla and I preferred to continue roaming around, so we left the girls behind and struck out on our own

We stood in the middle of Town Square for a second and figured out which direction on the map we hadn't visited yet.

Marla and I decided to head south down Kullaseppa Street

Our last adventure before returning back to the ship took us to Vabaduse Valjak, aka Freedom Square (#19).

Here is Kullaseppa Street.  The Town Square is in the back.

That is Niguliste Church aka St. Nicholas Church (#17 on the map).  It is also a museum, but we didn't have time for a visit.

Kullaseppa Street turned into Harju Street which took us south to the edge of Old Town.

We are now on Ruutli Street

However we didn't stay on Ruutli for long.  Once we realized it took us back to Toompea, we turned around and went back to Harju Street

We came to the edge of Old Town.  We had reached the same Harju Magi Park that we had spotted from above near to Toompea Castle earlier in the day.  We had decided earlier we were going to walk this area, but we were running out of time.

St. John's Church stands just outside the walls of Old Town at the edge of Freedom Square (#19 on the map).


Toompea Palace looms above.

War of Independence Victory Column is located in Freedom Square (#19).
It commemorates the 1918-1920 uprising against Russia that gave Estonia its first taste of freedom.

A look down Harju Street as we head back into Old Town.  We were now as far away from the ship as possible without leaving Old Town. It was getting late, so we turned around.

The large green area next to St. Nicholas Church (#17) to the left of Harju Street was created by Nazi bombing.  Nothing stood here after the war, so they turned it into a city park.

Notice the "Harju" street sign on the wall.

This is a picture of the park created by the Nazi bombs.

That is the Town Hall Tower (#1) in the distance.  Incidentally, we suddenly have blue skies because my own picture was too blurry.  So I conveniently borrowed a picture from the Internet. Presto!  The rainy dark skies are gone.

Harju has just turned into Kullaseppa.  Those murky street signs tell us we are at the corner of Kullaseppa and Kuninga.

Kullaseppa will take us back to the Town Square.

Now we are back at the Town Square.  We are just a mile from the ship.  A brisk 20-30 minute walk from here would have us back to the ship in no time.  However with me stopping to take pictures and study the map, it took a bit longer.

This alley is Mundi.  The sign says Raekoja Plats which is Estonian for 'Town Square'.  We have just crossed the Town Square and have reached a short street called Mundi.

This is our last map.  After Mundi we found a street named Pikk that was a straight shot to the front gate of Old Town.

More of Mundi Street. That is Pikk Street up ahead.

Our walk down Pikk Street to the front gate was half a mile.
From the gate at
Pikk back to the ship was another half mile. Using the Path feature of Google Earth, we walked about four miles during the day from the ship and back.  Fun day!!

Marla is worried because she doesn't trust my map skills.  She is not convinced that Pikk Street is safe to use for our return. She preferred to retrace our steps because that was a sure thing.

During our 2009 Barcelona Trip, there was a day in Rome I refer to as the Story of the Evil Map.  Thanks to the lousy map, she and I were forced to face automobiles hurtling towards us at 60 mph for over 20 minutes.  To this day, Marla still has neither forgiven nor forgotten. This dangerous incident helps explain the lingering tension behind her expression above.

If you actually read my side of the story of the Evil Map, you will see I was right most of the time.  My mistake was that the map did not reveal the massive wall that trapped us from exiting the dangerous freeway.  We literally had to risk our lives to complete the trip on time. To this day I remain in a lifelong doghouse where all maps are concerned.

Tallinn was pretty easy to negotiate and it was very safe.  Besides the excellent maps we were given, there were many streets signs to guide the way throughout the day.

At this fork in the road we could stay on Pikk to the left or go down Puhavaimu to the right.  We decided to stick with Pikk.

The Holy Spirit Church (#6 on the map) along Puhavaimu


We passed right by St. Olaf's Cathedral (#10 on the map)

By chance, I ran into an Estonian couple that had been married at St. Olaf's just a couple hours earlier.

Who would have ever expected such a welcome sight so far from home?  It is fun to know Texas is so famous.

Saint Olaf's Cathedral seen from ground level.

Construction along Pikk Street.  I am sure you have noticed how well kept all the buildings are.  I think the citizens of Tallinn realize what a gold mine they have in their Old Town.

None of these pictures are particularly remarkable by themselves.  They are just snapshots of the road and the various buildings we passed our meanderings.  What I have tried to do is to give you a feel for this wonderful medieval city in a far-flung part of the world. 

I hope you have enjoyed sharing the sights of our pleasant day's journey.

Getting near the end.  Those are the Old Town gates up ahead.


Here we are.  The time has come to leave Old Town, our wonderful medieval city.

The top of our ship can barely be seen peeking over the buildings in the distance.


There is our friend St. Olaf's Church saying goodbye to us. 

This is the end of not only of our journey through Old Town, but the trip as well.  Tomorrow we will be back in Copenhagen ready to fly home.  Nice job, Marla. This was truly an incredible trip.

I would like to conclude my story of our trip to Russia and the other Baltic states with a reminder of how I started this trip by losing my passport back in Virginia.  I wrote about this event in my Passport Miseries story. 

It was a shocking, deeply disheartening moment.  Watching Velma and Marla get on the plane to Denmark without me meant I was totally alone at the airport with no passport, no cell phone, and no idea how to get myself out of this mess.  Feeling very sorry for myself, I very much wanted to simply hop on a plane back to Houston and take the easy way out. 

But then I told myself this trip to Russia was the chance of a lifetime.  It was a lot of work to get there and I had invested a lot of money that would just go down the drain.  But it wasn't just the money.  This would probably be the only chance I would ever get to see this part of the world.  I told myself I would be an idiot to throw this chance away.  So I changed my mind and decided to dedicate myself to getting a new passport and make the trip. 

As you can see from my big smile, I clearly made the right choice.  This trip to Russia and the other Baltic countries was an unforgettable adventure.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my travelogue as much as I have had sharing it with you.

Rick Archer

Russia 2012 - Missing Passport Russian History Copenhagen Denmark Stockholm Sweden I Sweden II
Who Went Helsinki Finland St Petersburg Russia Tallinn Estonia I Estonia II
SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ